Remembering Evelyn Sikma
Maria Pignato: I had the pleasure of working with Evelyn in the CVLC office for the past 5 years. As many of you know, Evelyn was a very dedicated employee. She made many notable changes in the office, and her organizational skills had a positive impact on our congregation as a whole. As many of you may NOT know, the Church office is a very busy, and at times, hectic place. Aside from the usual weekly work of preparing bulletins and inserts for the Services, there were many unanticipated tasks that fell on us. Evelyn always rose to the challenge, never complaining and staying focused on what needed to be done. And she ALWAYS got it done! It was usually during these hectic times that we would find something to laugh about. Evelyn had a great sense of humor. We laughed A LOT! We had many inside jokes and often finished each other’s sentences. We sat back-to-back in the office. Many times I would start talking without turning around, and after a minute of no response, I’d turn my chair to find she had left the room. I often wondered if she would sneak out quietly on purpose. When Evelyn found out she was sick in November of 2014, she was determined to fight. She remained hopeful and relied heavily on her faith. She had a strong faith, indeed. Even though she was weak from her treatments and had a hard time sleeping, she would still come into the office to help when and where she could. Her positive attitude was inspiring. I remember when she started losing her hair. One day, she came into the office with a hat and a clown nose on. She always found a way to make light of her situation. We had these silly paper glasses we would put on every now and then when we needed a laugh. This picture is of the last time we wore these glasses together back in March. My daughter stopped in the office, and I asked her take a picture of us. She did, gladly. I framed a copy of the photo and gave it to Evelyn on her last birthday, April 29th. Of course, she laughed when she opened it and said I took her idea! This is how I will remember Evelyn. I was fortunate to have called her my co-worker and blessed to call her my friend.
Alice Dabelow: Evelyn had many gifts and talents and was always so willing to go the extra mile for Christus Victor. I know she put in many “unpaid” secretarial hours into the workings of the office, which she labeled her “special offerings.” Her creative gift was so evident in the many bulletins that she created for me for the annual Good Friday cantata. They truly were works of art, and she really enjoyed creating them, which was so evident in her smile when she would present me with the final draft. I’m sure she is creating many beautiful works of art with clouds, sunshine, and flowers in heaven.
Deacon Patrick: I liked Evelyn. She possessed a quality that makes a good office manger a better one. She had the ability to speak the truth, even if it might "ruffle some feathers." I remember one staff meeting where, in her report, she listed the doors that were left unsecured after a Saturday night worship. I was charged with making sure the doors were closed and locked. At the meeting, she listed what I had left undone. It embarrassed me to have others see I left the church unsecured, but it was my job, and I failed. Believe me, I double checked those doors thereafter. Life isn't perfect, and Evelyn had a way of pointing out how we could make it a better place. Plus, I miss the stories about the troubles her cats would cause... that always made her smile. We'll miss those smiles.
Pastor Art: On many Fridays around 1 to 2 pm, Evelyn and I would visit by phone or in the hospital where she received cancer care. I will treasure her many stories of growing up, her children and grandchildren, her ministry at CVLC, and her strong faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes we shared Holy Communion. Often we prayed, and always, she gave me a blessing just being with her.
Pastor Stefan: A week before Evelyn died, she stopped by in my office to say hi. She started talking about how much she is thankful for her life. I shared with her how thankful I am for our time together and how much she helped me in my role as pastor. We talked about what a different it makes when we live our lives being thankful. So often we look at the negative things, complain, and focus on our disappointments rather to be thankful for all life circumstances. Evelyn mentioned that she noticed a flower next to her garage door that she did not notice before, even that it was there all the time. This flower became a sign for her that God is everywhere. I am so glad I had this time with her. I felt peace. Evelyn often reminded me to stay calm when life gets stormy. Evelyn was not only a blessing to me, who worked very close with her, but to our whole congregation and community. Praise God for Evelyn.