Bicycle challenge raises more than $38,000


By Lisa Diehl, Kansas communications director
The 2013 Bishop’s Bicycle Challenge raised more than $38,000 for United Methodist Open Door in Wichita thanks in part to some friendly competition between Bishop Scott Jones and some “uppity” clergywomen.

Cyclists start out on the 2013 Bishop’s Bicycle Challenge ride to raise money for Open Door. (photo by Gary Stephenson)
Jones started the bicycle challenge in 2010 to raise funds for United Methodist Open Door’s homeless ministry center in downtown Wichita. In March 2011, the Focus Team affirmed a commitment from the bishop to raise $100,000 over five years with an annual bicycle challenge.

Revs. Amy Lippoldt and Cindy Watson began challenging the bishop to raise more money than they did during Annual Conference two years ago. In 2011 and 2012, the women beat Jones, prompting him to label them “uppity.”

Lippoldt embraced the term and gave out yellow “Live Uppity” bracelets at the 2013 annual conference for $10 donations to sponsor her ride. She also had a video produced explaining why she’s embraced being uppity for Open Door.

Seventy-three riders participated in the 2013 ride June 22 and raised $38,142.99. And for the first time, the bishop raised more money than the uppity clergywomen.

“It’s friendly competition,” Jones said, “but the real winner is United Methodist Open Door and their ministry.”

The total raised in 2011 was $25,294.34 and the total raised in 2012 was $31,440.78. With the money raised this year, the total raised through the challenge is now $94,878.11. Some additional matching-fund pledges may still be added to the total.

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