Category Archives: Consistory

Introducing Our New Consistory Members

Deb DeHaan—Elder

I grew up involved in the church. My dad was vice president of Consistory and an Elder for many years. Before I went to college, I felt a need to make it official. I attended Orchard Hill Church in Cedar Falls and was the Youth Group President. My goal is to do daily devotions. My day goes so much better when I focus first on Him. I am in a Women’s Bible Study called “Listening to God’s Voice.”

I have served at Cedar Hills as Preschool Sunday Class Teacher, Elder on Consistory, Clerk, Membership Class Teacher, Nursery Coordinator, and on the Global Leadership Summit Team.

Heidi Flamming—Elder

I grew up in a Christian home and always attended church with my family. My faith became my own the summer before my junior year of high school when I attended Rocky Mountain High in Estes Park, CO. It was then I realized being a Christian meant living for God in a way that meant I have “nothing to hide, nothing to prove, and nothing to lose.”

I think it is less about my efforts and more about just being open to how God can use me. We had an opportunity to be surrogate parents to an 18-year-old friend of our sons this summer when he asked if he could live with us. God was preparing us to open our home and hearts to this young man.

Beth Brockette—Deacon

Thankfully, I am blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home. Regular worship, adult Sunday School, and weekly Bible study/small group gatherings help me stay connected to Christian friends and grow in my faith.

Service as a past Elder, Vice Chair of Consistory, Sunday School Teacher and various ministries over the years has also helped me to grow in Christian maturity and has allowed me to put God’s gifts to good use. Currently, I serve on the Cedar Hills Human Resource Team and Welcome Team, and look forward to serving the church as a Deacon.

Brad Hoeppner—Deacon

I grew up in a Presbyterian Church where my parents were Youth Leaders and my father was a Deacon. I have been a believer in Jesus Christ for as long as I can remember. My faith has grown as I have gotten older, realizing more each day that His way is “The Way.” Giving things up to the Lord has not been easy, however. I remember during a difficult time, about 10 years ago when I had lost my job and thought I could find my own way without help from God. After many weeks of being turned down, I came to church service on one Sunday feeling defeated. As I stood and sang with the congregation, I began to weep openly, asking God for help, finally lifting my burden to Him. God delivered in a big way with a new job within weeks.

My prayer life has grown and allowed me to have a closer relationship with God. I pray in the car on the way to work and in the evening when I have quiet time to myself. I feel closer to God when I sing as well. He has given me many talents musically and I feel blessed to share those gifts with others. I have been serving the church for many years on the Worship Team. I’ve been able to learn guitar and lead worship on many occasions. I look forward to serving as a Deacon to spread the Word of God to others.

Renew and Restore


A new sermon series for 2021 – A celebration of God’s promises! There was good reason in Old Testament times for God to call his people to renew their devotion to God. God’s people frequently forgot God and drifted in their devotion to him. This forgetfulness and drift has happened to every generation of believers and still happens today! We fail to appreciate God’s goodness, the depth of our spiritual laziness, and our indifference to the things that matter most. Begin 2021 with a celebration of God’s promises and find renewal and restoration of spiritual vitality. Ezra and Nehemiah will guide our celebration of God’s promises.

  • January 3 – Renewed Vitality. Ezra 1-2
  • January 10 – Renewed Worship. Ezra 3
  • January 17 – Renewed Grace. Ezra 4-5
  • January 24 – Restored Truth. Ezra 7-10
  • January 31 – Restored Prayer. Nehemiah 1-4
  • February 7 – Restored Grit. Nehemiah 2-6
  • February 14 – Restored Obedience. Nehemiah 8-12

Leadership Notes

Our leadership board, the Consistory, is made up of deacons, elders, and pastors who discern the path God calls us to follow, who keep us on that path, and who celebrate progress along the way. We will install our newly elected deacons (Beth Brockette and Brad Hoeppner) and elders (Heidi Flamming and Deb DeHaan) on Sunday, January 3. They will serve with our current leaders to form the 2021 Consistory.

Deacons: Beth Brockette, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Brad Hoeppner, Nancy Josifek, and Josh Oberembt

Elders: Gary Mills (Vice President), Deb Cameron, Pastor Alan Crandall, Deb DeHaan, Heidi Flamming, Robin Joens, Pastor Kent Landhuis, and Diane Potter

The Consistory is committed to growing our ministry by making disciples who love, belong, and serve. We value hospitality, authenticity, forgiveness, and restoration. Pray for the consistory and staff as we meet for our annual leadership retreat January 29-30. Thank you!

Bible Reading Plan

Rediscover the unified story of Scripture by reading through the Bible in 2021. Follow this plan and discover renewal. We’ll be using “The Bible Recap” – a daily schedule of readings with an accompanying podcast.  Follow the steps below to get set-up for January 1st. There are options for those who prefer paper and those who will be using their mobile devices:

  1. Print users: Print your plan. There are copies of this plan available in the Gathering Space at The Hub.
  2. For digital users:  Download the Bible app.  Sign up for your reading plan “The Bible Recap” (While you’re in there, ‘friend’ Cedar Hills!)
  3. Subscribe to The Bible Recap podcast. Available on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Podbean | Google | Google Play | YouTube
  4. Listen to the prep episodes before the end of the year to get off to a good start:

Blessings to you all!
The Cedar Hills Consistory

Special Update from Consistory


The Consistory (our church board) convened a special meeting this week to discern our congregation’s response to the current COVID-19 surge. We are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our community. In compliance with the latest governor’s proclamation, we added mandatory mask wearing to our mitigation response. Also, please follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a mask for all group gatherings.
  • Maintain distance in all group gatherings.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Do not attend if you are sick or have been exposed to sickness.
  • Do not attend if you are vulnerable.

We believe in the value of in-person gatherings for offering hope and encouragement. We will continue to evaluate our ability to meet in-person safely. We will make changes as necessary to help us carry out our mission of sharing the love of God and also protecting staff, volunteers, and attendees. We invite your prayers for our congregation and community in these challenging times.

The Lord be with you,
The Consistory

Leadership Notes




When life is crazy, we need hope. Whether it is events around the globe or just down the block, life can surprise and overwhelm us. Life’s trouble can crush our dreams, steal our peace, and destroy our hope. What do we do? Do we throw up our hands and retreat? Do we get angry and fight?  Peter knew what it was like to go through tough times. He endured threats, beatings, time in jail, and false accusations.  Peter wrote about his trouble so that we would find hope. We need hope!

November 1 – Discover Your Victory 1 Peter 5:5-14

November 8 – Discover Your Salvation 2 Peter 1:1-21

November 15 – Discover Your Adversary 2 Peter 2:1-22

November 22 – Discover Your Hope 2 Peter 3:1-18

Thanksgiving Eve Gathering

On Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 pm we will gather to give thanks. God is the giver of every good gift and we want to start the holiday weekend by giving thanks to God. Enjoy a family-friendly worship experience in the Gathering Space.

Advent 2020

The Advent season begins on Sunday, November 29. This year we will reimagine the meaning and significance of Christmas each Sunday at 8:30 and 11:00. Our seasonal worship experiences climax on Christmas Eve with services at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.

Annual Congregational Meeting

Due to disruptions and challenges associated with the pandemic and the derecho recovery, the board approved delaying the annual meeting one month. We will meet on the first Sunday of December at the end of each service to get updates on the budget, vote on the 2021 budget, and approve 2021 Elder and Deacon nominees. Information for this meeting will be included in the December Chips. Absentee ballots will be available for those who cannot attend.

Leadership Notes

Our leadership board, the Consistory, is made up of deacons, elders, and pastors who discern the path God calls us to follow, who keep us on that path, and who celebrate progress along the way. We are committed to grow our ministry by making disciples who love, belong, and serve. We value hospitality, authenticity, forgiveness, and restoration. In this uniquely challenging season we want to impact our world in ways that keep our staff, volunteers, and community safe. Pray for wisdom as we lead.

2020 Consistory:

Deacons: Alan Brockette (Chair), Bruce Boldt, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Allison Johnson, Nancy Josifek, Andrew Moen, Josh Oberembt

Elders: Gary Mills (Vice President), Pastor Alan Crandall, Robin Joens, Pastor Kent Landhuis, Diane Potter (Clerk), Crissie Rozendaal, Deb Cameron, and Ken Viggers


Leah Carolan, Director of Worship & Media
Kris Crowther, Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool
Alan Crandall, Pastor Emeritus
Hailey Griffin, Nursery Coordinator
Rick Lyons, Maintenance Coordinator
Kent Landhuis, Pastor of Teaching & Leadership
Cathy Poole, Children’s Sunday Class Coordinator
Steve Poole, Director of Youth & Young Adults
Gary Sager, Ambassador of Care
Lindsey Ungs, Connection and Communication Architect
Jennifer Wagaman, Office Manager



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

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

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 

60th Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, Nov. 3 is our annual congregational meeting. This gathering is a 20 minute update on where we are as a church and we also affirm the nominations for elders and deacons.  Elders and deacons make up our church board, also called ‘Consistory’.  We’ll also vote on the proposed 2020 budget.  Information to be discussed can be found in the 2019 Annual Report.

All members of Cedar Hills are highly encouraged to attend and participate in this inner life of our church.  The meetings are short and are actually quite interesting! They will give you a unique glance into the workings of Cedar Hills and you’ll have a chance to meet some of the beyond-the-scenes leadership.

To learn more about the roles of elders and deacons, visit our denomination website: Below is a brief synopsis.

Deacons: The Greek word in the Bible for deacon, diakonos, means servant. Deacons play a key role in moving the church into missions of justice, mercy, and compassion. Deacons are called by the church to be leaders in ministries of service. The church recognizes that deacons have been given special “gifts” to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service in order to build up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12, TEV). Deacons are called by God for the ministry of mercy, service, and outreach. They shall serve those in distress and need and shall minister to the sick, poor, hurt, and helpless

Elders: Are responsible for sound teaching and discipline within our church, and for the spiritual well-being of the congregation. The office of the elder is one of servanthood, representing Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit. In the local church, elders are chosen members who show spiritual discernment, lead exemplary lives, have charitable spirits, and embody wisdom grounded in God’s Word.

Cedar Hills Congregational Meeting Agenda
November 3, 2019


    • 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

      1. Ministry Impact
      2. 2019 Financial Overview and 2020 Budget

Affirmation of 2020 Budget
Lois Deerberg

Affirmation of Elders and Deacons
Lois Deerberg

Thanks and Closing
Pastor Alan