Category Archives: Bright Spot

Operation Christmas Child Update

Wow!  A huge brightspot!
This year’s area donations averaged 50% of the number of boxes donated last year.
Cedar Hills sent 88% of the boxes we donated last year.  This doesn’t include the number of boxes donated online.  Thank you for your generosity to spread the gospel around the world!
Our boxes are headed to Denver, and then onto Mexico and South Africa.

Food Pantry Receives $500 gift

We are excited to announce the addition of two new wire basket carts on wheels for the distribution of bread in our Open Hands Food Pantry!

The pantry regularly receives donations of bread from local Hy-Vee stores.  Until now, the bread has stored in boxes in the pantry and had to be unpacked and placed on tables every time the pantry opened.  The two new carts allow volunteer to both display and store the bread more efficiently and allow food pantry patrons easier access to bread and perishable donations.

This is due to a generous gift from Jeff Bezos to Feeding America, with $500 of that gift directed to us through HACAP.

The Open Hands Food Pantry is remaining open during the COVID-19.   We’ve temporarily adapted the hours to Mondays 5-6pm, and Wednesdays 10am-12pm.  Visitors to the pantry can visit once per calendar month.

Bright Spot – Food Pantry Moment

We’ve witnessed many bright spots this week in how neighbors are reaching out to neighbors.  This beautiful scene happened during the Food Pantry Drive Up this morning.  A food pantry visitor’s car had died in the drive up lane and another visitor immediately rushed to help and give the car battery a jump.

The Open Hands Food Pantry has remained open in the midst of many closings around us.  Volunteers are working tirelessly to meet our pantry guests with our new ‘drive-up’ pantry regimen while maintaining regular pantry hours.  Visitors remain in their cars while a pantry volunteer walks out to meet them and get their information.  Other volunteers rush back to the pantry to load the shopping carts with bags of food to be delivered straight to our pantry visitor’s cars.  It has been a beautiful system and helps to limit exposure to any potential COVID-19 concerns.

The need for food and assistance is great in these times! Thank you to our volunteers for stepping up their game and keeping the pantry open!

Encouragement Caravan!

Many of us have heard the news that one of our members is in critical condition with COVID-19.  We are encouraged by the support many of you have shown and the many prayers that are being lifted up on his behalf.  A group of close friends and Cedar Hills family gathered together in their vehicles to create an Encouragement Caravan, driving by their house, holding up signs and lifting up prayers and praises together. Enjoy this short video of the event.

What bright spots have you seen in the midst of the coronavirus? Let us know! Better yet, make a video and send it our way  with a caption and story of what took place.

The Giving Manger

For the season of Advent, we are including the “Giving Manger” – a daily calendar of things we can do to shine the light of Christ in our community.  Each Sunday in both services, the children will be invited forward to help light the Advent candles.  Next they’ll walk over to the manger.  If they were able to complete one of the Giving Manger tasks, they will get to add some straw to the manger to help prepare it for Jesus’ birth.  We’ll get to watch the manger fill up during the season of Advent.

If you weren’t here Sunday (or lost yours! 🙂 ) here is the Giving Manger calendar.  We’ll have some extra copies at the Welcome Center as well:

Advent By Candlelight

Advent By Candlelight is a treasured women’s event at Cedar Hills that revolves around elaborately decorated tables, candles, dessert and a short program to set hearts and minds on Christ before the rush of the holiday season.    Each table has a host who plans out the decorations and dessert and then cares for her table during the event.

It is a visually stunning event, and spiritually moving! Women of all ages are encouraged to attend.  This event is free, but you do need to pre-register to ensure a spot at a table.

The final day to register for the 2019 event is Sunday, November 24.  Visit the Advent By Candlelight table in the Gathering Space.  This year’s theme is “The Sounds of Christmas” and will be Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4pm.  Attendees are encouraged to arrive starting at 3:30pm to visit each table and enjoy the decorations.

Open the Door to Jesus Everyday

Last weekend, 30+ middle school students went on retreat on the new Lake View Camp & Conference Center property near Pella, Iowa.  Students were challenged in their faith and encouraged to “open the door to Jesus everyday.”

We are so blessed as a church to be able to send our students to these faith-deepening weekends.  Thank you to the many who support our youth through volunteering, prayer, and financially. We truly believe we are raising up the next generation of believers at Cedar Hills and creating disciples who make disciples.

We have a great partnership with.  Lake View is one of the missions we support as a church and a number of families in our congregation attend camps in the summer with Lake View.  Camp themes range from grandparent/grandchild camp, day camp, Survivor themed camps, and work trips. When Spring comes, we’ll receive a full schedule of Lake View’s 2020 camping program (and we often offer a discount for church members!)