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While football fans gear up for the big game Sunday, Trinity Presbyterian Church will participate in a "Souper Bowl" of another kind.

The Little Rock church, along with several others in the state, will take part in the Souper Bowl of Caring.

The annual event is a nationwide effort to raise money to help the hungry in communities across the country. Churches and organizations are encouraged to use the day to raise money for soup kitchens, food pantries and other charities in their own communities, with all money raised going directly to the groups they select.

Started in 1990, the idea for the Souper Bowl of Caring was inspired by a simple prayer given by seminary intern Brad Smith at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C. According to the Souper Bowl of Caring website, Smith's prayer was: "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."

More than $100 million has been raised since that time, including more than $10.5 million last year, to help the hungry and those in need.

At Trinity Presbyterian Church, the youth group will lead the effort Sunday. Students will lead a worship service at 10:30 a.m., focusing on hunger awareness and serving others in the Little Rock community.

David Muffett, director of student ministries at Trinity, said the youth have assigned tasks and will assist in almost every aspect of the service, including the "call to worship," reading Scriptures, singing and assisting with serving Holy Communion. The Rev. Jeff Price will preach.

"It should be a real spirit-filled worship service and a fun day," Muffett said.

The worship service will be followed by a soup luncheon with all donations raised going to The Stewpot, a Little Rock ministry that serves a meal to the hungry each weekday.

The youth group's goal is to raise $1,000 to give to The Stewpot. Muffett also has given the students an added incentive to succeed.

"If we hit the goal I'll shave my beard on Sunday," he said, noting that he has had the beard for more than a year.

Muffett said he has participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring in years past while serving at a church in Kentucky.

"We always had successful fundraisers for different food charities," he said. "The great thing about the Souper Bowl of Caring is that they don't require you to send them any money at all. It's all about donating 100 percent to the charity or charities you choose."

Muffett said he sees the event as a way to make students aware that there are hungry people in their own community and that Scripture calls for Christians to help those in need.

Other churches are also hosting Souper Bowl of Caring events.

At Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, worshippers can drop donations into two "soup pots" -- one with a New England Patriots logo, the other with the Atlanta Falcons logo. Proceeds from the fundraiser also will go to The Stewpot.

Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church is participating by raising money for its own food pantry. The church accepted orders for three varieties of soup.

As for the event at Trinity, Muffett said, "It will be a great day and there will be some great soup."

The public is welcome. The church is at 4501 Rahling Road. Information about the Souper Bowl of Caring is available online at souperbowl.org.

Religion on 02/04/2017

Print Headline: 'Souper Bowl' to feed the hungry

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