Sages, a group of Good Shepherd seniors, ages 55 and over, meet on the second Friday of each month for food, fellowship, community building, and service and activity planning. In most months, we meet at 1:00 p.m. in Crary Hall for dessert and coffee, a meeting, and a program; during some months, we meet at noon in Crary Hall and have a potluck; and during the summer months we have picnics, some of which are hosted by Dick and Bev Knutzen at their beautiful home on Harstine Island where oysters are served! At the beginning of each year we produce a calendar, complete with names, contact information, and birthdays and anniversaries for each member, and members sign up to host our Crary Hall meetings for the year. Mary Moes dutifully keeps our bulletin board fresh with pictures of our activities, meetings, programs and trips.

Sages engage in several kinds of ministries, implemented by standing committees. Pat Brown chairs the Sunshine ministry, which sends cards of get well, remembrance and sympathy, in addition to cards for birthdays and anniversaries. Bean Bag Baseball, chaired by Dean Andersen, is a visiting ministry to residents of local retirement homes, usually taking place once a month, in which friendly competitions ensue between the teams from each community. Winning is not a high priority, and ice cream and fellowship make up for the losses. This year Colonial Inn was dropped from the schedule, and we visit Capital Place and Olympics West on alternate months. We have a connection with the Living Stones Prison Ministry at the correctional institution in Shelton—another visiting ministry—for which Kris Anderson is our organizer and contact person. This year Kathy Carlson and Kathy Flanagan initiated a new shut-in visitation ministry; members have signed up to make visits and then let the group know how our shut-ins are doing.

If you belong to Sages there are regular opportunities to take pleasant day trips with the group. This year long-time field trip chair Dean Anderson officially retired from his post, and a new committee was formed under Pastor Dick Knutzen, Jan Erickson and Mary Arbaugh. During the year, we made several trips to places such as the Hulda Klugger Lilac Gardens, Cedar Creek Gristmill, and the Meeker Mansion for tea and a tour in December.

Each month’s meeting includes some kind of program, organized by Bobbe Andersen and Burt Backman. Some programs are informative, some are pure entertainment, some are travelogues, and some highlight ministries or interests of the group. Our December meeting always features the traditional White Elephant gift exchange, which never fails to elicit much delight and laughter. It is during this December meeting that everyone is encouraged to wear red and pose for a group Christmas portrait, which becomes the cover image for the next year’s calendar—and then the Sages’ year begins again.

We received a bequest in the amount of $600 from the Ken Brooks Memorial Fund. It was used to purchase new neon green Sages T-shirts. Our members wear them to meetings and outings, emphasizing our connection not only to Sages, but also to The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd.