Joliet church puts its own spin on Super Bowl celebration
New Canaanland Christian Church invites the community to take part in its 25th annual Super Soul Bowl Celebration.
The event, which coincides with Super Bowl weekend, is meant to provide an alternative means of celebrating and viewing the Super Bowl.
“We transform our sanctuary into a football stadium,” Pastor Lonnie Posley said. “I become the coach. The deacons become the referees. Our praise team becomes the cheerleaders. Anyone that’s joined the year before becomes the new team’s players.”
Posley said he started the event 25 years ago after realizing some people were not attending church service the day of the Super Bowl.
“We started out small because it was the first time doing it,” he said. “We had gifts from people within the building to give away.”
The Super Soul Bowl Celebration serves, in part, as a form of outreach for New Canaanland Christian Church.
Posley said the church hosts the event year after year to draw people to Christ.
The Super Soul Bowl Celebration has grown in different ways over the years.
“We got support from people all over the city of Joliet,” Posley said. “We have local business giving. We have the high schools and grade schools coming.”
Posley said people tend to enjoy the event and what it aims to offer.
“People gravitated toward it,” he said. “It’s been phenomenal, the support and response of the people throughout Will County.”
Attendees are encouraged to wear jerseys to take part in the Super Soul Bowl Celebration.
“You can’t come with a suit and tie on,” Posley said. “You have to come in dressed like you’re going to a real game.”
Anyone who attends the Super Soul Bowl Celebration will receive a ticket, which they may deposit into a designated football helmet to try their hand at winning a drawing. In the past, giveaways included a flat screen television.
Local restaurants get involved year after to year to donate food for people to enjoy during the Super Soul Bowl Celebration.
“It is open to the community,” Posley said. “It is open to businesses that want to give, as well.”
The event takes place over three days with the church inviting the community to watch the Super Bowl the day of the game.
On Feb. 1, ministers will be on hand to share inspiring messages with attendees. The next day, the church will become a Super Soul Bowl musical inviting choirs to sing. The main event is Feb. 3 with the viewing of the Super Bowl.
“It’s food, fun, and fellowship right there with men within the church,” Posley said. “People are having fun. They forget that they’re at a church service because we turn the church into a football field. I have a field goal in there. I have balloons, flags, mile markers, numbers on the walls, and a scoreboard. You’re not even thinking you’re at church.”
If you go…
What: Super Soul Bowl Celebration
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 1; 5 p.m. Feb. 2; and 11 a.m. Feb. 3
Where: New Canaanland Christian Church, 225 E. Clinton St., in Joliet