SOWER Ministry Newsletter January 2018
Do you remember this old hymn – Another Year is Dawning ?
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above;
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

This January, whether you’re hard at work at a SOWER project or trying to get to the store to pick up eggs, milk and bread before the next snow storm, may you carry the words of that hymn in your heart. May you experience another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace, another year of gladness in the shining of HIS face.

Resting in His Mercy,
Stephanie Conrad, #2509   
on behalf of the SOWER Board of Trustees
Forest Glen Springs (TX-537), located outside of Rosebud, TX is delighted to join our SOWER Family of Ministries. The Springs is a branch of a long-time SOWER project, Forest Glen (TX-126).
The Springs features a beautiful lake, open pastures, oak-lined hiking trails, trickling creeks, excellent dining menu, and awesome recreation.  During our area rep visit, we were impressed with the vision of the camp, which is to provide quality camping and conference experience where people can encounter God. The Springs has also partnered with the Wilderness Ridge Camping program (formerly in Bastrop) to provide adventure camping to young boys.

One of the things they will need help with this spring is “Blob Dock” on the lake. Plus there are always projects that need to be done in this growing camp. Forest Glen has owned the property for over 10 years (purchased in 2004), but has only in the last 3 or so years really worked on developing it. They host summer camps (some of their own, but mostly as a rental facility), and weekend retreats throughout the ‘off season’. 
Their RV sites have been updated and several of them are pull-throughs. All of them have 50 Amp service. Check out the PLS for openings!
PS - I hear the fishing is great in their 13 acre lake!
FL-168 - First Church of God, Middleburg, FL
Looking for a new place to serve this year? Please consider First Church of God in Middleburg, Fl. Previously a SOWER ministry, FL-168 has returned to the project listing with a new Pastor who is anxious to welcome SOWERS. There is much to be done, cleaning up debris from the recent hurricane, lots of landscaping and inside work cleaning out/reclaiming rooms and organizing. Pastor Justin is in need of willing hands and servant hearts.
Vice President's Report
At the September Board meeting a decision was made to make some changes to the Project Committee and Area Rep (AR) oversight responsibilities. The Project Committee now consists of three persons including the VP who is the Chair. The projects are divided into thirds by regions of the country. Along with general oversight, as VP, I am responsible for the central region of the country. Dick Howard has responsibility for the western region and Kim Trivilino for the eastern.  Each committee member has oversight of the projects and the Area Reps for their region. Major decisions about ARs or projects are discussed by the whole committee. This has lessened the load of the VP responsibilities and has provided good support and feedback as well.  
Recently we have had some AR changes as some have resigned and new ones appointed to take their place. Also, the Northwest and North Central West regions have been split to reduce the very large geographical area. The changes include:
Alaska - Bill & Janet Rasmussen #3165 are the new ARs.
ND, SD, NE, WY & MT: ARs Bob & Billie Wakeman have resigned the position. This area is now divided into two: North Central West covering ND, SD and NE, and the Eastern Northwest states of MT, WY and ID. Dennis & Carolyn Kolbrek #2534 will be covering ND, SD, and NE. Myron & Cindy Moorman #3221 will be responsible for MT, WY and ID. 

Please welcome these new ARs and be in prayer for them and all of our Area Reps. This is a big responsibility as they are our “feet on the ground” in managing our projects. I’d also like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Bob & Billie Wakeman for their service as Area Reps.
In His Service,
Nancy Ragatz, VP
We have signed up again to have an information table on the ROW at the 2018 Escapade in Sedalia, MO May 27-June 1. 
This is a fun time to get to talk to other RVers about SOWERS and the ministry we serve in. We are looking for other volunteers to come and enjoy the fun time with us. Let us know if you can help. 
PS -You do not have to be an Escapee to help or even attend! 
The Red Badge of Service!
The following SOWER couples have received their Red Badges in 2017, signifying that they have worked 100 project months!

Jim & Eula Fluckey #2635

Marion & Donna Berriman #2114

Frank & Doris Hutchison #2519

Charlie & Bobbie Pickard #2582

Mel & Shirley McFarland #1689

Jay & Naomi Carper #2667

John & Rosie Stoner #2721

Ed & Laura Shuster #2459

Well done, good and faithful servants!

Mark Your Calendar!
2018 TEXAS
The Texas Round-Up is returning to ALERT Academy for 2018

TX-410 ALERT Academy, Big Sandy, Texas
54 full hook ups with 50 amp. Large sites. Most sites are pull-thru.

March 25-28, 2018

     $20.00/night camping fee
     1 lunch at $7/person
1 banquet at $12/person

 Nightly fee for those who don’t bring their RV: 
$70.00/night Dorm room with a private bath
 $60.00/night Dorm room with a shared bath

Registration is NOW OPEN

See you in March!

2018 SE Florida SOWER Reunion
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp, Groveland, FL

February 26-28, 2018

Theme: Sharing Jesus

What to expect:  Fellowship, Food and Fun! Concert by McMillans; Uplifting Devotionals; Q&A by Board Members

Cost for Sowers, Alumni, and Guests: $45/rig; Room Rent: $45/couple; Walk-ins: $7.50/person; Early arrivals: $10/night
Meals included: Supper on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Breakfast: Tuesday and Wednesday

Register Now: Text or call Ruth Stoll at 727-967-0494 or email

Looking forward to seeing you at the Reunion!
Ed Blanks, Chairman;
Bill Stoll, Co-Chairman  
September 17-20, 2018 Aldersgate Retreat Center (OR-320) Turner, OR. 

Costs include 4 days/3 nights will be as follows (includes 2 lunches and 3 dinners):

         Full hookups - $60
         Dry Camping - $50
         Lodging - $75

Registration information will be in the March Newsletter!

The Midwest Reunion is in the works! 
Sept. 17 - 20
Michindoh Conference Center
(MI-139) Hillsdale, MI

Want to lend a hand? Help is always needed as plans are coming together.
Have an idea for a fun activity or a way to help make the gathering memorable? Suggestions are welcome!

More details will be coming in the months to come.
Contact Emory Rockafellow for more information!

Wish there was a RALLY/REUNION in your neck of the woods? Thinking about organizing a SOWER gathering but don't know where to start? The Board of Trustees has put together some Rally Tips to help get your ideas going. Check them out on the Members Page , under "Other Useful Information".
Seen recently on Facebook
Thank-you Barb for sharing about this new project (AL-531)in Alabama! They have 4 SOWER spots in Feb, April and May of 2018. Check out the PLS for all the details!
Have you stopped by lately? We're up over 460 members in our FB group, and there is always good sharing of project news and happenings. Make sure you've "checked" the Notification box to receive current posts, and PLEASE post pictures and stories from YOUR projects!

If you're a member of Facebook, but haven't joined the SOWER Group, click on the icon to join the family!
While you're on Facebook, don't forget to check out your favorite ministries. 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!

We're over 600 "Likes" on the SOWER Facebook Page ! 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. 
Going "Vintage" this month with our Group Picture! This is the group that worked at Trinity Pines (TX-454) in March, 2008! Some of these servants are already in heaven, but many are still out serving Jesus!
Front row (l-r) Roger & Edna Schmiesing (2010), Arva VanderStel (2146), Sharon Mick (570), Betsy Morse (917), Beverly Hanson (2328), Joyce & Harold Bassett (1416), Second row - Naomi Carper (2667), Maynard VanderStel, Carole Cairns (2373), Dave Morse, Elmer Hanson, Mary Flynn (2291) Back row - Jay Carper, Bill Cairns, Ray Mick, Jake Syreini & Marlene Syreini (2910), Boyd Bursma (764), John Flynn

The opening paragraph sunrise is from Hope House (ID-239). The verse photo is from Judy Berger (3263)

SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERS are doing around the country! 
Jeff & Mary Peace
Ed & Patty Soltes
Bob & Billie Wakeman
 Gary & Stephanie Conrad
Paul & Juanita Alton
Terry & Alice Burnett
 Wayne & Gail Fieler
Ken & Deb Long
Robert & Shana Carman

  Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share? Send me the link, and we'll add it to the "Blog Roll". 
Clicking on the 
Fireworks and Balloons above will take you to the Members Only Page, the December/January Sowergram and the latest updates to our Project Listings (updated weekly).

The February-March Sowergram should be posted by the last week in January!

If you have any questions, please contact the SOWER Office  
Dear Sam and Sally,
Dear Sam and Sally,
We worked at a ministry recently where they invited us to join them for meals on weekends when they were having groups and cooking anyway. Is it appropriate for us to join in on meals on days that we're not working? They really seemed to want us to come, but we were reluctant to overstep our guidelines.
Dear Concerned,
While the ministries we serve are never obligated to provide any meals to us while we are on a project ( nor should we expect them to ), it is true that some will ask SOWERs to join them if they are already providing meals to others (as in a conference center or summer camp). Whether or not you chose to join them on days when you are not working is your own personal decision. It has been our experience that a ministry invites you to join them for meals for several different reason.
 One is they like us to see their ministry in action. Often we are there during their off seasons and they only have groups in on weekends. It helps us, as volunteers, to experience their facility as it impacts lives for Christ, and it helps the Ministry by allowing their campers/guests to see their volunteer groups.
 Another reason is they want to bless SOWERS just as we have blessed them by serving there. Often, weekends are the only time the kitchen is open for business and that is why they invite us to join them at that time. 
  Finally it falls into the "encourage" part of our mission. We don't just serve our ministries, we also encourage them. And accepting their invitation to join them for dinner and giving them the opportunity to interact with us encourages them in their ministry. 
So the bottom line is - there are no guidelines regarding accepting an invitation to meals on weekends, or any other day for that matter. We never want to take advantage of our hosts, but we should also be sensitive to their desire to extend hospitality and blessings to us. We need to be open to receiving as well as giving.
Blessed to be in the SOWER Family,
Sam & Sally

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