Souper Bowl 2016 sets record

Souper Sunday 2016, picture by Melinda Heater
Souper Sunday 2016, picture by Melinda Heater

~bv Diane Gibson

The Super Bowl and the Souper Bowl have come and gone, both setting records this year. The Broncos won and Peyton Manning set a record by being the oldest quarterback to ever win.

The people of Greene County won and the Presbyterians set an all-time record colleting $357.50 and 6,374 cans of soup. Yes – that’s right- six thousand three hundred seventy – four cans of soup.

You’re asking yourself how in the world 6374 cans of soup could be collected in such a short period. This year instead of a friendly competition it was decided to honor retiring Pastor Dan Emmert of the Grand Junction Presbyterian Church and Paton Presbyterian Church, thereby sending out the challenge to the Presbyterian Churches of Greene County to collect 5,000 cans of soup this year, But without Pastor Dan knowing the reason why.

We had our work cut out for us. Representatives of the three Presbyterian Churches of Greene County met together to work out the details. It was decided that there would be a combined worship service of Souper Bowl Celebration. This took a little “underhandedness” on the part of Jefferson Presbyterian Church’s Pastor Gordon Moen because we had to keep Pastor Dan Dan in the dark.

With a little fancy footwork on Pastor Gordon’s part the service was divided up so he could announce the “first stop on the Dan Emmert retirement tour.” Working together a soup luncheon would be held after church on Feb. 7. The menu would be soup and special cake in honor of Souper Bowl and Pastor Dan’s retirement.

The next question was getting the members of the churches motivated without giving away the secret. Each church had its own way of getting people going. However, the Jefferson Presbyterian Church mission committee chairman’s daughter got her father to participate in a rap video. Of course we made sure this was shared with the other churches. Between the ‘motivational’ speakers and the video we were on our way. We also had one more asset to help us meet the goal. Local Fareway manager Doug Monagha is a Presbyterian and he was more than helpful by delivering the soup to church.

Motivated members of all three Presbyterian Churches of Greene County, an upcoming retirement, a fun celebration, some ‘fancy footwork,’ a fun video and delivery service all combined made this the most successful Souper Bowl we have had.

How are all the proceeds divided? The collection taken during the combined worship service of $357.50 will be donated the Greene County Action Resource Center in honor of Pastor Dan Emmert. The soup cans will be divided up as follows: 600 cans will go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, 1200 cans will go to the Beacon of Hope Men’s Homeless Shelter in Fort Dodge Iowa and 4574 cans will go to the Greene County Action Resource Center in Jefferson.


We would like to thank everyone who donated to this project in any way. We would like to leave you with this parting thought: Assuming that at least three meals could be served from each can and 6374 cans were collected, that would mean 19,122 meals were provided. A difference was made – we may not know who, we may not know when – in someone’s life a difference was made.

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