Giving Tuesday

mainlogoIt’s Giving Tuesday – a day to give back to charities and non-profits that you love to support.  Our unique challenge at Cedar Hills is to total up our spending from Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and give 10% of your total.  Won’t you consider joining this movement of giving?

If giving to Cedar Hills, try out our new mobile app! Download from the App Store or Google Play by searching for “Cedar Hills”.  Or give directly online.

Not sure if you’re favorite organization is participating? Check out the Giving Tuesday website and do a search.

 

Cedar Hills launches a mobile App

img_2350-1Cedar Hills is exciting to announce that we know have a church app!  Within the app, you can find links to the sermon recordings online, the Bible, online giving, all our social media sites, prayer requests… and more.  Definitely all the best of Cedar Hills in one place.

Weather cancellations? With the new app, we can send them right to your phone.  Need to find your 2016 giving statement for tax purposes? Open the app, and click on “Church Community Builder”.  Need to find a phone number for someone else in the church? The “Church Community Builder” button in the app will also lead you to the right place.

Download the Cedar Hills app.

With the new app is also a new option to give using a debit/credit card or bank account.  Use the “give” button in the app, quickly setup a secure PushPay account if you haven’t already, and give easily.   Any offerings in the app link back directly to your church giving statements for a seamless giving experience.

We’re also looking for feedback on our app: if you have a good idea, please pass it our way as well.

Youth Retreat Update – Two New Salvations!

brightspot“On Saturday night (November 12) at the Youth Group Fall Retreat two students accepted Christ for the first time and many others took steps to grow deeper in their faith.” ~ Jeremy Van Genderen

Last weekend the Journey student ministry went on retreat.  We’ve heard great testimonies from the weekend, but the highlight being two decisions for Christ!  Please pray for these new believers as they begin the great journey of faith.  And continue to pray for our youth as they move forward with a new hunger and desire for the gospel after their retreat.

Journey Student ministry is a place for ALL students 6th-12th grade to come walk together on their faith journey.

They meet on Sunday nights from 5:30pm-8pm at Cedar Hills Community Church.  Each night starts with a cafe time where you can purchase items like pizza, candy, chips, hotdogs, soda and Keurig coffee drinks.  Starting at 6:15pm, we rotate between large group teaching, small group discussion and games.

No matter where you are on your faith journey you are invited and welcomed to join us each and every week.

Thanksgiving Eve

thanks_eve_bannerJoin us for worship on Thanksgiving Eve, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  We’ll gather for a short reflective, uplifting and light-hearted service to take communion together, share stories of gratitude and worship. The service is in the Gathering Space, so has a completely different feel from Sunday morning. And is kid-friendly, too.

Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30pm.   All are welcome to come and join us for worship.

More about worship at Cedar Hills.

Find us.

Annual Celebration – Nov. 6

annualcelebrationAnnual Celebration

This Sunday we’ll gather together as a full church community for our Annual Celebration.   A potluck will immediately follow the 2nd worship service at 12:15pm, followed by the congregational meeting at 1pm.  (If your last begins with A-N, bring a main dish. O-T, bring a salad. U-Z, bring a dessert.)  Child care will be available at 1pm for children 0-2yrs.

Attending is important to active participation in the life of our church in numerous ways:

How is God at work?

We’ll hear stories of how God is at work within our church community and celebrate what He is doing. We have a lot for which to be grateful and will hear highlights from the year including the “State of the Church Report” from Pastor Kent.

United in Worship

We don’t often have opportunities to worship as a full church with members from both services.  What blessing to be able to gather together in one place!  We’ll open with a short time of worship and prayer as a full church body.

Elect Consistory

We’ll elect elders and deacons to serve on Consistory (the RCA name for the church board). This matters because God will use these newly elected leaders to lead our church Body for a three-year term. For more on the roles of elders and deacons in the Reformed Church and our structure of leadership, there is a brief write-up on the RCA website here. We’ll also celebrate the consistory members who have completed their three-year terms.

2017 Budget

We’ll vote on next year’s budget and learn together how we are doing financially.

Hope to see you there!

Flood Bright Spot: Dumpster Diving and a Temporary Home

Wednesday morning at the church started with dumpster-diving to find a kid’s lost clothes. Not a normal activity. Of course it was not a normal week because we were in the middle of the Flood of 2016. Our response as a church was to partner with the American Red Cross as a shelter.

As the flood waters crested we celebrated a flood of generosity. People donated clothes, provided rides, did laundry, made food, played with kids, and loved our community. The Red Cross provided volunteers from around the country. Our volunteers came from our own neighborhoods.

Richard spent the week living in our church building. He is a chef. He said, “On Friday, the water was coming. I needed a place. I made plans to come to the shelter.”

Richard moved in on Saturday. The Red Cross provided a cot and food. People donated pillows. When the buses stopped running, we provided a rides. Others spent time chatting with Richard to offer encouragement.
“I see the hand of God in this,” Richard explained, “The church responded as described in the Bible. When you did see a need, you did something about it.” He is deeply grateful that he had a place to go and people who cared. “Watching people come short-circuited me. Car, after car, after car arrived to make a donation.”

Because of the generosity, compassion, and love of our community, Richard’s experience at the shelter was very good. He was “pleased and impressed” in a situation generated by a natural disaster.

Cedar Hills continues to be the home to about 70-80 residents displaced by the Flood 2016 evacuations.  Some families have had a chance to go home while others are just now leaving hotel rooms and just joining us today.

FLOOD RELIEF UPDATES – THURSDAY, 2:00pm

AN update from Cedar Hills,
2:00pm, THURSday Sept 29

We have been flooded with donations from the community! Many have been contacting the office via phone and Facebook asking how they can help at this Red Cross location. Here’s what we know (and are updating this list regularly):

Current Needs

  1. *FULFILLED* Men’s shirts and pants, size 32×34 and large and XL shirts.  We have two new guests who just joined us after staying in a hotel and literally came with nothing.  We’d love to help them out.  Almost all the clothes we’ve received are women’s and children’s sizes.
  2. *FULFILLED.   Thank you for the great response on this! As of this afternoon, every driver had been paired up with a need! If you are willing to transport our guests to and from work, appointments, and other needs, please call the church and give a time frame and the number of people you are able to transport.  As needs arise, we will match a guest with you and let you know. We expect this need to increase as more guests move in. Call the office 319-396-6608.
  3. *FULFILLED* Volunteers – Wed at 9am: Wednesday morning we will be sorting all the supplies and donations that have come.  Come help out! This will help us be much more efficient in getting the right supplies to the right people.
  4. *UPDATED*Activities for kids.   The biggest need is in the evenings after supper, 6:30pm.  Can you come read a book? Bring a craft?  Just come and play. It’s hard to be stuck in a building all day.  The weather is nice and we have a large grassy area perfect for sports like kickball, etc.  Come and check in the office and let us know you’re here.
  5. *FULFILLED* Semi-Trailer.  We were put in contact with CRST and currently have a trailer for 10 days.  We’re following up on another possible lead for month-long storage. With the sheer volume of donations, we anticipate working with different community organizations and helping to distribute to those in need well beyond this week. As major supplies continue to arrive, we need space to store them. This was highly effective during the flood of 2008 during the long post-flood recovery months.
  6. *FULFILLED* Feminine hygiene products.   We won’t need a ton, but some more on hand would be great. Red Cross Health services was running low this morning.
  7. *FULFILLED* Baby Supplies: Carseats, diapers, clothing…You may have seen this post on Facebook – currently all these needs are met! There is a truckload coming courtesy of Kennedy High School.
  8. *OKAY FOR NOW* Trash removal. Our dumpsters are full and we are unable to secure another dumpster. Would you be willing to swing by and pick up a bag of trash to put out in your own trash this week? We’ve started a stack near the front doors. Grab what you can.
  9. *FULFILLED* Pillows: New, in-the-package pillows are needed for guests staying at the church.  We’d love to provide everyone with a pillow and have a need for bunch more.
  10. *FULFILLED* Gatorade and Power DrinksWe received word that a couple palettes of Gatorade are on their way to be delivered. This request has been fulfilled.

Have a group meeting at the church?

Check for Ministry Cancellations (for groups who use our building)

Open Hands Food Pantry

The Cedar Hills’ Open Hands Food Pantry will be open for their regular hours. Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-1pm, Fridays 10am-1pm.  The food pantry IS accepting non-perishable food items. The biggest need is proteins–peanut and other nut butters, canned meats, etc.  We have plenty of snack-type items on hand and carbs/breads.

Bright Spots

imonImOn just upped our internet to super fast speeds to fulfill the high demand on the internet in the building.   Thank You, ImOn for offering this much needed service for no charge! Send them some thanks.

 

img_1777Shower trailers have arrived, thanks to Joe’s Wet Shack and Bunkhouse out of Manchester, along with a donation from Walmart of 200 bath towels.

Monday and Tuesday mornings, Hy-Vee provided 150 sausage, ham, bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. Thank you, Hy-Vee!

Monday, a load of pizzas arrived from Dominos on 16th Ave – an anonymous donor had these delivered.  Our staff and guests are quite thankful.  While the Red Cross has strict guidelines for food donations, this was a nice treat.  Right now, we are not able to accept baked goods.

CVS on 16th Ave and Edgewood Road has kindly offered to fill the prescriptions of any of our guests and also deliver them to the church. Thank you, CVS!

Monetary Donations

To donate money to the Flood Relief cause, visit the Red Cross Donation page or give online to Cedar Hills via eGive.

Ministry Cancellations and Updates

Due to our building housing a Red Cross Shelter, events and groups scheduled to meet at the church have been adjusted. Here’s what we know for this week:

Noah’s Ark Preschool – in session. No change to the preschool schedule.

Open Hands Food Pantry – open for their normal hours of operation. Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm, Fridays 10am-12pm.

Elders Meeting – meeting as scheduled.

Leadership Network – meeting as scheduled.

All Stars for Jesus – cancelled.

Choir Rehearsal – cancelled.

Boys Scouts – cancelled.

Worship Ministry teams – cancelled. Meeting early Sunday morning for rehearsal.  Details to come by email.

Stoney Point Condo Association – meeting postponed to October 10.

Cedar Rapids Strings – rehearsal (9/26) cancelled.

 

Red Cross sets up at Cedar Hills

img_1768 Saturday the American Red Cross set up an official evacuation site at Cedar Hills Community Church for victims of the 2016 Cedar River flood.   Residents of Palo and Cedar Rapids needing shelter after evacuating their homes are invited to come stay at the church.

Please pray for all those who are calling our building ‘home’ during this time.  As specific needs arise, we will do our best to get the word out via social media and church-wide emails.

img_1769Red Cross Flood Disaster provides the following services (from redcross.org):

For more information or to donate to the Red Cross visit http://www.redcross.org/local/iowa

Cell and Celebration

A couple weeks ago, I noticed all the people serving us in our Sunday Morning services. Greeters, ushers, musicians, vocalists, tech crew, announcement makers, pray-ers, communion servers, offering collectors, coffee makers… preachers. I counted 26 individuals serving in each service—52 people throughout the whole morning. What a blessing to have so many people who step up to use a gift to serve us so that we can enjoy warm hospitality and inspiring worship.

Many congregations in the world are less than 50 worshiping people and we have that many serving people. What a blessing! I love our Sunday Celebrations because it reminds me just how much God loves me and how God sought me and is still seeking me today. I also love all the volunteers who serve so that I can receive this reminder every week. Thanks for serving.

One of our goals as a congregation is to create simple, functional structures that make it easy for people to engage in loving God, growing faith, and serving others. Love. Grow. Serve. Our strategy to live this out is Cell and Celebration. Cells create safe places for relational connections in small groups. Celebration inspires people in larger gatherings through proclaiming God’s Word and sharing in the Sacraments of Communion and Baptism. Cell and Celebration is the heart and soul of our ministry. Healthy hearts and souls are inspired and connected by the proclamation of the good news of the gospel in both small and large groups. Cell and Celebration. A simple strategy inviting each of us to love, grow and serve. The Lord be with you.

~ Pastor Kent