NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–On Super Bowl Sunday, churches across the nation will raise money for the poor by participating in the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” Meanwhile, Southern Baptists will be given an additional opportunity to raise money for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund.
Southern Baptists are being urged to donate $1 in large soup pots as they leave church on Super Bowl Sunday, said Steve Nelson, director of hunger concerns for the SBC and a staff member of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
One hundred percent of the money raised 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, including 600 Baptist churches in 1998.
The gifts do not go to the Souper Bowl organization, Nelson noted. Instead, individual congregations determine where to use the money for ministry.”
Nelson said the Souper Bowl ministry’s lone request is to call their office with the results of their efforts.
The ERLC staffer 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.
“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,” he emphasized. “I can think of no greater stewardship than that. It is not my desire that anyone give their tithes or offerings to the hunger fund. Those go to the local church. But in keeping with Leviticus 19:9-10, we can make a portion of our abundance available for those in need through an effort just like this. If every Southern Baptist gave just $1 per month to the World Hunger Fund, hunger gifts would multiply by 18-fold.”
This past year, the domestic portion of hunger funds was totally depleted, Nelson said.
“It is time for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund to occupy a place of prominence in Southern Baptist life,” Nelson added. “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 1-800-358-SOUP or Nelson at (615) 244-2495.
(BP) photo and logo to be posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. TITLES: SOUP and WORLD HUNGER FUND logo.