Hunger fund benefits from 'Souper Bowl'
January 12 2001 by Todd Starnes , Baptist Press

Hunger fund benefits from 'Souper Bowl' | Friday, Jan. 12, 2001

Friday, Jan. 12, 2001

Hunger fund benefits from 'Souper Bowl'

By Todd Starnes Baptist Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Super Bowl Sunday (Jan. 28), churches across the nation will raise money for the poor by participating in the "Souper Bowl of Caring," and Southern Baptists will have an additional opportunity to raise money for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. Southern Baptists are being urged to place $1 in large soup pots as they leave church on Super Bowl Sunday, said Steve Nelson, director of hunger concerns for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and a staff member of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

Churches can also choose to donate the money to local hunger ministries.

All of the money raised and sent to the SBC will go directly to the World Hunger Fund which supports ministry evangelism initiatives across the nation and world led by Southern Baptist missionaries and volunteers.

"We want to specifically challenge youth groups and churches to take part in this Souper Bowl of Caring emphasis," Nelson said.

The Souper Bowl of Caring is a nondenominational grassroots effort to raise awareness and funding for hunger ministries across the nation. The ministry was founded in 1990 by Presbyterian minister Brad Smith. Since then, more than 8,600 congregations have participated in the annual event, 800 of them Baptist.

On Souper Bowl Sunday 2000, 156 N.C. Baptist churches participated in the event and, with more than 11,000 churches nationwide, raised $3.1 million for soup kitchens and food banks.

Funds raised on Souper Bowl Sunday do not go to the Souper Bowl organization, Nelson said. Instead, individual congregations determine where to use the money for ministry.

"The cash gifts go directly to the mission field to be used 100 percent for hunger ministry, with nothing taken out for administration or promotion," Nelson said. "I can think of no greater stewardship than that."

The Souper Bowl ministry's lone request is for participating churches to call its office with the results of their efforts.

Nelson estimates that if every Southern Baptist gives just $1 per month to the World Hunger Fund, hunger gifts would multiply by 18-fold.

He said Souper Bowl is a perfect opportunity to promote the SBC's World Hunger Fund.

"I want to encourage each church to embrace this opportunity to support the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund in addition to local hunger ministries," Nelson said. "Hunger exists everywhere though we are often unaware of it in our own communities. A few canned goods that we will never miss can mean the difference for a child between a good meal and going hungry."

This past year, the domestic portion of hunger funds was depleted, he said.

"It is time for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund to occupy a place of prominence in Southern Baptist life," Nelson said. "We cannot hope to see the world reached if we fail to demonstrate Christ's love while we speak of his love."

To participate in the Souper Bowl Sunday event, call (800) 358-SOUP or call Nelson at (615) 244-2495.

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1/12/2001 12:00:00 AM by Todd Starnes , Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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