Category Archives: COVID-19

Linn County COVID-19 Vaccine Information

We received the following information from health officials in Linn County and wanted to share it as a resource for all of you.

Faith Leaders,

We ask for your assistance in sharing information about COVID-19 vaccine with our community. Please see the attached flyer regarding COVID-19 Vaccination for persons 65 and older. It is also available electronically at Please share this flyer with your faith community contacts and congregation through email, print or electronic bulletins, or other methods you use to communicate with your congregation. The links and information below can also be shared widely with the flyer.  Please forward to others as you feel appropriate.

Linn County COVID-19 Information:

For questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County:

 Linn County COVID-19 Status Update Notification:

Sign up to receive email notifications of COVID-19 Status Updates to keep up-to-date of vaccine rollout updates and other important information regarding COVID-19 response. For assistance with signing up for updates, view this video. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 website, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097. Stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information.

For more COVID-19 information specific to Linn County, visit

We Love Our Staff


“That a staff signifies power, is because it is a support; for it supports the hand and arm, and through them the whole body; wherefore a staff takes on the signification of the part which it immediately supports, that is, the hand and arm, by both of which in the Word is signified the power of truth.” from

We had a pretty significant change in our staff this year. Prior to this year, most staff had been here for over 10 years. This year all staff are new to Noah’s Ark except one with a partial year under her belt. Change like this can be very difficult for a preschool program, but NOT ours!

We have been incredibly blessed with new teachers that are supportive and strong and bring the truth of Jesus to our students. Our program hasn’t missed a beat this year. They have been able to adapt to a new environment and expectations.  COVID-19 changes were implemented and not one teacher complained of all the extra time and effort it took to make those guidelines work for our school. We added in the derecho and had to postpone one of our classes for a week, then start in different rooms that had to be set up/taken down every day. Nope, even then, not one complaint. School has been closed for 3 ½ weeks so far this year and they still came in to do packets and videos. They lost income due to the closures and still….no complaints.

These teachers certainly have supported our school and are an example of the ‘power of truth.’  I thank the Lord each and every day that He brought these wonderful women to Noah’s Ark Preschool. May the Lord bless and keep them always!

Kris Crowther
Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool





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    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

    Salvation Army Bell Ringers


    Saturday, Dec. 5 is the Cedar Hills Day at the Kettle!  Each year, our church covers a day of bell ringing for the Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraiser.  This year we will be at both the Johnson Ave Hy-Vee and the the 16th Ave Fareway stores.

    Sign up online for a two-hour shift today.  Times begin at 10am. Due to COVID-19, only two bell ringers can be present at at time.


    Leadership Notes

    NOVEMBER 2020



    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



    Mental Health + God’s Love

    NOVEMBER 2020

    Mental Health + God’s Love

    It’s officially been a year since my mental health started to deteriorate. In the fall, this looked like a tiny lessening of good habits. A lessening of grace-giving, causing situations to turn into frustration here and there. A surprise at how my mind was processing the brokenness that life throws at us.

    By February, I had quit journaling all together. Scrolling social media had taken priority to reading a good book. Sadness was frequent. Self-focus became a constant. Repeating negative thoughts to myself, increased each week. Everything was harder to accomplish. Exercise was lacking. Then COVID-19 started.

    Tears would frequently overwhelm me at various times of the day.

    Motivation went missing. This came as a shock because my normal personality is full of motivation and new ideas.

    Indecision touched everything. Anger and control spewed out of me towards others. Grace was missing for myself and towards others.

    Looking back, I saw signs in September 2019, but didn’t know to call it depression until May 2020. It can take a lot of time for the pieces to form a clear picture.

    But it was at the same time in May that I was able to start looking for the good, again. It’s like turning a cruise ship around. It happens slowly, wave by wave. Prayer is the rudder.

    Slowly, my interest in new ideas returned. Motivation started to appear infrequently at first. It was maddening that I could not will my mental health to return at the pace I desired.

    Here I sit a year later, 25 pounds heavier, with the realization of what I’ve been through and the glimmer of light giving me hope and growing stronger. I feel grace starting to flow back into my head and heart.

    I have a God that loves me, shown through a community that cares. At Cedar Hills, we are the kind of people that care. Others were able to reach out and take hold of my hands (as the body of Christ) when it felt like the waves would overwhelm me. Thank you for the grace and bits of encouragement that were offered throughout my year. Whether you know it or not, each encouraging breath uttered was like a nudge back towards health.

    If you are in a mentally difficult spot, I am happy to meet with you. Ultimately, the only solution to mental health is to open your heart to God’s love. This can be done by allowing people that care to share God’s grace and truth.

    Lindsey Ungs
    Connection & Communication Architect




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      Snack Donations Needed

      The youth group is participating in Lead the Cause, a virtual evangelism and discipleship training experience the week of July 27th-31st.  Would you be willing to make snacks for the teens to enjoy as they get fed spiritually?  Cookies, brownies, puppy chow…we love it all!

      If you are able to help, simply fill out this form and let us know.

      Lead the Cause is a summer teen evangelism training even that helps youth leaders create passionate disciples who are reaching their word with the gospel.

      Youth groups spend an intensive week praying, learning and conspiring together to reach their community for Christ. They experience:

      • Deep Prayer – Interceding for their lost friends. Students spend the first day and a half aligning their heart with God’s and His desire for all to come to faith in Him.
      • Faith Sharing – Outreach opportunities to share the gospel. Two entire afternoons are dedicated to hands on outreach, speaking with strangers, starting gospel conversations. Students are also challenged to bring up the gospel with friends and family back home.
      • Vision Planning – Conspiring together to reach their community for Christ. Groups pray and plan ways they can reach their own communities with the gospel, coming away with a strategic plan and specific goals.

      More about Lead the Cause

      Noah’s Ark July Update

      JULY 2020

      Welcome Hannah!

      Welcome to Hannah Pelling, our newest staff member at Noah’s Ark!

      Hannah comes to us with her BA in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago IL. She recently did her student teaching at Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids. She will help us with July summer school and lead our four-year-old class this fall. We love her positivity and can’t wait to share her with our students and families.

      Noah’s Ark is now in search of an assistant to work with Hannah in our four-year-olds’ classroom this fall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Send inquiries to

      We have many COVID-19 requirements to complete in order to open school in July.  Many of the cleaning guidelines are in use at Noah’s Ark already, but we are having a difficult time purchasing a specific cleaner recommended by DHS for use in preschools. If you are out shopping and discover any spray bottles of Clorox (Anywhere Hard Surface Spray) please purchase them and Noah’s Ark will reimburse you!  It must be only this cleaner.

      Kris Crowther
      Director of Noah’s Ark Preschool





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