Category Archives: June 2020 Chips

Cedar Hills Graduates

JUNE 2020

Cedar Hills Graduates

What a strange and bizarre year it has been for the graduating class of 2020.  We are incredibly proud of all our graduating students would like to recognize them for their well-earned achievements. Enjoy this short video. Be sure to browse all of their honors and achievements below.


Mikayla Bosch

  • Prairie High School
  • Next – Attend the University of Iowa to major in Human Physiology to someday pursue a career in the medical field.
  • “Always be yourself and make the most of every situation.”

Amanda Diers

  • Central Baptist Christian Academy
  • Next – Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Madelyn Funk

  • Solon High School
  • Next – Kirkwood Community Collage
  • “Always choose kindness! Do what makes you happy and what you know is right!”

Zac Goodall

  • Jefferson High School
  • Next – Going to UNI and studying Music Education.
  • “Get involved in school activities.”

Kira Hegg

  • Senior High School – Billings, MT
  • National Honor Society, Presidents Education Award

Alexis Henderson

  • Jefferson High School
    Honors include 2020 Governor’s Scholar Honoree, 2020 Best of the Class, Valedictorian, AP Scholar with Honors, Academic Honors with Distinction, Presidential Education Award, National Honors Society, Volunteer Service Award, J-Hawk Credit Club, Science Department Award, Science Four Year Award, Project Lead the Way Four Year Award, Social Studies Four Year Award, Mathematics Four Year Award, and World Language Four Year Award.
  • Next – I am planning on studying biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona.
  • “Don’t take anything you have during this time of your life for granted because you never know when everything around you will change.”

Brody Joens

  • Prairie High School
  • Next – Dordt University, studying civil engineering/architecture, playing football
  • “Don’t take it for granted.”


Justin Brown

  • Kirkwood Community College – Associate of Arts
  • Next – I am currently a student at the University of Iowa working towards earn a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in general psychology and a minor in human relations while becoming a member of Alpha Phi omega national service fraternity.

Austin Mills

  • Coe College – Biology Major, Chemistry and Spanish Minor
    Graduated cum laude
    Member Phi Beta Kappa
  • Next – Position with Biomimicry Design Alliance
  • “Don’t be afraid to take a winding path to find the college and career path that is the right fit for you. God has a plan and nothing can change that!”

Katlyn Stevens

  • Iowa State University – Bachelor of Liberal Studies
  • Next – Working at US Bank and looking for new opportunities
  • “College goes by fast. Make the most of it.”

Frankline Tshombe

  • Mount Mercy University – BA in Social Work
  • Next – Work as a Child Welfare Social Worker
  • “Maximize your time in college and cherish every moment.”

Hilaire Tshombe

  • Mount Mercy University – BA in Social Work
    Phi Alpha Honor Society
    National Society of Leadership and Success
    Sisters of Mercy Award
  • Next – For now I am a member of RefugeeRise working at Catherine McAuley Center working with diverse population.
  • “The word I have for those entering college is that they must not give up–that nothing comes easy in life. They must not lose hope; they must keep on pushing and one day they will say that this is far they have come. For me to be where I am today, it is hard work.”


Alexi Grave

  • University of Northern Iowa – Master of Accounting
  • Next – I’m starting my career as an Audit Associate at KPMG in Des Moines.
  • “Don’t strive for a perfect 4.0 GPA. Do your best, and make time for yourself.”

Jeremy Van Genderen

  • Western Theological Seminary – Masters of Divinity
  • Next – Ordination and installation as Senior Pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Allison, IA
  • “Always be open to the plan that God has for you.”


Find Sermons Online

Did you know you can listen and watch past Cedar Hills sermons online? We’ve created quite the archive the extends back almost five years of audio!

If you are a podcast listener, you’ll find Cedar Hills on most of the major podcast players:

With the unique changes that COVID-19 brought to our congregation, we also added on a video catalog of the services, available on Vimeo.

With so many options available, we can all stay connected, growing in the Word, and moving forward as one peope – the Body of Christ!

Be blessed today!
Cedar Hills Media Ministry

Painters Needed

PAINTERS NEEDED – Campaign Dollars at Work

Hello Cedar Hills,

The Atmosphere team is looking for people who would be willing to assist with painting as we move to the second phase of our capital campaign refresh. The Gathering Space has been painted and looks fantastic! We’re ready to proceed down the hallway and into the classrooms. We are hoping to have this all complete in the next month And to accomplish this, we need a number of volunteers!

We will do our best to accommodate any form of physical distancing that is preferred. We can set up a classroom in advance of the painters coming with the proper tools and we can hang signage that discourages people from entering the room during the time you and your crew are painting.  It would be helpful, but not necessary, for painters to bring their own rollers. However, we will provide the roller pads and all other essential tools.  You can paint at your own pace…just let us know when you will begin, approximately when you will be there and IF you want signage up to remind others about physical distancing.

If you and/or your family/friends are willing and able to serve in this way, please contact Mel Dahm or text 641-420-1661, letting us know if you prefer to be contacted via phone, text or email.

We appreciate any assistance you are able to offer!

Your Cedar Hills Atmosphere Team


Noah’s Ark – June 2020 Update

JUNE 2020

Noah’s Ark – June 2020 Update

We were so very fortunate to have our entire staff donate their time to deliver May Packets and Graduation Certificates (for our four-year-old class) to all of our students!  It was an incredible day, full of smiles and tears! The staff enjoyed the fact that they got to say their official “goodbyes” to our students.

Our Good News is that July Summer School is proceeding! We have 15 students registered. There will be some major changes and challenges due to keeping our kids and staff safe during this pandemic. We are confident that we will figure a way to work around all of the obstacles and make it fun experience for all.

We are in the process of hiring a new teacher for next year. This position is Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to noon.  If you are interested in more information, please send an email to our office.

After being home for so long, wouldn’t you like to put a date on your calendar for something to do?  July 14th is our next Blood Drive at church.  Walk-in’s are not allowed at this time, but you can go online and sign up for a time (or do so in their app!).  You can also email the Noah’s Ark office and I’ll help you get signed up.

Kris Crowther
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool





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    To Listen is to Love

    JUNE 2020

    To Listen is to Love

    Several weeks ago I was in a room with 4 other people. We were all waiting on something so we were standing around. What struck me was that each person wanted to speak, but not listen. Each of them cut into the conversation before the other was finished speaking. None of them were interested in listening to the other person or asking questions about the other person’s story. Each person was more concerned about establishing their identity than about being a generous listener.

    I try hard to focus and intently listen to my children

    Generosity can be carried out through Finances, Influence, Skills, or Time (F.I.S.T. model) –time being the most precious of them all. Listening, truly hearing someone, is one way to steward God’s resources well. Like all generous acts, listening is a choice.

    I used to hate baby showers. The events felt like a waste of my time. I hated the small talk and the silly games. I would have preferred to take the mother-to-be out for a coffee and give her a gift while we had meaningful conversation. Even though I love to celebrate, baby showers felt so forced.

    Thankfully God has changed my heart on this matter. I moved into realizing that spending my time listening to someone, even at a baby shower, can be a generous act. I’ve learned to appreciate where God has placed me (physically) each day, because I can take joy in being generous with those around me.

    Listening is a key tool for loving someone well. Having good health, a big house, a college degree, or dozens of friends is not required for you to do listening well. Listening requires almost nothing, except your most precious resource–time.

    Most nights my husband listens as I share what’s on my heart. He listens with compassion and asks questions. I feel loved by this generous act.

    As a child, my grandparents and great-grandparents listened to me with abandon, as if they had hours on end to give. I could share every whim and fancy knowing they would take an interest in what I had to say. It made me feel known and loved, in a society that doesn’t value children or their caretakers.

    Pastor Alan is a great listener.

    Alan Crandall is one of the best listener I know. If someone starts a conversation with him, he will give them his full attention and make them feel welcomed to share their heart. This is a treasure to find in a world that is short on time and long on self-focus.

    You are doing God’s work when you spend time listening. To listen is to love.

    Lindsey Ungs
    Connection & Communication Architect




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      You Belong

      JUNE 2020

      You Belong

      I never thought I would ever write about dog grief. I never thought I could love a dog so much. When Mary and I were told about Quincy’s cancer, it broke our hearts. Saying good-bye to our four-legged family member grieved us deeply.

      Within days after Quincy passed, Mary started the search for a puppy. Grief therapy. We found a breeder with a new litter of 11 puppies. We met them when they were three weeks old and we fell in love. The puppy with green paint on his tail captured our hearts.

      For the next four weeks, we visited this breeder’s website often to look for pictures and videos of the puppies. We searched each time for the puppy with the green tail. He was the cutest, most adorable, most wonderful puppy ever. He was ours. He belonged to us.

      Finally, the breeder called, “He is ready! You can take your puppy home!”

      Mary said, “We don’t need to bring the puppy home. We can just watch him grow up online.”

      Mary really said, “We will be right there! He belongs to us!”

      We too, were made to belong. It is so important that the Heidelberg Catechism asks this question first: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” And our comfort is found in belonging! “My only comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

      Everyone wants to belong. Even a puppy.

      The Lord be with you,
      Kent Landhuis
      Pastor of Teaching & Leadership




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        We Are One in the Spirit

        JUNE 2020

        We are One in the Spirit

        “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, and we pray that all unity may one day be restored . . . and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

        The world we inhabit is torn with strife, from sibling quarrels to mean-spirited politics to divorce courts to warring nations.  Human pride and narcissism undermines unity.  But God is creating a new humanity out of self-centered narcissists like us.

        God’s purpose of unification is guaranteed because he predestined this in Christ before the creation of the world.  In fact, God embedded his goal of unification in the physical structure of the universe.

        Vast solar systems are held together by gravity—in order to exist, the worlds need to connect!

        Tiny molecules are held together by electromagnetism—before any process of nature, atoms need to bond!

        Biological life depends on attraction—herding, swarming, flocking, and especially, mating.  The mystery of the birds and the bees comes from the heart of a loving, reconciling Creator.  All things need to be connected!

        Christ is the hidden power who holds everything together.  As a great Christian anthropologist said, “Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world . . .  Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

        On Pentecost, the risen Christ gave gifts to create a new kind of human society, one that overcomes the divisions of this hurting world.  On that day Jesus inaugurated a spiritual family that’s meant to overflow with God’s Spirit until God fills everything.

        The Bible says that Christ is the head, and we are his body.  The church is a living, expanding fellowship of love that will eventually overcome every division and fill the universe.  That’s why Christ has blessed us with hospitality, authenticity, forgiveness and reconciliation—to make his predestined plan come true.

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

        (A personal note: I’m deeply grateful that God called me to be part of the pastoral team at Cedar Hills for the past six years.  Although I’m “retiring” from my official role at the end of May, Jan and I look forward to continuing our precious friendships with you in the days to come.  This is where we belong.  Your love completes us!)

        Alan Crandall
        Pastor of Care & Visitation




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          Youth Ministry – June 2020 Update

          JUNE 2020


          Feeling frustrated lately? The list of frustration I have felt and observed in the past week is great. Frustrated about balancing work with being home with kids. Struggling with online classes, more work, and changing expectations. Frustrated by the loss of things important to us, even if we know they are trivial, like sports season, clubs, and activities. Upset about all the unknown in our lives. Frustrated that we are opening too soon or not soon enough. Confused about how people look at the same data, but come to contradictory conclusions.

          Disappointed that something like public health during a pandemic could get so politically divided. So what do we do with all these emotions?  Emotions are human.  We cannot help but experience them. However, how would Jesus want us act in times like this?  How should we, as Christians, respond to these emotions in a Godly way?

          1. We are not controlled by our emotions.
            1. Walk by the Spirit, not the flesh
            2. “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25
          2. We have a different perspective.
            1. Tough times grow our faith and spiritual maturity
            2. Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (Message)
          3. We trust God’s timing and plan.
            1. Genesis 45:4-8 – Joseph’s suffering was a part of God’s redemptive plan
            2. It is a painful pruning process when God cuts away our hopes and dreams that do not align with His. Our frustration sometimes comes when we realize we have less control than we imagine. We are frustrated when we must set aside our plans, and submit to His. Trust God, though, His plans bring with them the promise of abundant life!
            3. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”~ John 10:10

          Trust God, even when you are feeling frustrated. His plans bring with them the promise of abundant life!

          Steve Poole
          Director of Youth & Young Adults




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            The Easter Stage No One Saw

            JUNE 2020

            The Easter Stage No One Saw

            Last week, I had the task of tearing down the decorations from our Easter stage.  Easter fell right after the beginning of closures due to the pandemic.  Because I had already purchased the decorations for our stage, I decorated the stage anyway thinking it might make a nice back drop for the live feed.

            But last week, I tore it down. It was strangely emotional. At first I was sad that no one really saw it and then it quickly became a symbol of all the changes thrown at our church over the last couple of months. And then I was angry. I’ll be honest—there were times when I was ripping down green vines and not doing so ‘gently’ and I didn’t care.  Up and down the ladder I climbed, throwing vines around, tossing fabric in piles, pulling out nails with a vengeance and chucking props across the stage with all the might I could muster. I just wanted it down and off the stage.  For good.  It was the stage no one saw.

            This stage has made me doubt my leadership.  Who was I apart from leading on this stage? How do I lead without my people? Where are they? And why do I feel so very alone? The role I’ve stepped into for the last 12 years is now extremely different and I’m not even sure how to function.

            So I’ll be honest—I’m over here slightly floundering. I’m pretty much miserable and down.  I just want things back the way they were.  Our home life is different, my kids’ lives are different, and my crazy introversion and lack of people skills has become more evident than ever.

            I don’t know how to lead through this change.

            Change is never easy, but the rate at which things are changing now seems to come in floods and giant waves week-to-week.

            So this song’s got a hold on me lately.  I’ve heard it for years, but suddenly the words are speaking loud and clear to my little tormented heart:

            So I wonder—how are you? Let me know – judgement free.

            Leah Carolan
            Director of Worship & Media





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              Shut-Ins (June 2020)

              JUNE 2020

              Cedar Hills Shut-Ins

              The following shut-ins are unable to attend church regularly.  They appreciate visits, cards, and prayers from concerned church friends.

              Pat Ament—home

              Judy Botine—home

              Dave Bryant—Prairie Gardens Memory Care

              Jake/Lois DeBoer—The Views/Marion

              Bob/Eloise Dennis—home

              Helen Freeman—home

              Maureen Kern—home

              Betty Long—Grand Living @ Indian Creek

              Clarence Northrup—Andrew Jackson Care Center, Bellevue, IA

              Vivian Northrup—home

              Jo Parizek—Grand Living @ Indian Creek

              Ivadell Peterson—Living Center West, #230

              Ray/Shirley Vander Wiel—Stoney Point Meadows

              Dorothy Wise—home