My friends, I want to begin this week by taking a moment to thank all of you who have so graciously called and texted to check on my family this past week and a half. My son’s case of Covid was blessedly mild and we are all looking forward to rejoining life as normal this weekend. We are grateful, as always, to be a part of such a loving and caring congregation.

This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, which means something far more important in the life of the church: SOUPerbowl Sunday!

In 1990, a seminary intern in Columbia, South Carolina named Brad Smith (no relation), was saying a prayer at a Super Bowl party when he had a revelation: Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat. The first year they invited twenty-two churches in their area to collect canned goods and money around Super Bowl weekend and raised $5700, all of which stayed in their home community.

In the thirty-two years since, over $170 million dollars and food have been collected across our country, and have been distributed within the home communities in which they were raised. The SOUPerbowl of Caring has become the single largest youth-led mission weekend every year, inspiring so many people, both younglings and adults, to do remarkable good.

We have been collecting canned goods and other non-perishable items for the past two weekends, but this will be the final week – the fourth quarter, so to speak. We will also be accepting cash and check donations this weekend. And all proceeds will go to American Rescue Workers to feed the hungry in our community.

In many ways, this weekend’s food drive could not be more appropriately paired than with our passage for this weekend, which is about our calling to participate in God’s mission and work here on earth now. We are not to wait for a better tomorrow, but to work for it in our midst. Here is an opportunity to begin – and it’s as simple as buying an extra can of soup.

See you soon!

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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