Enter the Nativity

“Enter the Nativity” – a new 5-week series begins Sunday, Nov. 28.  This series covers the season of Advent (the 4-week preparation for Christmas), Christmas Eve, and the Sunday after Christmas.

We will look at the different characters of the Christmas story – Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the angels, Jesus and the Magi and discover together the grand invitation we each are extended to come and behold the Messiah.

We worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 11am, with classes for all ages in between services at 9:45am.  More About Worship

Christmas Eve services will be held Dec. 24 at 3pm, 5pm & 7pm.  The 5pm services will also be live on Facebook.  Nursery care for ages 0-36mo provided at 3 & 5pm.  More about Christmas Eve.

Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army

SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGERS – Over the next six weeks, Salvation Army will work to raise more than half its operating budget for the upcoming year. These funds will show the love of Jesus through feeding the hungry, keeping families in their homes and providing critical youth services. Cedar Hills has a long history of supporting the Salvation Army’s ministry in Linn County.

Again this year, you can help by taking a bell ringing shift.

This year, we’re ringing the bells at the Johnson Ave Hy-Vee and 16th Avenue Fareway from 10am to 8pm on Saturday, December 4.  You can sign up today or next Sunday in the Gathering Space, or go to RegisterToRing.com and search for the group code “CHCC” to signup online. If that date doesn’t work, reach out to Scott Drzycimski (319-540-2356) to get a time slot that works for you.

Pro tip: This is a great way for your small group to serve together.

Ice Skating – Nov. 21 for Faith, Family & Fun

Did you have fun at Bloomsbury Farm in October? Our next Faith, Family and Fun outing is a public skate at ImOn Ice Arena, Sunday, Nov. 21, 1:30-3:30.  Our discount rate is $5 and includes the cost of skate rental. *Children ages 0-2 skate FREE. The regular cost is $9 for admission + skate rental, so this is a good deal.

Download and print the waiver ahead of time.

LOCATION: 1100 Rockford Rd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Faith, Family & Fun events are for the entire Cedar Hills church family that we hold once a month.

Contact Kathryn Pisch using the form below with any questions!

“The Women of the Christmas Story” – Advent By Candlelight 2021

Register now.

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4pm.  Doors will open at 3:30pm.

Join the women of Cedar Hills with a special “The Women of the Christmas Story” presentation at Advent By Candlelight.

Enjoy beautifully decorated Christmas tables, a special message with guest speaker Courtney Mesiner and music by the Lala Ladies.

Pre-registration is required.  Register now.

Participants are asked to bring a donation to support Bridgehaven. Current needs: dish soap, laundry detergent, household cleaners, paper towels, hand soap, baby wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and snack food items. (All items must be new and unopened.)

The highlight of Advent By Candlelight is the intricately decorated tables and details put in by each table hostess.  Doors open at 3:30pm so participants can come and explore the room and enjoy the decorations before the event begins.

Guest Speaker

Screen+Shot+2021-02-24+at+9.40.15+AM.jpg
Courtney Misener

We welcome Courtney Misener as our special guest speaker this year.  Courtney is am a writer, speaker, and emotional health rebel. She is an advocate for emotional wellness and truth telling and tackles unhealthy emotional behaviors that give us a seat on the crazy train.  She self-describes herself as “a rockstar/pastor’s wife and the head negotiator and biggest fan for their three very spunky boys.”  Between football games, hip-hop dance recitals and work, she enjoys rapping, car karaoke, dancing  in grocery store aisles, and generally doing everything in her power to embarrass her kids.

(taken from www.courtneymisener.com)\

Special Music

Music will be provided by the Lala Ladies – a trio of ladies who regularly perform and provide music in the greater Cedar Rapids area, all with connections to Cedar Hills!  This trio formed about 3 years ago and began with a ministry to local nursing homes and care facilities.

Register now.

Past year’s table decorations

Backyard Hidden Treasure

Backyard Hidden Treasure

Since we bought our first house about seven years ago, we’ve been getting to know the ins and outs of what makes our house and our property unique. At some point, we borrowed a metal detector from a family member and had fun wandering around our yard with various boops, beeps and low ding sounds.

If you’ve never played with a metal detector, I highly recommend it!

(Also if you’ve never seen the show “The Curse of Oak Island,” watch it first and you’ll be super motivated to go on your own treasure hunt around your yard. I hate to get you hooked, but season nine is kicking off now on the History Channel.)

So after watching these real-life treasure hunters wander around an island and discovering 400 year old treasures with their metal detectors, we were excited to explore our back yard.

What we learned:  we think our back yard used to be someone’s burn pile. Not so romantic. Deep down below the surface, we’ve discovered lots of nails, old toy guns, tin cans, bottles, bottle caps, broken pipes. And ash. Lots of ash.

But the most beautiful discovery was an old china set—a teacup and saucer. They both suffered damage from the flames of a fire, but incredibly, I was able to scrub them down and superglue them back together until they looked restored.

Next, I headed online to see what treasure I had discovered! Perhaps they were super old and worth something! Perhaps part of a long lost set or some royal collection!

But—no. Just cheap china from the 1960s. There was a reason they got thrown out. No monetary value, no sentimental value—just someone’s trash. They were probably buried just a few years before our house was built.

I took a picture of my little restored china and later deleted it. And after a few years of sitting in my cupboard, I threw the cup and saucer away. I discovered it had neither monetary value nor sentimental value to me.

God’s work of restoration could not be further from my backyard discovery.

He doesn’t need to search for us—He knows exactly where we are.

While we may feel buried and lost and forgotten and disregarded, His value for us is one exponentially greater than money or sentiment—He is our Creator! He formed us in our mother’s wombs and knew exactly who we would be and are, even before time began.

He does not hide us away. And while it may seem we are covered and ash and dirty and broken, His Word says in Isaiah 61:3 that He, “bestows on [us] a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair… a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Did you catch that last part??? Even after He fixes us and makes us beautiful, He plants us to display His splendor! Not like me and my restored china that I hid away in the cabinet until throwing it — He displays us, His restored people, to His own splendor.

It’s kind of like that old saying—if God had a refrigerator, He’d have your picture on it.  But more like ‘if God had a china cupboard, He wouldn’t just have you stored on the shelf inside collecting dust—He’d have you in the most prominent place in the middle of His banquet table on top of a beautiful place setting, all cleaned and shined and ready to be adored over by all in attendance.

God’s restoration is for. His. Splendor. And He takes great delight in restoring His people.

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media

 

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Personal Restoration

Personal Restoration

In June of 2018, our oldest son and our entire family fell hard and fast into deep pain, fear, and sadness. A beautiful young life was lost, and so many lives changed forever. If I could create a picture, I was Humpty Dumpty scattered into millions of fragments. I wanted my old life, my old self back. I wanted this for my entire family, especially for our oldest son. How could I go on with this brokenness and why couldn’t God hear me crying out to him to fix this situation for him and my family?

Every morning I walk around my town’s perimeter. I’ve walked this path for so many years rarely missing a day. On September 18th, 2018 it was a beautiful sunrise, early fall temps and my music was playing in my ears. However, I couldn’t see or feel any of this. I was lost in my thoughts about how I wanted my old life back. Why was God putting this in my path? What had we done so wrong that my family must suffer so? As I walked along the far side of town, I happened to look over, and I saw something I hadn’t seen before. A cross, tucked back behind the Cowboy Church, nestled into some evergreen trees. I was drawn over to the cross and as I came straight on to the cross, I saw the most spectacular sunrise and painted sky. In that moment, I truly felt Jesus Christ was there telling me, I am with you, I have never left you. I heard Jeremiah 29:11 in my head “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” and I cried. Not the tears of despair I had cried so many other times but the tears of relief that I finally understood that Jesus was my restoration and the light out of this darkness. That life would be restored, was being restored, and that I needed to let go of my version of restoration and let my life be led by Christ because it would be better than it was before. I began to pray differently. His will, His way, His timing, not mine became part of my daily walk and talk at the cross.

So unlike Humpty Dumpty, I started to come back together that day piece by piece. Slowly but surely but in a new way. Letting Christ lead me down a new path as he did in September 2018 helping me to pick up pieces of myself along the journey. One of the ways in which I have been restored is through attending the Saturate Group and connecting with members of a newly formed small group my husband and I attend on Sunday evenings. I’ve been able to tell my story, as authentic as I have ever been, sharing that l still have cracks and wounds as we all do, and I have support in putting the pieces back together. Through our small group’s acceptance, prayer and sharing of their own personal stories of faith, I recently acknowledge for the first time in a social media forum that I have a child in prison. It was on the second anniversary of his incarceration, and it was important for me to share how much he is loved and missed by his family and what great hopes we have for his return home. It has also given me the strength to connect with others who are navigating the challenges of incarceration and reentry by sharing how Jesus has impacted this journey for me and my family. I have also felt called to reach out to a non-profit organization focused on helping inmates reenter society after incarceration called Inside Out Reentry of Johnson County.

I’ve always loved the saying “we are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” I think in my case the light of God gets in and part of my personal restoration is to make sure that the light also shines out to others from those cracks and holes that make me real. That is what small group does for me as well as my daily trip and stop at this cross where I know Jesus is always waiting to restore me.

Beth Brown
Part of the Cedar Hills Community Church Family

Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Lindsey know.

A Story of Restoration

A Story of Restoration

Steve’s sermon last Sunday really got to me. I can’t stop wondering about a question he raised. What if we are the innkeeper, and what if Jesus keeps bringing us hurting people, and what if Jesus supplies us with everything we need to restore the hurting? Think about that as you read this story of restoration from Luke 10:27-37:

Just then a man stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”

Jesus answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”

He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”

“Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you will live.”

Looking for a loophole, the man asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”

Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.”

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’”

“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

“The one who treated him kindly,” the man responded.

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

Kent Landhuis
Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Kent know.

Restoration

Restoration

As I reflect on restoration I am once again drawn to share about our latest house project. Cathy and I recently refinished some of the wood floors in our house. When we wrapped that project up we decided the stairs looked like finished hardwood under the carpet so we decided to rip it up. As Cathy peeled off the carpet, we found out two things; first, that they use a LOT of staples to attach the carpet and second, two of our steps didn’t match the original wood. Wow! What we thought might be a simple refinish project just became much more challenging. I think this is like the Christian life. As God peels back the layers of sin in our lives we find the restoration project is much more difficult than anticipated. God peels back our superficial sins and we find underlying selfishness and self-centeredness that was hidden under those surface level sins. Personally, the more closely I follow God, the more time I spend in His Word and prayer, the more I become aware that like these steps I have real problems. I have a flesh deeply corrupted by sin. God’s restoration process has begun, but will not reach completion until one day I receive a new body, one that is not corrupted by sin. Paul describes God’s restoration project of us this way in Romans 6:4-5: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Our hope for complete restoration lies IN our hope in Jesus Christ. Our hope is in the power of His death and resurrection. This is why our Apostles’ Creed ends with more than the forgiveness of sins. It also includes resurrection and eternal life!

I believe in…

“the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.”

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

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