Cook said that the camaraderie reminded him of the motto of the early Christian church: one in spirit, one in heart, one in mind.
The same spirit showed through many activities on Super Bowl Sunday in churches across Columbia.
And while there were constant arguments over who was the better team, there was also a feeling of family.
“This is my other family, and I want to spend time with this family,” said Miles Rainey, a youth group member.
The youth group meets Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings for Bible study.
“This is a time for fellowship outside of church and not worry about Bible study,” said Patty Wire, a leader for the youth group.
Wire was rooting for the Arizona Cardinals because of Kurt Warner and because JR Madill, the director of youth and associate campus minister, was rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Forum Christian Church
While the youth group of Parkade Baptist Church went silent during the commercials, 40 to 50 youths from Forum Christian Church were the exact opposite during the game — quiet during the game and loud during the commercials.
The Forum Christian Church youth group held a watch party at the Century 21 office, which was donated by a volunteer. They enjoyed the flat screen TVs, which were used for watching the game, competing on a Mario game or playing Guitar Hero.
However, the same feeling of camaraderie permeated the air.
The youth group members said that it was more fun to watch and get competitive with friends, and that they found the commercials funnier.
Blue Ridge Christian Church
“It’s a good time to have lunch together and do projects before the game starts,” said Trent Schake, the youth minister at Blue Ridge.
Schake said that about 20 kids participated. He also said that the youth go to Coyote Hill three to four times a year in addition to planning other activities.
Christian Fellowship Church
At Christian Fellowship Church, 40 church members brought soup to be judged as part of a contest. The contest was held as a fundraiser for the Central Missouri Food Bank as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring.
There were three categories: broth-based, chili/bean and chowders, with the winner in each category receiving a soup ladle.
The church charged $1 for a cup of soup, and most people went back for seconds and thirds.
The church raised $537 for the Central Missouri Food Bank.
Dan Barraco, associate pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, said that the church has partnered with the Central Missouri Food Bank for years and that it is a privilege, not a burden, to partner with the group.
“We have a love for our city because of our commitment and diversity, and we want to share that,” he said.
Pam Ingram, the director of Granny’s House, brought in a chicken tortilla soup to be judged. She wanted to give back to the community and thought that this was a good opportunity to do so, since she loves making soup.
“I love chicken tortilla soup, so I Googled it," Ingram said. "I looked at about 20 recipes, and I picked and chose the ingredients and techniques I liked.”
“I secretly wanted the golden ladle,” Amy Boyd said moments before being announced as the winner of the ladle in broth-based soups. A golden ladle was given to the winner of each category.
“The kids wanted me to make broccoli cheddar cheese soup, and I wanted to make leek-and-potato soup," Boyd said. "I saw a picture for this soup in Cooking Light that I thought looked really good, so I adapted that recipe and tried to make it like the picture.”.
She made a Super Bowl Stew that contained beef, butternut squash and lentils.
The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national nonprofit organization that was established in 1990 at Spring Valley Presbyterian in Columbia, S.C., by Brad Smith, who was serving as a seminary intern at the time.
Since 1990, participants in the Souper Bowl of Caring have raised more than $50 million. The organization has 17,000 organizations participating, including 26 in Columbia.
The Missouri United Methodist Church had the Central Missouri Food Bank truck located in its parking lot on Sunday morning so that members could bring in nonperishable food items.
“It’s better to share our overfilled cup with others,” said Kathryn Sapp, a member of the Missouri United Methodist Church.
Eric Schwarz said that he had his bag sitting out in his apartment and his roommates started filling it up, even though they did not attend the church.
“It’s easy, and people honestly like to help,” Schwarz said.
The church has been participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring for several years, said Kevin Begley, the coordinator for the Souper Bowl of Caring for Missouri United Methodist Church.
There are twice as many organizations participating this year as there were last year, said Mark DeSantos, the marketing director for the Central Missouri Food Bank. Last year, the Central Missouri Food Bank collected 16,662 pounds of food. They will not know how much food and money was raised this year until next week.