Reflections on the Recent Tragedy // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Death has recently touched our community in a tragic way. We are still trying to come to grips with the senseless slayings of two beloved residents, Melvin and Delores Sipe.

Questions abound. How could something like this happen in Hayward? What kind of evil would lead people to such horrible violence? What can be done to keep this from happening again? How can we curb the alarming rise of gang activity? When will Hayward feel “safe” again? Why the Sipes?

Those of us who knew and loved Mel and Delores are deeply grieving their loss. They were special people — long time members of our church. In fact, when Mel was just a toddler, his parents became charter members.

Mel, a skilled carpenter, made our beautiful kitchen cabinets, and he even constructed a pulpit for us once. He enjoyed fishing and his youthful zest was unabated by age.

Delores was the ultimate grandma. She loved children, always smiled, and could cook circles around almost anybody. She was a caring person with a sweet spirit.

Our church family and the community at large will miss them terribly.

Yesterday, the news media converged upon our church. Some were gracious and respectful. Others were like vultures looking for shreds of information to sensationalize. We told them all the same thing — Mel and Delores were wonderful people and we would rather focus on how they lived rather than how they died.

There are many uncertainties surrounding this event — rumors and speculations. But, today, I would like to address the certainties. These, I know for a fact:

1. I know where Mel and Delores are today. They are rejoicing in heaven. How do I know this? Because they both trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Bible clearly tells us that whoever trusts in the Lord will receive the gift of eternal life. Our bodies they may kill — God’s truth abideth still!

2. I know that God understands. These events are difficult for us to comprehend. Why did such a horrible thing happen to such dear people? This side of heaven, we may never have good answers. But this one thing I know — in the midst of our questions and wonderings, God understands. He walks with us through the valley of grief and pain.

3. I know that there is a peace that passes our understanding. We may not be able to connect the dots — but God gives a peace in our confusion. His peace gives us strength to carry on. True comfort comes only from above.

4. I know that a beautiful life is not nullified by an ugly death. We must choose to remember them as friends who lived well. The circumstances of their death can overwhelm us, if we’re not careful. But we would do Mel and Delores a great injustice if we allow our horror to swallow up the beautiful memories.

5. I know that revenge is always inappropriate. Justice will be done. We should let system take its course. It is not up to us to take vengeance into our own hands. Our church family is praying for those who committed this terrible crime. We know that there is not one soul outside the reach of God’s grace. I’m sure Mel and Delores would agree. “Praise be to the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
II Corinthians 1: 3-4

HWC Information

PO Box 507
10655 Nyman Ave
Hayward, WI 54843

ph: (715) 634-4613
fax: (715) 634-7823

HWC Service Times

  • 8:00-8:45 a.m. MorningSong
  • 9:00 and 10:30am Services, nursery available
  • Youth & Children Ministry during the 10:30am service ONLY