Category Archives: Annual Report

Capital Campaign – Grow the Good

Over the next few weeks, you will hear more about our “Grow the Good” Campaign. By funding critical
facility upgrades and significant mortgage reduction, the campaign will position Cedar Hills to reach even
more people with the good news of Jesus Christ than ever before.

We are blessed to have such a flexible and reliable facility. Though it’s still in great condition, with nearly 15 years of heavy use, it’s time to prepare for some major upkeep work with a three-year capital stewardship campaign. In the immediate term, our audio/video system in the worship space is in desperate need of replacement. The system has lasted long past its expected life and is currently maintained using used parts we find on the Internet!

When you enter the Gathering Space, hallways, and classrooms, I’m sure you’ve noticed how worn and stained the carpet is and how banged up some of our walls have gotten over the years. Plans are underway to update these rooms and prepare them for another 15 years of service.We also want to plan for future needs, which include roof replacement and new heating/cooling systems. We’ll also raise funds to reduce our remaining building mortgage and cover the city tax assessment for the street and sidewalk updates in our neighborhood.

For more information, visit the official Capital Campaign table in the Gathering Space on a Sunday morning.

Missions Team – Annual Report

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

We are the kind of people who reach out. We live in the middle of a large and growing mission field in Eastern Iowa known as the corridor. Every one of us has a call to bring transformation to the corridor by sharing the gospel in word and deed.

We also reach out through partnerships with local and regional ministries like Open Hands Food Pantry, Matthew 25, Safe Families for Children, Family Promise of Linn County, Bridgehaven, Mission of Hope, Salvation Army, Power of Women and Children, Geneva Ministries, Cru (Katie Smith), Lakeview Camps, and the Gideons.

We reach out globally through partnerships with individuals and organizations that spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. We support Linda Deboer and Chinese Family Fellowship (International Student Ministry), Beth Larson reaching the Czech Republic (church planting), John and Becky Leverington in Turkey (Olive Tree Counseling), Jeremy and Susan Beebout in Niger, Africa (RCA missionaries ), Andy Smothers in Bahrain (RCA missionary), Words of Hope (Radio Broadcast), Blessman Ministries in South Africa (Days For Girls).

Thank you for your support and participation in 2019. Your giving allows us to continue our mission of outreach locally and globally.

Pastor Kent & Missions Team

Connection & Communication Annual Report

As I write this I’ve been on staff for 6 months. We have a few new missional communities and are spending a great deal of time on the foundation for communication, before we get to more obvious steps like altering our website. There is something more pressing I want to tell you about.

My primary focus has been on relationships with my colleagues. Please allow me to share some tidbits with you. I’ve never met someone who has such ability to use both sides of their brain as Leah does. She is gifted at moving from the artistic right side to the logical left and we all benefit from this, every day.

Jennifer upholds the welcoming reputation for our entire church with how she responds to the constant needs of our church family and those not yet in our church body. Her methodical habits keep us all on track.

Kyle is adept at using his eye for design in creations for visual appeal both in print and digitally. His creations are often sought out by other leaders.

I had the privilege of living with the Poole family and have quickly become familiar with Steve. I can say
that he and Cathy are wired for drawing in youth with their hospitality and wisdom. Any teen would be blessed by a friendship with the Pooles.

Alan has a gift of having Biblical words of wisdom at the ready. Many a time, I’ve seen Alan turn a difficult situation into loving encouragement in a few short sentences. Most people I talk to point to Alan and Jan’s ministry as being central to their feeling of being drawn to the church.

Kent is the best leader I’ve ever worked with. The new staff get to be the beneficiary of years of Kent growing in leadership ability. He is not doing this job for the status or esteem. Kent is clearly in this role
because of his love for God’s people. Kent offers insight and encouragement at just the right times, so that we can all carry out our vision for our ministries with autonomy and hope.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection & Communication Architect

Noah’s Ark Annual Report

We celebrated Leslie Clauson and her 16 years of service to Noah’s Ark. She retired at the end of May 2019. We ended the 2018-2019 school year with 46 students. There has been a decrease in numbers for several years due to the free 4-year-old preschool offered in the public schools. We continue to offer a quality Christian-based program and are blessed with an outstanding staff.

I would like to acknowledge Jan Fick’s 25th year as a Noah’s Ark Teacher last year. We have a staff of six. Jack Fick, Lead Teacher of the 4-year-old MWF (26 years), Lori Larson, Assistant Teacher of the 4-year-old MWF (13 years), Matt Houghkirk, Lead Teacher of the 3-year-old MWF, Darlene DeVries, Assistant Teacher of the 3-year-old MWF, Lorri Anderson, Assistant Teacher of the 3-year-old T/TH (5 years) and myself, Lead of the 3-year-old T/TH, and Lunch Bunch MWF (7 years).

Our board members for this school year are Allison Johnson (Deacon), Melissa Oberembt, Carrie Campbell, Sarah Lewis, Mellany Davis, Justina Conrad, Jan Fick, and myself. They are a dedicated
volunteer group that supports our school and meets monthly.

A budget was submitted for the 2019-2020 school year that was approved by the board, which includes
a donation to the church in December of $7,500. We anticipate ending the year with a very slight profit.
We have eight church families who send their children to our school this year. Our current enrollment is
at 48. We continue to recruit more students to fill our last five remaining spots.

Kris Crowther
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool

Care Pastor Annual Report

“I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches”

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is who bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Jesus told the allegory of The Vine at the Last Supper. He promised to make us fruitful. When Jesus abides in us, and vice versa, the result is the interpenetration of his life with ours. But how does this actually work?

Jesus showed his disciples what “abiding in him” means by washing their dirty feet. Jesus asked, “Do you understand what I have done? . . . I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:3-16). We are inspired to serve each other “just as” Jesus served us.

Jesus teaches that we “will do the same works” he did–because “if you ask anything in my name I will do it” (John 14:12-14). Note the source of the disciples’ Christ-like deeds: Jesus will do it!

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. . . . You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide . . . .” (John 15:12-16)

It’s because we are chosen by Christ that we can imitate him. Disciples have only one task: to abide in the vine, obeying Jesus. Whatever we need to love one another will be given to us. Jesus’ called his first disciples to learn the Christly lifestyle by being “with him.” Today, Jesus reveals himself through you and me. Our church fellowship is where we “abide” in the vine and learn the ways of Jesus.

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

Alan Crandall
Pastor of Care

Children & Family Annual Report

With such a blessing of flexibility and grace from our families, the children’s ministry has undergone
quite a few changes. But we think, with the help of our families, we have found the “special sauce,” and are re-establishing our focus around the necessity of Family Discipleship. Before we move-on, let me explain what we mean by the term Family Discipleship:

In simplest terms, being a “disciple” of something means that you are buying into and embodying all that a specific leader is instructing. The addition of the “-ship,” is suggesting that you are a “disciple” for a given amount of time. In Christianity, that leader is Jesus Christ and the amount of time he requests, is for the rest of your life.

Therefore, Family Discipleship means that together as a family, whatever that looks like, we have committed to being lifelong followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We see family discipleship in a three-fold approach: 1) Gospel, 2) Community and 3) Mission. Practically speaking, this means, that discipleship, as a family and as an individual, we must desire to be more gospel-fluent, as well as experiencing and serving in community as much as possible.

White it’s a joyous task to walk with Jesus, and follow him wherever he may lead us, it can feel incredibly difficult and can actually be quite scary.

Unfortunately, we can’t say that Jesus won’t make you uncomfortable, but we believe that the church is meant to be the extended family that comes alongside you in this journey! Here’s a brief look at how we think that the church can come together with your family on this adventure:

Gospel: Sunday Classes, Providing Resources, Explorers Children’s Worship
Community: Parenting Together, Missional Communities, Monthly Events
Mission: Family Discipleship, Monthly Events, Monthly Supply Drives

Kyle French
Director of Family and Children’s Ministry

Worship & Media Annual Report

When I think about the last year, I think about the spiritual journey we’ve been on in worship. Do any
of these topics ring a bell? King. Just Love. First Love. Transformation Vocabulary. Just Love Transforms. Margin. Life is. Grow the Good.

This year, we learned vocab to help us in our quest to transform the Corridor, intentionally becoming
disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life, in those places we already exist!

And then we shifted our focus to the baby in the manger… a King, but not in the sense of glitz and
glamor and pomp and circumstance, but in hay and animal smells in a tiny village.

We learned what Biblical love is, the role of love in our spiritual growth and how to extend love to our
neighbors. We were challenged to fall in love again with our Lord, returning to that ’first love’, and then
letting the power of love transform us!

We learned white space is good, that we are prone to fill our lives with so much stuff and that we need
to dial back and get back to God as first place in our time and priorities. We learned of the abundant
life promised to us in John 10:10. What is life? Life is… Jesus! And now… Grow the Good. There is so
much happening at Cedar Hills. We’re asking:

“How can our building and our ministries continue to be a blessing to our neighborhood and our cities
for another 60 years?”

And then the songs! O the songs! Together we learned “Let Justice Roll”, “Boldly I Approach Your
Throne”, “Build My Life”, “New Life”, and “Here For You”; and our kids wowed us again and again
with “Wherever You Lead Me”.

2019 has been quite the journey for us! The joys, the sadness, the victories, the defeats… and yet we
can declare with confidence, “GOD IS GOOD!”

Director of Worship & Media

Journey Annual Report

2019 was a year of transition for Journey Student Ministry.

Jeremy Van Genderen wrapped up Spring Ministry at Cedar Hills in May, and headed off to Allison, IA to
assume the lead pastor role at Trinity Reformed Church. Jeremy set a great foundation for volunteers
to continue Youth Ministry over the summer, including Lead the Cause evangelism and discipleship training in Chicago. The search for a new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry culminated in August with the hiring of Steve Poole!

Mission Statement:
Students transformed by a growing relationship with Jesus.

Key Elements:
1. Gospel-minded
2. Discipleship-based
3. Intergenerational relationships 5:1

What can you do?
Teenagers today need to know they belong to a community that is passionate about loving people.
Join the leadership team, mentor a teenager in their faith, attend some of their events to cheer them on,
or invite youth to work beside you in your ministry.

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

Annual Meeting Agenda – Nov. 3

Cedar Hills Congregational Meeting Agenda
November 3, 2019 – 12:10—12:30 PM


  • Inspire the congregation with God’s vision for Cedar Hills.
  • Inform the congregation about current state of ministry at Cedar Hills.
  • Affirm Elders, Deacons, and the budget for the coming year.

Welcome and Prayer – Lois Deerberg

Approval of 2018 Minutes as Distributed—Gary Mills

Cedar Hills Bright Spots—Pastor Kent

Financial Reports – Alan Brockette

  • Ministry Impact
  • 2019 Financial Overview and 2020 Budget

Affirmation of 2020 Budget—Lois Deerberg

Affirmation of Elders and Deacons—Lois Deerberg

Thanks and Closing – Pastor Alan