33 years ago an organization now known as “Tackle Hunger” (tacklehunger.org) started in a pretty simple way. The organization shares the story on their website:
“In 1990, a simple prayer: “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” was delivered to a small youth group at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC led by Brad Smith, who was serving as a seminary intern at the time.
This gave birth to an idea. Why not harness the energy and enthusiasm of Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football, food, and fun to unite the nation for a higher good? Individuals and groups could collect dollars in soup pots and canned food for those in need and send every dollar and food donation DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice.
The first year, they invited 22 area churches to join the team and collected $5,700 with 100% of donations distributed to local-area charities.
That was 1990. Since then, Tackle Hunger, with its signature Souper Bowl of Caring event has become a national, grass-roots, youth-inspired movement where ordinary people are doing extraordinary good. Over $170 MILLION in dollars and food has been generated while benefiting thousands of soup kitchens, food banks, meal programs and other hunger-relief charities in local communities.
Thousands of participants including: churches, schools, youth groups, community partners, grocery partners, local businesses, media partners, NFL teams and passionate individuals have experienced for themselves, the joy and satisfaction of giving, serving and inspiring people across the country to follow their generous example.”
Friends, may that prayer first said in 1990 be in our hearts, minds and hands this weekend as well. In fact, we will have an opportunity to say that prayer ourselves in worship as we collect our monthly 2 cents a meal offering, an offering organized through Presbyterian Women (and in our congregation also through the Ida Joy Bible study) that is dispersed to local organizations in Garner to combat food insecurity and poverty. Bring your change, loose bills, and other gifts as you are able during the offering to contribute to this mission. And then join us in the Fellowship Hall for Soup as well in ways that will enrich our ministry within and beyond our walls.
The Lord Bless and keep You!
*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!
On Sunday, February 12, we continue our series The Church: Then, Now, Next, exploring a bit more about belonging and what distinguishes our Christian Fellowship from other community organizations, clubs, and social activities. Join us to hear how we are “Held Together” by Christ and what difference that can make to us and to the world.
Online participation via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner
*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and an emerging flu season. We also ask everyone to be still mindful of social distancing and respectful of the personal space of others even as we give thanks for being together.*
*Habitat for Humanity of Sothern Wake County begins its Faith Build, this Saturday (February 11th) 8:15am–11:15am. This “build” is done annually and involves the participation of many churches and communities of faith in the Garner area.
More volunteers (minimum age of 16) are needed for what is called the “Wall Build.” Come for as long as you can during the time frame above! To assist you can find more information and register at this link http://vhub.at/southwake. The location for this opportunity is Habitat’s own facility located at 3301 Jones Sausage Rd Garner NC 27529. Please consider helping out with this service opportunity!
* Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). Dress warmly! If you have any questions, contact the church office at 919-772-0727. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.
*February is Heart Health Month and our Wellness Activities Team is sharing helpful advice (like joining the Tuesday Walking Group!) for maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle each Sunday in worship. Come and see how you can feel God’s wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.
* Boy Scout Troop 392 is having a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. Please contact the church office at (919) 772-0727 for information on how to get your certificate for a dozen glazed donuts. The cost is $15 for each certificate which can be used at any Krispy Kreme location across the United States. (Not valid for in grocery store purchases.)
* The 2023 Flower Chart is up! The flower chart is posted in the hallway and ready for sign-ups. The cost of the flowers for the coming year is $40.00.
* Learning About Homelessness Potluck Luncheon: On February 26th, we will have a potluck meal (BBQ provided by the church!) Representatives from the Wake County Family Promise, ministry partners for over 7 years with FPCoG, will share current trends related to homelessness in our area. The event is designed to help us better understand this need and how to assist our neighbors with the most basic of needs. This will also help us transition into planning and praying for our next week serving alongside family promise in early April. Bring your appetite, open heart and mind, and your best side dish or dessert!
*CNCB and Wellness Hygiene Item Drive: Community Navigators, Community Builders Youth group is planning a Women’s Health Event on Saturday, March 18. As part of the preparation for the event, the Wellness Activities Ministry team is coordinating with CNCB to have a Women’s Hygiene Item Drive beginning on February 12. Items can be brought to the church office during the week or placed in a bin in the Library on Sunday’s. The collection will run through March 12.
*Souper Bowl Sunday: Souper Bowl Luncheon will be on Sunday, February 12th. See the flyer below for details, but don’t worry, Confederate Bean and She Crab Soup are rumored to be on the list!!!
*Prayers for Peace: Our world continues to need prayers of word and deed for peace. As we prepare for a new year, may we pray for those affected by the extreme cold weather across the US, the almost year-long war in Ukraine, the earthquake that recently hit Syria, for violence in many communities such as Memphis, TN. Please continue to keep residents as well as law enforcement and first responders in your prayers in light of those struggling with gun violence in too many places in our nation (including Raleigh, NC). In our congregation, we have had many also who have suffered unexpected loss–continue to treat others and self with tenderness and grace.