Category Archives: Communication

Volunteering, Prayer and a Midweek Update


Join us for prayer at the church, 6:30pm.  Stop in for as much or as little as you are able.  Due to the heat, we will meet in the Gathering Space.


Saturday, August 29, meet at church at 8am and we will split up into teams and go to two different locations to clean up branches and debris from yards of two locations in need of help. Bring gloves if you have some.


With all of the recent storm damage and urgent needs caused by it, Matthew 25 is refocusing the August 31-September 4 Transform Week to derecho repair projects, targeting low-income homeowners with damage that won’t be covered by insurance as well as clearing of trees and removing debris from homes.  PARTNER WITH MATTHEW 25 next week.


Our Fall season of ministry will begin Sunday, September 13. Classes for ages 3 to adult will be open, as well as the nursery.  Help us plan by registering the whole family for this new season of ministry. READ MORE




The August Cedar Chips are online.  The Cedar Chips is the monthly newsletter of Cedar Hills Community Church and highlights reflections from each of our ministry staff members. READ NOW

Sunday, May 24 – Links & Info

Sunday, May 24, 2020
Watch Live at 11am (music begins at 10:50am)

Video Highlights:

Cedar Hills Kids:


  • Cedar Hills is reuniting for services Sunday, June 7 at 8:30am and 11am, and continuing the online streaming at 11am. We welcome you to attend, if you feel comfortable doing so. There will be a few changes however to our normal services and we want to let you know what to expect… Read more.
  • Congrats Graduates! Enjoy this short video highlighting all of our 2020 graduates – high school and beyond! Watch now.
  • Become a Member of Cedar Hills – New eight week class begins June 7. Have you been at Cedar Hills for a while, but are unsure how to connect further? Our new partnership class is your next step. At Cedar Hills, we are the kind of people who share hospitality…  Read more
  • The Cedar Hills App – Download the Cedar Hills app. Use it for mobile giving, submitting prayer requests, the Bible, weather updates, and insider information.  Download now

Update from Consistory – May 17

May 17, 2020

Cedar Hills Family,

At our weekly Consistory meeting, one of our leaders shared Isaiah 60:22 “I am God. At the right time, I will make it happen.” We hope that this passage will stand as the testimony of our many lengthy discussions about reopening our building to host in-person activities again.

Discerning our next step has been more difficult than we might have anticipated as we prayerfully weigh diverse opinions, data, and options. We think it is important for you to know our priorities.

  1. We trust in God and we strive to lead in dependence on him. God holds us all in his hands!
  2. We place a high value on connection and relationships that are hospitable, authentic, forgiving, and restorative. Gathering together matters.
  3. We seek wisdom about the safety of our community based on relevant data for Linn, Johnson, and Benton counties. We care about the well-being of our community.
  4. We will reopen when we have clear guidelines and have adequately prepared our building and volunteers to follow the guidelines. We are in new territory and we want to get it right.
  5. We believe in grace for people on all sides of this – sometimes contentious – issue. We will love those who are ready and those who are not.

As with all other organizations who are navigating reopening, we will no doubt do so in phases. With each phase, the guidelines will evolve and we will communicate the new expectations. Of course, we are excited to get back to normal. Cedar Hills is a community built on relationships; and we can’t wait to reunite in-person! But, we will wait until we can get back to “normal” safely. Thanks for your patience and support along the way.

Reopening is a big, important decision. We trust that at the right time God will make it happen! We appreciate your prayers as we continue to discern and plan.

We miss you and hope to see you soon!

The Consistory

Sunday, April 26 Live at 11am

We’ll be live streaming on Facebook at 11am. Here is everything you need for today’s worship service:

Links for 4-26-20

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Video Highlights:

Cedar Hills Kids:


  • Staff Update: If you wish to know more about Kyle and Alisse French’s next adventure into church planting and support their mission, visit  May God bless them richly in this next step in their journey!
  • If you wish to send a special Thank You card or gift to Kyle and family, their address is: 357 Boyson Rd NE; Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.
  • Updated Food Pantry Hours – The Open Hands Food Pantry changing hours or operation temporarily. They now be open only Mondays 5-6pm and Wednesdays 10-12pmRead more
  • Caring Hands Project – During this difficult time, a Cedar Hills team has been working on a project to help address needs in the community. If you are not in need, we ask that you consider helping us to meet the needs of the community… Read more
  • Coffee Hour – Sundays 10am in Zoom
    Join us before the live service stream! Keep your coffee fresh (and your germs stale) at our digital coffee hour on Sundays, 10am in the Zoom app, just before the live service stream at 11amRead more
  • Wednesday Prayer Meetings
    In the Zoom app, Wednesdays at 6:30pm.  We are excited to see how we can continue to develop this tool moving forward as we lift up the needs of our community. Read more
  • Cedar Hills Family Facebook group
    If you are on Facebook and call Cedar Hills home, you’ll want to join this group. Be sure to answer the ‘screener’ questions so we don’t decline your request to join!
  • The Cedar Hills App
    Download the Cedar Hills app. Use it for mobile giving, submitting prayer requests, the Bible, weather updates, and insider information.  Download now
  • If you would like a copy of the Upper Room Devotional sent to you, please send an email request to Jennifer at


Special Letter From Our Deacons

Special Letter from Deacons
Cedar Hills Community Church family,

We hope this finds you safe and healthy. And for anyone who is sick or in need, we send our prayers and ask that you let us know so we can provide spiritual, physical, and community support. As a part of the leadership team, and as members of our congregation, caring for each other is our highest priority.

A bit of context and history…
The last couple of weeks have been challenging, confusing, and possibly even a little frightening. Certainly, this COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most unusual world events most of us have witnessed in our lifetimes. If the doctors and scientists are correct, then we have not seen the likes of it since the flu pandemic of 1918, and a quick Google search reveals that there may be a total of three Iowans alive today who would have been old enough to remember 1918. It was just a few decades prior to 1918 that God granted us the gift of modern medicine, and the knowledge that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses. Since then, He has continued to bless us with lifesaving knowledge and technology that will help us through the situation we are in today.

Why the history lesson? Well, because of that horrific pandemic in 1918, we now know what we should do to avoid the same experience our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents faced back then. We know from over a century of modern medical experience and study that public health measures are the key to beating back epidemic and pandemic disease. It started with clean water to eliminate cholera in the late 1800s and progressed to social distancing in 1918 to push back influenza. Social distancing is difficult because of the social and economic side effects. We’re social beings that are now being asked to self-isolate and we live in a consumer economy that is slowly being closed.

Our current response…
The church leadership is responding to the pandemic in a number of ways. As this letter is being written, one of our members who has fallen ill with COVID-19 has a prayer team outside the family’s home (staying safely distanced in their vehicles) to provide spiritual support. A team is working to find ways for members to share any needs they have with leaders and fellow members so that you can be connected to church or community resources that can help. We have many tech-savvy members in the church that would be happy to help you connect to your loved ones using one of the many technology tools available. The food pantry is open and still providing to any family in need, adjusting to the situation by providing drive-through service.

Additionally, one of the Deacon’s key responsibilities is financial stewardship of Cedar Hills Community Church. We are optimistic that our members will continue to give gifts and offerings to ensure that impact to the church and our mission is minimized so that we can continue to serve our members, our community, and our missionaries.

At this time we have committed to:

  • ensuring that our staff will continue to receive their salary and benefits
  • continuing to pay our bills as received
  • extending regular payments to missionaries

In other words, the lights will stay on and we, Cedar Hills Community Church, will be there to help those in need!

Though we believe the objective above can be met, we also felt it was important to bolster our financial footing by reviewing expenses. For now, our response is very measured.  Essentially, we want to “Stop and Listen.” Stop and listen to what God is telling us, stop and listen to see what direction He is taking us, and stop and listen for the needs of our community.

At this time we are temporarily:

  • stopping additional principal payments on our mortgage
  • closely monitoring/adjusting energy usage
  • stopping in-church program spending since public services are halted
  • pausing large Grow the Good expenditures

The goal is to ensure we have enough cash available to pay salaries, bills, and missionaries, and to serve our members and community as long as possible through a difficult time. It is due to this commitment, we encourage those who are able to continue giving to our church regularly via check or our online giving app. We are grateful for what you can still give to maintain our ministries right now.

The most important message we want you to take away today is that you ALL are in our thoughts and prayers and as a leadership team we are doing the best we can right now to maintain our outreach. We serve a great and loving God who has this situation under control and who is walking with each of us every step of the way.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the any of the Church staff or consistory.

The Deacons:
Alan Brockette, Bruce Boldt, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Allison Johnson, Nancy Josifek, Andrew Moen, and Josh Oberembt

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11 

Initiate Belonging

When I first laid eyes on my husband, I thought he was the most attractive man in the bar. The question was, who would initiate the relationship? Considering he had not yet noticed me, I knew I would need to get us started. He was flirting with every girl at the table across the room, so I figured he must not be dating anyone. I was right and the rest of that story is for another time.

In this broken world, people often don’t feel they belong. If you ache for the smaller church community at  Gordon Avenue, small groups are where you will find belonging now. As a church grows, the social circles become smaller. It is not possible to know everyone in the church, but it’s essential you know a few people, intimately.

In order to be known and to belong, each of us must start building a small group. We must initiate the conversation. We have to go from waiting to be asked to becoming the conductor of friendships. Being able to  do this often takes a vertical perspective shift from the Holy Spirit and the horizontal nudging of brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you’re at a loss to initiate, start by asking good questions. People in our church are waiting to be asked and to be invited in. They seek belonging. Those who know they are loved by God should begin the conversation first. It is tiring at times to go first, but we can do it with joy because He first loved us.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection & Communication Architect

I’m a mess and so are you

I’m a Mess and so are you
Cedar Chips – February 2020

We all have a public life, a private life, and a secret life. Authentic faith and sanctification, becoming more Christ-like, is about integrating all three of these lives. Many of us, myself included, have been in a place where all three lives are at odds with one another. Years ago, the thought of allowing someone to move in with me would have caused great distress. A roommate would have seen clearly that my private life was not consistent with my public life.

As I have been drawn towards Christ, my three lives have become more aligned. This leaves more room for gratitude and less scrambling to cover up the messiness that exists. This allows me to invite people into my home as needed, for a dinner, or for a month’s stay. This year we’ve hosted two families (each having two or three kids) into our home, for a month or more.

This is not a result of some great “cleaning up” of my messiness. Perhaps the opposite, it’s that I’m more willing to expose my messiness (my sin struggles) in my public life. Because of this, I’ve allowed brothers and sisters in Christ to speak the healing Gospel into my mess. Hopefully, the families that have lived with us (and have seen my private life in my home) are less than
shocked that I’m a mess.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection and Communication Architect

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

Being Anonymous or Being Known

The idea that the pastor of the church should intimately know everyone, might scare some people and might be an expectation of others. Either way, if the local church only had ten people in it, that would be appropriate. But we have hundreds at Cedar Hills. So how can one be truly known or feel a sense of belonging?

Remaining anonymous by blending in to the hundreds of brothers and sisters on Sunday, is a choice. If you choose to go to Sunday service and never get to know anyone beyond a surface level, you will not be known or feel belonging, especially during times of crisis.

In churches all across America people are showing up on Sunday and remaining anonymous so they never have to be vulnerable. So no one knows if they don’t show up or are struggling with a difficulty.

Being known, finding belonging, becoming discipled (also known as becoming more Christlike) requires vulnerability. Missional Communities are made up of people willing to be known, to be discipled, and to be vulnerable. Consequently, they are your support system when the next crisis occurs.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection and Communication Architect