Your Name: Troy Lutz
Your Group: Resurrection Lutheran Church
Location: Portland, OR
Years Participated: 2
First Year: 2014
This Year: Collected $1,039 and 18,480 pounds of food for Snow Cap
Thank you, Resurrection Lutheran Church! We appreciate you and these meaningful responses - it gives us insight into all of your hard work. We are so honored for you to be a part of our team!
How did you hear of Souper Bowl of Caring?I have been a part of the Souper Bowl of Caring since 1992 when I began my career in youth ministry. As to how I heard about the Souper Bowl of Caring, I can't honestly remember. It has been a staple and a part of my ministry with the youth for all these years.
Why did you choose to join the Souper Bowl of Caring team?Throughout the years, I have added to the Souper Bowl of Caring event by creating a month long awareness of hunger and justice issues. The Souper Bowl of Caring is just one aspect of a month long event that includes Martin Luther King Day and the 30-Hour Famine. All this turns our ministry to youth at Resurrection into a month-long awareness on Hunger Justice issues.
What does your group do to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring movement?In addition to collecting food within the walls of this church community, Resurrection youth on two separate occasions go door-to-door to collect food. All the food collected is brought into the church and put on display to build excitement and participation. The week following the Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday, the youth at Resurrection pack up all the food so it can be blessed in one of the upcoming worship services.
What have you found is most successful for raising cash and food items?Back in the day, when I first started collecting for the Souper Bowl of Caring, I had my youth group stand outside the sanctuary doors with soup kettles collecting dollar bills from the church members as the exited the sanctuary. Throughout the years, I've tried to become more creative adding different components to our efforts. Different components that include the physical collection of food along with money, decorating for the event, kicking off the collection process the first Sunday in January, challenging the congregation with new goals each year and giving them something to shoot for.
In 2013, we had a contest between the lead pastor, the vicar and the youth minister to bring in the most food. Although we acted as separate teams we were all in the same game with a goal to raise 2,000 pounds of food. The catch was, the one who collected the least amount of food, agreed to have their head shaved. This was a small price to pay for such a worthy endeavor. In 2014, the challenge for the congregation was to double the amount of food to 4,000 pounds and if they were able to do this the staff would cook the congregation breakfast the following Sunday. Resurrection didn't just raise 4,000 pounds they raised 18,000 pounds of food and the staff cooked breakfast.
Was there any particularly meaningful or moving story from your collection you would like to share?Resurrection is located in Portland, OR and I live in a small town that surrounds the Portland area. One day in the midst of our Souper Bowl of Caring collection process, my 6th grade son came to me and asked if I could drive him and his best friend around while they go door-to-door collecting food from people who, one not only don't live in the vicinity of the church community, but have no connection to the Portland organization that the food was being donated to. Now that is commitment to the cause. Together, both he and his friend collected 16 full grocery bags of food.
Tell us a little about where you donate your collection to.Resurrection donates the food and funds collected to SnowCap Community Charities. The funds allow SnowCap to purchase food from the Oregon Food Back at the cost of five cents a pound. One pound of food provides two meals for one person. SnowCap is a philanthropic organization created to provide food, clothing, advocacy and other services to the poor and is currently feeding almost 18,000 people a month within the NE community of Portland.
Are there any resources you feel Souper Bowl of Caring could develop to enhance your collection?Since Souper Bowl of Caring is a play on words from the NFL Super Bowl, I purposefully try to create an atmosphere that includes that whole theme. It would be nice if some football type "props" or "PR" items were made available.
What does participating in Souper Bowl of Caring mean to your group?As much as the youth complain about heading out into the rain to knock on a stranger's door and ask for food, the grumbling soon turns to memories that have helped shape them into who they are becoming. Not realizing the change that is taking place within them, participating in this event helps to open their minds to the knowledge that their small sacrifice of being uncomfortable will help make others more comfortable. It's amazing to hear the stories upon their return of the people they meet and of the people who open up not only their food pantry but their hearts as well.
What does it mean to you?What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:14-17).
It is so very important in youth ministry to provide opportunities for youth to live out their faith. As Christians we are called to pick up where Jesus left off. Taking care of others should be our response to God and the love that God has for us. Because God first loved us than we should love others also.