Category Archives: Consistory

Consistory Sept 2019 News

Our vision as a congregation is to make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of  life so that every man, woman and child in our community has a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed.

Our goal as Consistory is to work toward the alignment of all our staff and programs with this vision.

At our meeting this month, we heard the testimony of Lauren who shared how the people and ministries of our congregation led her to faith in Jesus. She shared God’s calling to reach out to hear family and friends and her hope of starting a missional community this fall.

Her testimony led us to discuss the ways we have been formed as disciples and helped in our discernment about growing a culture of disciple-making at Cedar Hills. We celebrate the good God is doing and ask for prayers as we invite more of our congregation into the exciting call of disciples making disciples. Pray for Lindsey and the Catalyst Team specifically as they grow disciple-making connections.

We give praise that Steve Poole has started his ministry here with youth and young adults. Please pray for Steve, Cathy, and children Abby and Christopher as they meet our congregation.

Core Value: Love.
Because God loves us, we love.

  • We Love God deeply.
  • We Love ourselves properly.
  • We Love our neighbors boldly.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-38).

Core Calling: Make Disciples
We make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life so that every man,  women, and child in our community has a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed. We make disciples who seek, love, grow, and serve. “Go make disciples…” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Core Strategy: Missional Communities.
Grow missional communities through:

  • Gospel: Life in Jesus.
  • Community: Life together.
  • Mission: Life reaching out.

“I taught you out in public and I taught you in your homes, urging you to a radical life-change before God and an equally radical trust in Jesus.” (Acts 20:21, The Message).

Building Refresh Campaign

Coming this Fall

This fall we will celebrate 60 years as a congregation bound together in faith and outreach. Also, we’ll celebrate our 14th year in our current facility. In these years, we’ve served numerous families through Cross Training, Sunday worship, and Children and Youth Ministries.

We’ve hosted countless church and community events as well as funerals and weddings. We watched hundreds of preschoolers learn about their colors, numbers, and that God loves them through the ministry of Noah’s Ark. We launched a food pantry that meets food needs for our neighborhood and housed recover workers and displaced residents during disasters. Our space has been even more successful in reaching our community than we might have imagined.

With all the success, comes wear and tear. After 13 years of service, it’s time to refresh several components of our building, both physical and mechanical. Also, we want to continue to reduce our building debt.

Volunteers are looking at items that need fixing, replacing and updating, including heating and cooling units, the roof, the sanctuary sound and video system, carpet and more. All of these items are at or will be reaching the end of their useful life now or in the coming years. The campaign, and donations made in response, will allow us to make these important repairs and upgrades when they are needed. This fall will kick-off the
campaign to refresh the facility and further reduce our debt. Prayerfully consider what role you could play in the campaign and what God might put on your heart to give to support this effort.

Consistory August 2019 Update

From the Consistory – News and Notes

Our vision as a congregation is to make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life so that every man, woman and child in our community has a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed.

Our goal as Consistory is to work toward alignment of all our staff and programs with this vision. When Jeremy shared his calling to move to Allison to become the pastor at Trinity Reformed Church, we started our discernment process for seeking a new Director of Youth and Young Adults.

The Search team processed dozens of candidates, interviewed four, and recommended two candidates
to meet with our congregation, youth, parents and youth sponsors. After processing feedback from the
candidate visits as well as references from the candidates we concluded that we had two excellent candidates.

Both candidates loved the Lord, had a passion for student ministry, had successful experience leading and growing student ministries, have built and led ministry teams, communicated well publically, and have developed solid biblical/theological foundations for ministry. Both candidates were well qualified!

When we discussed vision alignment, discipleship strategy, and chemistry we agreed – unanimously – that Steve Poole was the best fit for our ministry at this time. Consistory unanimously agreed with this recommendation and offered Steve the position.

We are very excited for the gifts that Steve brings to ministry. Here are a few of the qualities that led to our decision:

 Steve has a highly relational approach to ministry.

 Steve’s focus on disciple-making, mentoring, and small groups fits closely with our vision.

 Steve has a humble, curious, and teachable spirit.

 Steve is youth culture savvy and also in touch with the latest youth ministry trends.

 Steve has current and past connections with RCA people, events, and culture. (Rocky, Power Connection, Central College, Adventure Life Reformed Church, Lakeview Camp, etc.)

 Steve’s camp experience offers unique opportunities and also represents experience working with younger children.

Please pray for Steve, Cathy, and their children, Abby and Christopher, as they relocate to Cedar Rapids. Steve will begin his ministry here August 11! Thanks to all who helped in this process and thanks for your prayers!!! God has blessed us!

Consistory Update – July 2019

News and Notes

Our calling as a church is to make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life so that every man, woman, and child in our community has a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed.

The Consistory is currently reviewing staff and discerning succession planning as it relates to our calling. If we are really called to make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life, then how do our staff help accomplish this calling?

Lindsey Ungs, the newest addition to our staff, is taking on as a first priority the development of missional communities. These
communities focus on discipleship in the trenches of the everyday and her work is to identify a clear path for leaders to lead these communities and members to find their way into a community. We are in the process of interviewing candidates for the Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Our priority is to find an individual who is also sold out to the vision of making disciples. We are still hopeful to have this position filled by August. The other staff are reviewing their roles as they relate to our disciple-making calling. We anticipate a bit of shuffling and some more change in the near future as we adjust to Pastor Alan’s retirement which
we anticipate in early 2020.

Thank you for your prayers as we focus on governing the church wisely with extra attention at this time to proper staffing for the future. Pray for us as we together seek God First!

Capital Stewardship Campaign

The Consistory approved moving forward with the development of a Capital Stewardship Campaign in the fall of this year. When we moved to our current location, we did not want the building to stand empty, and it rarely is. Every week we throw the doors open the groups large and small, congregation, and community, young and old. And stuff wears out. We discerned a need for a campaign to fund updates and repairs on the building as  well as pay off the remaining debt. This campaign is in the early stages of development.

Please pray for wisdom as we make plans to refresh our building for future generations of making disciples!

The Cedar Hills Consistory

Consistory is our church board. It is a grouping of all the elders, deacons and pastor staff.

Consistory June 2019

News and Notes

Three passages guided our May Consistory Meeting:

1. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well.” ~ Matthew 6:33

2. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ~John 7:38

3. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” ~Habakkuk 2:14

Our focus as a team, charged with governing the church, is to maintain a focus on God—for us and the whole congregation. When we seek God first in all things, this brings glory to God and shapes us as disciples. Pray for us as we together seek God first!

We also received these reports:

  • Lindsey Ungs has started her role as connection and communication champion.
  • Candidates are being reviewed for the Youth and Young Adults staff position.
  • A team is developing a capital campaign for building improvements and debt reduction.
  • A team is exploring a 60th Anniversary celebration.

2019 Consistory

Alan Brockette (Chair)
Bruce Boldt
Melissa Dahm
John Davidson
Allison Johnson
Nancy Josifek
Josh Oberembt

Lois Deerberg (Vice-president)
Pastor Alan Crandall
Bruce Crowther
Robin Joens
Pastor Kent Landhuis
Gary Mills
Diane Potter
Crissie Rozendaal
Ken Viggers


Leah Carolan, Director of Worship and Media
Kris Crowther, Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool
Alan Crandall, Pastor of Care & Visitation
Jessi Schoettmer, Custodian
Kyle French, Director of Family and Children Ministry
Kent Landhuis, Pastor of Teaching & Leadership
Lindsey Ungs, Connection and Communication Architect
Jennifer Wagaman, Office Administrator

Consistory News – May 2019

Consistory regularly reviews our mission of disciples making disciples in the everyday stuff of life. We celebrate bright spots where we see fruit: active ministries, new attendees, visits to shut-in’s, kids memorizing scripture, people
praying with each other, and people acknowledging that Jesus is in charge.

This month we reviewed staff changes and celebrated the possibilities God is opening up to us with the changes that are coming. Here is the latest:

  • The Noah’s Ark director position has been filled. Kris Crowther is the new Director.
  • The part-time custodian position has been filled. Jessi Schoettmer is doing all the routine cleaning in our building.
  • We’ve interviewed three great candidates for the part-time Missional Communications Coordinator and hope to fill this position soon.
  • We are receiving applicants now for the part-time Operations and Maintenance position.
  • We will soon be posting the full-time position of Director of Youth and Young Adults.

Pray for wisdom as we seek candidates who will help us move forward in living out our mission of disciples making
disciples in the everyday stuff of life.

Cedar Hills Updates

God is at work at Cedar Hills! We have many “bright spots” to celebrate, as well as exciting changes ahead. Check out all the updates below!

⭐Bright Spots⭐

  • 49 people have joined our church since last November and are already plugged in to ministries.
  • We have had great “crisis response” due to seven funerals so far this year, and we rejoice that these people are in heaven with our Lord. We pulled together to share meals, support, and share God’s love with families who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • The Food Pantry continues to provide food to those in need, and we have supported several families with a place to stay and be refreshed through Family Promise.
  • Many volunteers have helped with room arrangement, maintenance, and snow removal.
  • Our Lenten meals were a great opportunity to meet new people and celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord.

These are only a FEW of the blessings we see daily.

➼Planning for our Future➼

Staffing Transitions & Succession Planning

Our church continues to experience staffing changes for a variety of reasons. Change can be hard, but God is working and the consistory is dedicated to making this an exciting time for Cedar Hills Community Church. Many of our staff members have stayed much longer than the average for church ministry; what a blessing!

Be assured discernment is happening and a plan is in place for each change. Additionally, a Succession Planning team has been created to proactively plan for staffing changes in the future and enable easier staff transitions.

Specific Role Updates:

Youth and Young Adult Ministry – (40 hour/week)
Jeremy Van Genderen has accepted a pastoral position in Allison, Iowa starting June 1. He and his family have been with us for 8 years. We had hoped for more time to hire a new leader and allow that person to work with Jeremy, but God’s timing is not
our timing. To ensure the youth and young adult ministry is supported through the transition, Jeremy and his team are planning ahead for the summer and fall programming. As we look to hire a new Youth Director, the job description is currently being tweaked and a plan is in place to have someone hired for fall. Our Cedar Hills vision is Disciples Making Disciples, and Jeremy is ready to heed the call of Matthew 28 to go and make disciples! Please join us for services on May 19 when Jeremy will give his final sermon at Cedar Hills.

Missional and Program Coordinator – (20 hour/week)

A new part-time position was created to help oversee our vision for disciples making disciples. This position will prioritize the recruitment, training and implementation necessary to accelerate the development of strong missional communities. Working
collaboratively with all Cedar Hills staff members and ministries, this person will help to align strategies, ministry outputs and create sustainable documentation for future use. We are excited to announce that Lindsey Ungs accepted the position and she started on May 2.

Maintenance and Operations Coordinator – (10 hour/week)
This part-time position opened due to the unexpected death of Paul Donnan. This role is charged with keeping the church building and facilities in a clean, orderly, safe and functioning condition. He/she will recruit, train, and schedule volunteer support and coordinate outside resources as needed to complete projects. For more information, check the church website or contact the church office. THANK YOU to Julie Schoettmer who has been “acting” in this role for the past few months.

Custodian – (20 hour/week)
In an effort to cover Paul’s work after his death, Julie and Jessi Schoettmer have been covering the maintenance/custodial/event set-up responsibilities. Consistory decided that sustaining a part-time custodial position was important for the maintenance of the church. We are happy to report that Jessi Schoettmer has accepted the position.

Noah’s Ark Director
As reported in February, Leslie Clauson submitted her resignation as the director of Noah’s Ark Preschool. Since this announcement, the Noah’s Ark board has moved ahead with their search for a new director. We are happy to announce that Kris
Crowther has accepted the position and started her role on April 15.

Pastor of Care and Visitation
Pastor Alan has asked for our prayers regarding his retirement. He plans to remain a vital member of our Cedar Hills family, but will be stepping down from his official pastoral role within the next year. Discussions have started regarding this role and
filling it upon Alan’s retirement.

❓What can you do❓

  • Celebrate that God is at work at Cedar Hills! What an exciting time as we wait to see God’s plan.
  • Continue to help out to fill in gaps during transitions. Ask what you can do. Volunteer. Check in the church office for ways you can serve.
  • Please pray with the Consistory for God’s direction in the decision-making process.


Dear Heavenly Father,

You are a good God, and we come to you with grateful hearts for the many blessings you lavish on us. Thank you for the many talented people you have brought to Cedar Hills, and for their willingness to share your love. Thank you for the many volunteers who take up the call to be your hands and feet, and those who are disciples who reach out to Transform the Corridor.

Bless those who are leaving roles and taking up new ones. Let them feel our love and support as they take on new challenges. Help us to remember your commission in Matthew 28 to “Go and make disciples.” May they be witnesses where you plant them.

As a church, we seek to follow you, Lord, and we ask that you guide our decision-making as we work through transitions with staff. Send us applicants who have a passion to further our mission of creating Missional Communities. We ask to hear your voice and search out your will as we plan ahead for the future of Cedar Hills. Help us to pursue unity in this time of change, and keep our focus on You. Show us how we can support each other and fill in gaps during leadership changes. Most of all, help us to remember that You are a loving and faithful God who sees the whole story and promises to work all things together for good.

Thank you for the great plans you have to reach out through Cedar Hills in the upcoming days and years. Thank you for each day we have to serve you. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, your Son, Amen.

Consistory News – March 2019


We started our meeting sharing in the grief of losing our friend and teammate, Paul. We prayed together.

Our agenda included:

Approved moving forward to seek candidates to fill the Congregational and Staff Coordinator position. The focus of this position is development of missional community and communication of our mission and vision. We pray that this position will accelerate missional community growth by supporting our strategic focus on disciple-making. Two key goals:

1. Get congregation members heading toward small groups.
2. Having a leader ready to lead each small group.

We reviewed building needs and agreed to move forward on developing a campaign to fund needed improvements that range from updated Audio system to flooring replacement to a new roof to potential HVAC repair to new sidewalks as required by the city. We approve forming a planning team.

We approved hosting the Global Leadership Summit in August. A team of leaders has already been established to offer this event as a way to transform the corridor by helping leaders in our community. Everybody wins
when leaders get better.

We discussed the transition at Noah’s Ark. Leslie will retire at the end of this school year and a team has been formed to find a replacement director to lead Noah’s Ark into the future as a viable ministry to our  community.

Consistory News – February 2019

News and Notes

In the past the Consistory has worked to refine and clarify our disciple-making roadmap. We are called to  make disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life. In 2019, we hope to see increased fruit in this vision as we live it out together answering three questions:

1. Who is God?

Discipleship begins with God because every attitude, thought, and action of our lives is an outpouring of what we believe about God. Our everyday struggles with fear, control, approval, and satisfaction can all be traced back to who we believe God to be.

2. What has God done?

God saves. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus saving and restoring all things. The Gospel is the fuel for all mission and the glue for all community. God, in and through the work of Jesus and by the power of His  Spirit, accepts us, empowers us, and changes us.

3. How does the Gospel impact me?

Disciples follow Jesus and take on his identity. In Jesus we are family, servants, and missionaries. We live out our identity in the everyday stuff of life, learning to follow Jesus 168 hours a week. Disciples who make disciples follow Jesus together. Through life-on-life, we connect with others one-on-one. Through life-in-community we experience the encouragement of a whole group of people to grow. Through life-on-mission we reach out with the love of Jesus in Word and deed to friends and neighbors.

January 2019 Consistory Update

Our December meeting celebrated the gift of leadership. We expressed deep gratitude for those who have serviced faithfully in the past year – Deb DeHaan, Jim Flamming, Mike Robinson, Karen Schumacher, and Kate Ulmer. We also welcomed elders and deacons who will begin serving in 2019. We are blessed with wise leaders who love the Lord, love the church and love one
another! We also celebrated bright spots in our ministry over the last few months:

  • The Open Hands Food Pantry served 1,115 people in November. 25+ volunteers shared food and love with over 331 families.
  • Journey Student Ministry held a successful retreat with many answers to prayer including five students making first time commitments to follow Jesus.
  • Explorers Children’s Ministry currently has 22 preschool students on the roll.
  • Open Table has grown as a path to connecting new and old families. This fall they have averaged 60-80 people in their monthly gatherings.
  • The vision of Missional Communities making disciples in the everyday stuff of life keeps expanding as more than 40 participants have now completed the training.

Please pray for our consistory, staff, and key leaders as we follow the calling that God is giving us.

From the 2019 Consistory:
Deacons: Alan Brockette (Chair), Bruce Boldt, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Allison Johnson, Nancy Josifek, Josh Oberembt
Elders: Lois Deerberg (Vice-president), Pastor Alan Crandall, Bruce Crowther, Robin Joens, Pastor Kent Landhuis, Gary Mills,  Diane Potter, Crissie Rozendaal, Jeremy Van Genderen, Ken Viggers