The focus of the football-watching world may be on Sunday's Super Bowl, but at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, the focus has been on a "soup-er bowl": specifically, the 2nd Annual "Pete W. Taylor, Jr. Soup-er Bowl."
In honor of the late California-Nevada Annual Conference Lay Leader, members of the congregation donated canned soups in multiple varieties, in support of the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The drive was organized by the church's United Methodist Women (UMW), with an appeal to compassion: "As we continue through these difficult times, HUNGER is no stranger to families in need, but with your contributions a family can have a hot bowl of soup – a stomach-filling staple."
Congregants completely filled a huge barrel before the "soup-er bowl" collection ended on Jan. 31.
The Downs UMW sponsored an emergency health kit collection, as well. Members of the congregation assembled and donated kits containing such items as tissues, hand sanitizer, cough drops, tea, and honey for teachers and staff at Santa Fe Elementary School in Oakland.