SOWER Ministry Newsletter May 2024
Dear Friends,
Has Spring caught up with you yet? Gary & I have been chasing spring for the last couple of weeks as we’ve traveled from Texas to Nashville, to Charlotte, to Pennsylvania, to Ohio and finally to Vermont! Every area seemed to be bursting (or about to burst) with the signs of spring. Redbud, dogwood, and wisteria line the highways, and tulips, daffodils and those tiny grape hyacinths brighten yards and hillsides. But I also know that some folks had snow last weekend – so maybe it’s not time to put those tomatoes out just yet! Regardless of where you are on the “Spring Timetable” we can rest assured that the Promise of Spring will never fail – save in the return of our Lord!
 The SOWER world has been busy too! Our new member site is up and running, and hopefully you’re getting comfortable with navigating it. (Don’t forget about the Training Manual if you have any questions!) There is a learning curve with this – both for us as members and also for the office procedures. So don’t forget to give a little extra grace as all of the kinks are worked out! This newsletter edition contains new project information, the 2024-25 Trustee Nominees, ways to encourage our many new SOWERs and information about signing up for projects next winter! Phew – and I’m still just enjoying the trees beginning to bud!
So wherever this May finds you – whether it’s looking for the snow shovel or the roto-tiller – may your days be filled with a close walk with our Lord. For He is the keeper of all our days! Remember to keep our ministry in your prayers, along with our many projects as they begin to prepare for their busy summer months! And if you get a chance – sign up for a summer project! I know you’ll be blessed! 

Resting in His grace,

Stephanie Conrad #2509
Trustee Nominees
Bill Blake
Bill Blake # 3766
Jim Haney
Jim Haney #3902
Mark Malone
Mark Malone #3532
Nelda Thompson
Nelda Thompson #3445
Dick Webster
Dick Webster #3808

Bios and Ballots will be sent out via email shortly.
Winter 2025 Sign-ups
For those of you who are anxiously waiting to make your plans to serve in 2025, the winter project needs will be posted on the website on June 1 and you will be able to make your selections at that time. In the past you could select a 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice to make sure you could find a spot to serve. You may still do that but it will look a little different with the new signup procedure. Each request will still be processed in the order it is received in the office.
1. Decide what project you want to serve and your alternatives.
2. Make a request online for each project in the order of your preference:
a. You may sign up for more that one project per month in order to communicate your preferences, but ...
b. You must sign up for each month separately.
3. Your requests will be processed in the office in the order they are received (All requests are time-stamped). If you don't get your first request, you may be put on the waitlist if you request that. Your next request (2nd choice) will already be in the cue for assignment.
4. When you are assigned to a project, you will be notified by email and your other requests for waitlist or assignment during that same month will be denied by the system.
Reminder: This is our first winter project signups with the new system. Please be patient as we work out any kinks.
Thank you!
Katie Gay
Office Staff

Almost There!
With just the landscaping and furnishings to go - the new Hospitality Suite at the SOWER office in Lindale is just about ready for action!
Some landscaping and shutters should finish this outside nicely.
The full kitchen in the mini-apartment is ready for some cooking!
Zero-Entry Shower is ideal for all!
The community room with a mini fridge and microwave is set for meetings and games!
Joyful Beginnings
By Troy and Staci Kelcher, SOWER #3841
Our first SOWER project in November 2021 was definitely a joyful beginning for us. We created many special relationships, experiences and memories that we will cherish forever. This amazing start to our SOWER journey created a deep desire in us to provide that same experience for other new members. Last month (April), we completed our 17th project and had the wonderful opportunity to work with two new SOWER couples (one on their first project and one on their second). We enjoyed the opportunity to welcome these new members, answer many questions, share in work and fellowship, provide GL training and create lasting memories.
We encourage you to think about some ways you can reach out and support our new members. Here are just a few suggestions:
    Send an email welcoming a new couple - new members are listed on the SOWER Member Dashboard. Maybe look for a couple that is from your home state!
    Consider writing an article for the newsletter on a topic that you think would be helpful.
    Check the SOWER Project Wait List for new members that are waiting to sign up for a project that just needs a Group Leader.
    Watch for questions on the SOWER Facebook page and help guide new members.
    When serving at a project, let new members know you are available to answer questions about the SOWER Ministry, talk about other projects you have enjoyed and maybe even help them choose their next project!
    Organize fellowship time and outings at your project. Take pictures to give new members a way to remember these special moments.
    Add our new members to your prayer list.

Providing a special beginning for our new members is another opportunity we have to bless others, be blessed and grow together.

PS - Checkout the smiles in this month's featured Group Picture. That's us!
Project Highlights
As Missouri Area Representatives, we have been visiting the Missouri projects recently. Two of the projects are very new and could really use some SOWERs. Springtime and Fall in the Ozarks are beautiful times to visit, so consider adding these two new projects to your SOWER schedule!
Eugene & Joy Rothfuss #3488
Life Change Camp, MO-560, (below) is located near Clinton and Truman Lake. The project hosts family camps, teen camps and children’s camps during the summer. They also host retreats throughout the year. Nestled in the Missouri hills the site is beautiful. They have spots for four (4) SOWERs, and are asking for help May through November. We are the project sponsors and as such have been helping with some weekends this spring.
The second new project is Missionary Acres, MO-569, located in the southeastern part of the state. This 63-acre project in the beautiful Ozarks is a village for retired missionaries and pastors. These retirees are friendly and looking forward to making new SOWER friends. They are asking for three (3) SOWERs in May and then September through November.
Meanwhile, over on the West Coast....
It is our pleasure to introduce the newest California camp in our SOWER family. Angeles Crest Christian Camp (CA-575) is eager to meet SOWERs who would enjoy serving God with them at this pine tree mountain camp an hour away from Los Angeles. This year-round camp sits at 6,000ft elevation, high enough to see cooler summer temperatures, some snow during the winter months, and everything in between in this beautiful mountain environment. The staff is committed to their mission, “The mission of Angeles Crest Christian Camp (ACCC) is to see lives changed for Jesus Christ by providing great mountain top experiences with an eternal impact”.  After hearing from other camps in the So Cal area how SOWERs have been a blessing to the camps, ACCC looks forward to sharing their ministry with interested SOWERs.
This camp is located just off CA-2 in the San Gabriel Mountains, a true mountaintop camp with views in all directions. This location provides a great opportunity for the usual camp activities, a Zip Line across a small valley, a pool, amphitheater, cabins, meeting halls, and a dining room that looks to serve up some amazing food!
The camp currently has two RV spots with a third one in development, and are asking for SOWERs from May through December. The tight curvy mountain roads may limit the larger rigs, 35ft plus, but full-length school busses make it up to the camp and out fine.
ACCC is looking forward to meeting SOWERs and working with us. I believe you will be blessed to serve at this camp and enjoy a beautiful mountain environment and the Southern California area. Should you have any questions feel free to call us, Project Sponsors Karl and Sharon Wagner #3805 or Area Rep Earl & Judy DeVries #3812. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have. Please join us in serving at Angeles Crest Christian Camp soon!
Karl & Sharon Wagner (#3805)
Project Improvements!
Marshview Bible Camp (GA-549) - has implemented a chlorination system to further improve their well water quality. You can not buy better spring water! Come and see what the LORD is doing it this beautiful camp!
Summit Grove Camp (PA-20) has recently upgraded its RV parking area! Check it out!
And then check out the other worthwhile Eastern Pennsylvania projects - all of which are on the Underserved Projects List! Rock Mountain Bible Camp (PA-40), Montrose Bible Conference (PA-277), and Manheim Christian School (PA-504). They'd make a great 'bundle' for conserving fuel!
Area Representative Needs
Do you love the Carolinas? There is a need for an Area Rep for three of our projects in the Carolinas -

Contact Brad Smith for more information!
Underserved Project Update
A complete and 'real-time' updated Underserved Project list is now available on the New Member Site! Check it out!

Let's try to shorten up that Underserved Project List! Send in highlights about your favorite project on the UPL along with a couple of pictures to to help get it OFF the list!
Seen recently on Facebook
What a wonderful opportunity to share the blessings of SOWERs and encourage others to serve! Thank you, Cathy and Jim, for representing SOWERs so well!
Have you stopped by our Facebook Group lately? Please use caution and respect when posting. This is a PRIVATE group (only members can see posts and add posts), but it is still good Facebook etiquette to get permission before you post someone's picture. Thanks!

If you're a member of Facebook but haven't joined the SOWER Group click on the icon to join the family! Just enter your member number in the question, and an Administrator will approve you.
Since the SOWER Facebook group is a ‘private’ group, we try to limit our members to folks who are SOWER members or project hosts, and couples who are interested in joining our ministry.

If you invite other interested folks to join our Facebook group, they will still need to answer the membership question. Thanks!
Reminder: the office is looking to expand the office team from 2 to 3 couples, or a full-time couple to replace Ray and Alean Arthur who retired earlier this year. The position description and list of responsibilities were emailed to the SOWER family in April. If interested please let the office know ( and send a copy of your resume by June 1, 2024. 
Thank you to everyone who has given our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like." We're well over 1600 "likes"! If you haven't already given it your thumbs-up,  head over there now! It's a great way to spread the word about our ministry. 
While the SOWER Facebook Group is for sharing SOWER stories (and is something that you join), the SOWER Facebook Page is where the ministry shares information and works to generate interest in our ministry (and is something that you 'like').
Don't forget to check out your favorite ministries on Facebook. Many of our partner ministry locations have a Facebook page, and it's a great way to stay up-to-date on the places you love to serve!

Clicking on the Spring Flowers above will take you to the SOWER website when you can sign into the Member Dashboard and get "Real Time" updates for our partner ministries' needs.

The office is happy to help!
This month there are 70 SOWER couples (or singles) serving at 43 different ministries around the country. Praise God for all the work that's being accomplished! Check the New Member site for information on where YOU can serve!

SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERs are doing around the country!
Ed & Patty Soltes #1864

 Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509

Bruce & Katie Gay #3659

Terry & Alice Burnett #3071

John & Connie Nicholas #3322

Jim and Cathy Fry #3564

John & Druann Bauer #3521

Conrad & Pam Popp #3652

Burneall & Ann Ekberg #3702

Dennis & Lorree Johnson #3658

Sondra Smith #3779

Spencer & Lorraine Saints #3574

Mark & Jeanette Sheler #3782

Doug & Laurie Schneider #3704

Dave & Robyn Koppin #3847

Ken & Pebble Williams #3870

Paul & Juanita Alton #2766

Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share?
Send the link to and we'll add it to the 'Roll'!

Group Picture - The April 2024 Group serving at Ethnos 360 (MO-465). L-R Randy & Jan Moore (#4084, first project!), Troy and Staci Kelcher (#3841) and Kent & Debbie Staton (#4036, second project).

Header Photo - View from Angeles Crest Camp (CA-575)

Dear Sam and Sally,
When we worked on a SOWER project in Florida this past winter we used an online hymnal that seemed to work well. Is that what’s next for use in our devotion time? 
Love to sing along!

Dear Sing along -
So glad you asked! Many of our members have asked for an easy-to-use online songbook to replace the hard copy book we bring to devotions each morning. The Songbook Committee, comprised of members with extensive musical experiences, believes it has found a great solution. This online Hymn Index - - offers a wide variety of hymns, along with praise and worship songs, and has an easy-to-use index for use in our devotion time. It also comes with piano accompaniment, if desired, and many songs have guitar chords available. Once you are on the site, you can add the link to your home screen (on your phone or tablet) by using the “Share” button, making it easy to find when you need it. (More detailed directions on that feature are available here). A small group of SOWERs have already tested this site and were pleased. During the next several months please try this resource, especially if you are working a project. The Trustees need your feedback, so contact a Trustee with any comments.
A big thank you to the SOWER Songbook Committee, Kenneth Harshberger, Chairman, Ron Maynor, Monica Schutte, Sharon Hoyt, and Connie Nicholas for working so diligently on this assignment. 

Singing with you - in our Savior's Name,
Sam & Sally

Do you have a SOWER etiquette question? Or maybe you'd like some clarification about a policy or rule. Sam and Sally would love to hear from you! Contact them at -  

To send in a prayer request or praise item-
To contact the office -

To submit a SOWER story or a photo to the newsletter, send it to