Category Archives: May 2020 Chips

Serving Burnout Threshold

There are times in my life where the mere hint at yet another thing someone is asking of me has the potential to put me over the top.  Whether home life, work life, friends, kids, invitations to events—sometimes enough is enough.

We have the danger in ministry of becoming busy-bodies.  It’s fun to serve.  It feels good to serve. It LOOKS good to serve. But there is also a side of serving we don’t often address: Serving Burnout.

Serving burnout comes from unmotivated serving. Serving for the wrong reasons. Serving out of a deficit of our spiritual walk instead of out of an abundance.  Serving because we’re ‘supposed to’. Serving because that’s what ‘good Christians do.’

When I get to the place in life where one more task sounds completely unbearable, I am at that serving-burnout-threshold: the place where instead of serving joyfully and happily, I am serving with a darkened, bitter, grumpy, whiny, complaining heart that finds fault in everyone and everything.

At this moment, I need to run to the Father.  At this moment, I have lost sight of God and am running in my own strength instead of His. When I have lost sight of God and am serving outside of my abundance with Him, serving sucks. And I am bitter person.  When I am at one with God, when I am at peace with God, my natural loving, serving heart is opened and I can find joy in even the most menial tasks.

As we learn about our church vision of “LOVE. BELONG. SERVE.” you must know it isn’t all about doing!  At first glance, it looks like more ‘do this, do that’ but it is not!  These three things are completely motivated by the work that God has done FIRST.  We can truly extend love, only to the capacity that we know of God’s great love for us through His son Jesus.   We can extend belonging to another, out of a depth of knowledge that God has adopted us as orphans to become part of His family. And we are able to love, to help others belong and able to serve because God has done all these things first.

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media


Final Chips

We have been incredibly blessed to be able to serve those who have come to worship at Cedar Hills throughout the years, and so thankful that the Lord has given us this time together and we will not soon forget a minute of it.

However bittersweet, the Lord has a different direction for us and a new calling to pursue to bring glory to His Kingdom. In obedience to our Lord, Alisse and I will be taking the plunge into the adventures of church planting.

With immense grace, we have been given a wonderful partnership with an experienced church planting couple who are currently leading a plant in the Newbo area for the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America). I’ve already begun to check some of the initial boxes of the ordination process and hopefully in the next few months will be traveling to partake in the PCA’s national church planting assessment.

Once placed into a formal PCA partnership with our church planting friends, our efforts will be two-fold, to learn and grow under their guidance and also to begin setting the foundation for our own church plant that we expect to be planting up in the Marion area.

We know that we can’t do this alone, but in partnerships. And we’d love for you to be able to partner with us in a couple of different ways:

1) Pray for us.
2) Interested in participating in a plant in Newbo or Marion?  Let us know.
3) Support us financially either by check or digital donation to our Paypal at  (once we are officially received by the PCA, then donations will be tax-deductible).

Once again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your spiritual journey!

Kyle French
Director of Family & Children Ministry

Noah’s Ark Preschool May 2020 Update

Having to write this in April for May is getting pretty tricky.  Not sure if we will be in school or not. Information about school in May will be sent via email to parents as we know the plans.

Summer School is being prepared and changes will occur in this program to help with physical distancing while still making it a fun and safe program.

Our staff is using this time away as an opportunity to refresh and relicense themselves for next year. Our teachers are doing their Continuing Education hours on-line and renewing our required licensing classes.  We will be ready to start the next year with all of these requirements in our back pockets!

We are in the process of identifying a new lead teacher for our older class for next year along with an assistant.

Miss Jan has decided to step down from teaching for next year.  She has blessed our school for the last 26 years.  Replacing her will be difficult.  Jan will still be at school as our Curriculum Coordinator and substitute teacher.

Miss Lori has decided to devote more time to her other job and is also saying goodbye.  She has been employed at Noah’s Ark since 2006.  Her dedication and love for our school has been tremendous.

Noah’s Ark Staff and Board would like to thank all our families that are supporting us during this time of separation; be it with prayers, photos, emails or tuition payments.  We are truly bless by all of you!  What a way to celebrate our 50th year of School!

If you would like to apply for either of the teaching opportunities for next year, please email at:

Kris Crowther
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool



Belonging, in a Pandemic

Belonging, in a Pandemic

My in-laws suggested we “borrow” their cat for the duration of the pandemic, so the kids would have a pet to play with. It seemed like a great idea the more we thought about it. The cat, Joey, is incredible with kids, allowing them to drag him around and hold him (from every angle). We bought all the supplies needed and planned to pick him up the next day, all without revealing the surprise to the kids. It was at this point that I shared the idea with my friend Jessica (who is in our small group). She quickly reminded me that she has a severe cat allergy, a detail I had placed in the recesses of my brain.

Over a 12 hour period, Karl and I had to make a decision about what to do. We already had all the supplies. Also, Joey’s visit was our Easter gift to the kids. Many thoughts ran through my mind. Would there really be pet dander in our house when we can see each other again, months from now? How bad is her allergy? Should I really toss my plans just for this?

After praying about it, I had a new perspective enter my mind. Am I prioritizing a thing (a pet) over a person? This thought stuck with me for several hours. Even though I was still angry about having to cancel our “Easter surprise,” I decided to prioritize our relationship over a pet (that wasn’t even ours).

We prioritize our small group relationships in-part because it provides us with belonging and connection, even in a pandemic. It’s where we live out the sanctification process. Sometimes that process is ugly or involves anger and sometimes it is joyful. Over the last 5 years, we have gotten on each other’s nerves, sometimes to the point of not speaking to each other for a short time. But that’s the reality of being broken humans in a close relationship. The beauty is that we get to give and receive hospitality, authenticity, forgiveness, and restoration in the regular flow of life.

Since social distancing began, our small group continues to meet. We use Zoom and the Marco Polo app. We’ve recently begun having the guys and gals meet on separate nights, using Zoom. This way the “other” parent can put the kids to bed. Being able to see each other’s faces and nonverbal gestures is helpful for maintaining close relationships. Belonging and connection are possible, even in a pandemic.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection & Communication Architect

Journey Update – May 2020

Journey Student Ministry

ZOOM!  I never imagined when 2020 began that a group video chatting program named Zoom would play such a large role in my life and ministry.  This time of COVID-19 stay home order has upended my life.  Youth group?! How do you do that? I want to just give you a brief glimpse into a youth group Zoom meeting.

Our youth group is so blessed to have many talented musicians. During this time we have been encouraged by lyrics calling us to peace confronting our fear with faith. This time of worship has a ook different.  Worshiping together, to pre-recorded videos of Ben leading worship, to now doing worship LIVE on Zoom.  Our spirits lifted up together, even when we are in different physical locations.

In a Zoom meeting we chat about how all these changes, and the unknown is affecting us.  We offer encouraging words and prayers for each other. Our current series is “You Can’t Quarantine the Gospel.” We pray. We care. We share.  We are praying together for our friends, family and those in need. We are talking about how we can care for our friends and family well and how Christians have been known for centuries for how they care in times of crisis.  We share, learn how to share, the hope of the Gospel, which shines brighter than ever, providing hope in this crisis.

Finally, our Zoom meetings involve playing games!  We have played screen games like, “Did they Peep it?”  A game in which student earn points by correctly guessing if flavor of Peep was real or fake.  (Do they make bacon flavored Peeps?)  But our favorite game has been a scavenger hunt game, where students earn points by getting things from around their house; a bug, tallest tower of toilet paper, previously chewed gum…  The best part is that we are together, we belong, and for just a little while we forget that we are cooped up at home!

Steve Poole
Director of Student Ministry




Do You Have a Friend?

Mary and I miss you. We like some time to ourselves but this current isolation is making us stir-crazy. We hope to see you in person soon!

One of our quarantine escapes has been watching the show Everwood. Everyone in this show is looking for connection. They want, and need, friends. It made me think, everyone needs a friend. That made me think of songs about friendship.

  • You’ve got a friend in me.
  • Friends are friends forever.
  • What a friend we have in Jesus.
  • We’ll get by with a little help from our friends.
  • Come on let me tell you about my best friend.
  • Thank you for being my friend.

Maybe this time of isolation will help us realize how much we belong. Or don’t belong. How much we long for the same thing the gang from Cheers wanted. “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”

Proverbs 17:17 describes the love of a good friend. “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.”

Proverbs 18:24 offers a warning and an encouragement. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Do you have a friend?

Love. Belong. Serve.

Winner! Pastor Kent

Pastor Kent

P.S. You’ve Got a Friend In Me link:



Note from Consistory

Note from Consistory:

Although Governor Reynolds has issued a proclamation allowing churches to open their doors starting May 1, the leadership at Cedar Hills has decided that our services will remain online only for now. The reason for this decision is to honor and protect the health and well-being of our members, attendees, and community. You are important to us!

We are excited to meet together again in person soon and we will be discerning on a week by week basis if we can reopen safely. We believe in the value of public worship and we want to assure you that when our building reopens, increased hygiene practices and social distancing protocols will be implemented.

As we move forward, we ask you to pray that we would have wisdom as we make these important decisions and ask for grace and patience as we adapt to the coming changes.

The Consistory