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On 'Super Bowl Sunday' Lutherans Claim a Win with 'Souper Bowl of Caring'

Date Mon, 12 Feb 2007 10:14:54 -0600

Title: On 'Super Bowl Sunday' Lutherans Claim a Win with 'Souper Bowl of Caring' ELCA NEWS SERVICE

February 12, 2007

On 'Super Bowl Sunday' Lutherans Claim a Win with 'Souper Bowl of Caring' 07-020-MRC

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- As football fans across the country watched the Indianapolis Colts gallop to victory Feb. 4 in the NFL's "Super Bowl" championship game, faith groups also trotted to victory in a championship effort of their own -- the "Souper Bowl of Caring," a national effort among faith groups aimed at raising millions of dollars for hunger-fighting organizations across the United States.

As part of the effort, congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) arranged for young people to collect food and dollars in large soup pots as parishioners left worship on Super Bowl Sunday. Organizers reported their results on or near game day at the Souper Bowl of Caring Web site -- -- so that a national total could be determined.

Faith groups have raised more than $4 million as of Feb. 9.

Some congregations of the ELCA contributed their donations to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, local food pantries and homeless shelters. No money is sent to the Souper Bowl of Caring office, Columbia, S.C. Resources about the Souper Bowl of Caring were sent to congregations in advance by ELCA World Hunger staff.

"I don't know much about football, but I do know that Souper Bowl contributions made to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and other hunger-fighting organizations will make a life-saving difference. I also know that by leading this yearly effort, many of the youth in our church experience the life-changing joy of caring for neighbors in need. Souper Bowl of Caring is a fine example of God's math. God's math doesn't just add up, it multiplies," said Sue Edison-Swift, communication director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.

The senior high and grade-school members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Iowa City, Iowa, raised more than $300 and collected 60 cans of soup for a local crisis center, said Adriane Downs, youth ministry assistant, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

"The kids dressed up in Souper Bowl of Caring t-shirts and hats" and "held soup kettles (to collect donations) at the end of each service. They also held children's sermons that explained the significance of donating to those in need on a day filled with such excess. It was a fun experience for everyone, until the (Chicago) Bears lost later that day," said Downs.

Members of First Lutheran Church, Greensboro, N.C., collected more than $1,933 and about 350 cans of food. Of the funds collected, $243 will be given to the Greensboro Urban Ministry and $1,690 to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.

"We've done Souper Bowl for about five years. It's one of the easiest and best events we do," said Frank Moore, director of community mission, First Lutheran Church. Moore said children and youth of the congregation stood at church entrances with "soup pots, football helmets and branches." A week before the Souper Bowl of Caring, "we distributed a packet (to members of First Lutheran) that included the 40-Day (ELCA) Hunger Calendar, the ELCA World Hunger Appeal prayer magnet and a list of food items needed by the Greensboro Urban Ministry. We also had ELCA World Hunger envelopes in the pews," he said.

At New Hope Lutheran Church, Monticello, Ind., youth collected $135 in soup pots. Part of the money will be used to purchase a pig or goat through "ELCA Good Gifts" -- a 32-page catalog that features gift ideas designed to support the domestic and global ministries of the ELCA. The rest of the funds will be given to a food pantry.

Members of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Great Falls, Mont., collected $471 and more than 325 canned goods for Helping Hands Food Ministry -- the congregation's ministry that serves food for 600 to 700 people every month. Senior-high and middle-school youth groups of the church performed a skit and served as ushers, readers and communion assistants during worship.

Members of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Whittier, Calif., collected more than 30 grocery bags of canned and boxed food for the Interfaith Food Center, Whittier. "The center is one of the largest food banks in California," said the Rev. Steven R. Herder, St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Every year "we raise money for Bread for the World with a pancake breakfast; this year we raised $1,400. Every month of this year, we will have a noisy offering of loose change and large checks for our ELCA World Hunger program. We do this on the fourth Sunday of the month because Jesus is 'four' the poor as are we," he said.

At Peace Lutheran Church, Puyallup, Wash., more than 100 food items were collected for the Fish Food Bank in Puyallup, and $345 was collected for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. Prior to Feb. 4, young members of the church led discussions on the issue of hunger in the world, crafted posters and made individual presentations in worship on the two Sundays preceding Souper Bowl of Caring, said the Rev. Ronald E. Kempe, Peace Lutheran Church.

High-school-age members of Mount Zion Lutheran Church, LaGrange, Ind., raised $560 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and for the LaGrange County Clothes and Food Basket.

The confirmation class of Trinity Lutheran Church, Chelmsford, Mass., raised $525. The class allocated $105 for the Lowell Transitional Living Center, a local homeless shelter, and $420 for "Orphan Ministry" -- a new ministry of the church that provides money for school uniforms and fees for preschool, primary and secondary students attending Kikarara Lutheran Church, Kikarara, Tanzania. At Kikarara, 190 children of the 500- member church are orphaned by AIDS. In addition to the funds collected, 20 members of the confirmation class, Sunday school students and adults of Trinity Lutheran Church served supper at the Lowell Transitional Living Center.

The high school members of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Xenia, Ohio, collected $221. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will match the amount with $100. Half of the total funds will be given to the local Fish Food Pantry, and the other half to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.

Members of Morning Star Lutheran Church, Monroe, Wash., with members of the United Methodist Church there, collected $340 to support Lutheran Disaster Response's Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Lutheran Disaster Response is a ministry of the ELCA and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Members of Morning Star also collected 300 pounds of food for the Sky Valley Food Bank, Monroe. Members of the United Methodist Church raised $282 for the Methodist Disaster Response to support Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, and they have collected 900 pounds of food for Sky Valley.

Youth at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Duluth, Minn., collected $274 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. They performed a skit for the congregation about a chef who prepares soup with a secret ingredient of money. The chef needed the congregation's help with the secret ingredient.

Members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, West Columbia, S.C., raised $400 to support God's Helping Hands, Cayce, S.C. As part of the Souper Bowl of Caring effort, youth of the congregation participated in a "service blitz" Feb. 3. Fourteen youth worked at the Habitat Store there, stocking shelves, cleaning and packing items.

High-school-age members of St. John Lutheran Church, Peru, Ill., collected $440 for two local food pantries -- Illinois Valley and Bureau County. They wore football jerseys and delivered a short speech about how Souper Bowl of Caring started and why the congregation should participate.

Members of Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lewisburg, Pa., collected $370 and 60 cans of soup. The collections will be distributed to the local emergency food pantry, the Eastern Union County Food Bank and Haven Ministries.

Participants of the ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza held Feb. 2-5 in Tampa, Fla., also participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring and collected $450 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. The Extravaganza is an annual event sponsored by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, an organization committed to strengthening and empowering adults who work with young people in congregations of the ELCA. - - -

Information about the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and Program is at on the ELCA Web site.

For information contact:

John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or ELCA News Blog:

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