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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Hat challenge at AC2019 raises $5,600 for New Faith Communities

    June 7, 2019 / By Kathleen Christiansen

    The Rev. Jeffrey Aiosa, pastor of the Elmgrove UMC, had a question Friday, June 7, at the 2019 UNY Annual Conference session for Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb: If Rev. Aiosa could raise $500 for New Faith Communities, would Bishop Webb wear Rev. Aiosa’s hat?

    Bishop agreed, but only if Rev. Aiosa could raise $1,500.

    Challenge accepted.

    Before lunch, Rev. Aiosa announced they had raised double the original offer ($3,000), and Bishop Webb upped the ante: If the Conference raised $5,000, he would wear a large top hat and Commissioning and Ordination Speaker Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball – the Resident Bishop of the West Virginia Conference – would wear Rev. Aiosa’s red and white striped hat. 

    Before the dinner break, Rev. Aiosa delivered an update: The Conference had raised $5,600 for New Faith Communities.

    And, true to their word, both Bishops Webb and Steiner Ball donned the ridiculous top hats and posed for photos as the Conference bar erupted in cheers.

    After wearing the hat for a few minutes, Bishop Webb graciously invited Director of New Faith Communities the Rev. Dave Masland join in on the hat challenge fun. Rev. Masland happily obliged.

    TAGGED / New Faith Communities / Annual Conference 2019


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."