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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Toothpaste touchdown

At St. Paul Lutheran Church, Westerville, Ohio, competition was stiff among the Lightning Lutherans, Pugnacious Preachers and Magnificent Motets.

Those were the names of three sections in the sanctuary occupied at three services. They competed against one another to collect toothpaste and toothbrushes in the weeks leading up to the 2010 Super Bowl.

The "Souper Bowl" is held on Super Bowl Sunday in churches to collect money and food for hunger causes. But food pantries need other items, too, such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Such was the case at Central Ohio Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry, which St. Paul supports.

"Churches with more than one service [sometimes] feel like different congregations," said Aaron Layne, the St. Paul pastor who started the competition.

The Lightning Lutherans led the first week, the Pugnacious Preachers the second and third weeks. But on Super Bowl Sunday, the Lightning Lutherans won the competition during an after-church trivia contest in which five members from each team competed.

Questions ranged from hymns, to church to state trivia. Thankfully, one member of each team had to be under age 12. Olivia Baden, 8, provided the winning answer that put her team over the top: Ohio's official song is "Beautiful Ohio."

"It was a win-win situation," said Layne, who donned a referee outfit for the game. "It unified people of all three services and sent needed items (977 tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes) to the food pantry."




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