Written by Diana Graettinger – United Church of Sun City
The New England Patriots Sunday may have won what can be described as a clash of the gladiators, but the real winners were the people of Sun City.
Because Sunday February 5 also ended the weeks-long competition known as the “Souper Bowl of Caring Competition” between three area churches. More than 8,300 cans and packages of soup were collected for local food pantries.
Earlier this year, the Rev. Brady Abel of the United Church of Sun City threw out the challenge to Faith Presbyterian on Del Webb Blvd lead by the Rev. Dr. Susan Moorefield who collected 675 cans and packages and Church of the Palms of Sun City on Boswell under the leadership of the Rev. Paul Whitlock who collected 4,054 cans and packages. United Church of Sun City ended the challenge with 3,647 cans and packages.
“I am really pleased with the results because the real winners are the people of Sun City,” the Rev. Abel said.
Rev. Abel started the soup drive two years ago at his church, but this year invited the other two churches to participate. “I am hoping this year’s soup drive will serve as a catalyst for other churches to join in the friendly competition next year,” he added.
The competition began about 20 years ago with a seminary intern serving at a Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. Seven years ago, the Rev. Abel introduced the idea to a church in Missouri where he was the minister. He later brought the idea to Sun City.
Last year, United Church of Sun City contributed more than 1,000 cans and packaged soup to Valley View Food Pantry. The church plans to donate to the same food pantry this year. The other churches will choose their food pantries to donate too.
Because Church of the Palms collected the most cans and packages of soup it won the “Silver Ladle,” which is now on display at the church. The “Silver Ladle” was the brain child of United Church’s Mission Committee. “We are pleased to share this wonderful trophy, but we are hoping it will return to United Church next year,” Rev. Abel said.
“The more churches that participate, the more cans and packages we collect. The idea of sharing and giving during Super Bowl season is our reward,” – Rev. Abel
Contact Rev. Brady Abel for more information at email@example.com or 623-933-0058