Category Archives: Derecho

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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    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



    Clean-Up Stories

    Tate Joens working with a Cedar Hills work group

    The work continues on the storm clean-up.  A number of groups have been coming and going from the church since last Monday’s storm.

    Steve Poole has coordinated multiple groups this last week, addressing over twenty trees on the Oberembt property, cutting up and hauling away brush, clearing walkways.  And the work didn’t stop at just our church members. Many times the groups also addressed the neighbors to the properties they were visiting.

    Nathan Schnell assisting a neighbor of one of our church members.

    In one instance, the neighbor was a single lady who living alone.  Her driveway had been cleared just enough to get her car out, but Steve’s group addressed the other 3-4 trees that had fallen across the sidewalk and street. “She was very grateful because she didn’t know where she could turn for help.”

    Water from Trinity Reformed

    Former staff member Jeremy Van Genderen brought a crew Monday morning from Trinity Reformed Church in Allison, Iowa to assist in the clean-up.  Their church sent cases of water, handmade sandwiches, chips and cookies for us to distribute as needed.  We were able to bless the apartment buildings on the SW side of Cedar Rapids that took a major hit from the storm with these offerings of food and water.

    Trinity Reformed work group

    We have a need to walk the grounds and continue to pick up debris around the church.  We’re planning a quick pizza lunch around 12:05 after the second service this Sunday, August 23. We will then walk the property to finish the cleanup of debris.  Come and help — bring gloves, sunscreen, work shoes/boots.

    Derecho Response Information

    Moving forward with our storm clean-up, we are partnering with a couple of different disaster relief organizations who specialize in mobilizing groups and volunteers for this very specific purpose.

    MATTHEW 25

    If you’d like to help with derecho recovery, please check Matthew 25’s Facebook page for current volunteer opportunities. If you’re available between October 13-17, consider signing up for Transform Week when they will be doing a blitz of home repair projects.

    Homes damaged by the derecho may be eligible for free repairs by Matthew 25 volunteers and partners. All applicants must:

    • Own your home
    • Have damage to your home that insurance won’t cover
    • Earn under 80% of median income

    If you meet these requirements, please complete the online application. Work has already begun and projects will continue to be added as funding and volunteers become available. Contact Matthew 25 if you have any questions.

    Samaritan’s Purse

    Individual volunteers and teams welcome.  You can sign-up online or via phone (828-588-5711) though they do ask for 24-hrs notice from volunteers.  Volunteers meet and get oriented at Hillside Wesleyan Church, 2600 1st Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405.

    Eight Days of Hope

    Sign up on their website to volunteer.  They are planning an extended stay in Cedar Rapids until at least September.   Here is an FAQ page for their plan in Cedar Rapids.

    Cedar Hills Community Church

    As a church, we will also be collecting donations to our Caring Hands Fund and assisting our church body and local neighbors with clean-up. You can donate via check to the church office or by choosing “Caring Hands” from the fund menu on our giving page.

    Please let us know if you still need help with tree removal, debris clean-up, food, shelter, etc.  We want to make sure all of church body’s needs have been addressed as best we can.

    Local Resources

    CR News Now – text alerts from the city of Cedar Rapids with latest storm updates

    Cedar Rapids Storm Damage Page – a listing of all the recent news and updates from the city related to the derecho.

    Post-Derecho Work

    We’ve heard many stories and seen many of our church body in action this week, helping our church, neighbors and community in post-derecho storm cleanup.  Thank you to all who have jumped in and helped! Whether slinging a chainsaw, prepping meals, gathering supplies, or just listening to the stories of another with an ear of compassion, we have witnessed the Body of Christ in all her gifts this week.

    From Left to Right: A couple from the neighborhood, Bruce Boldt, Olivia and Amy Geiger, Gary Sager, Lisa Boldt, Nate (pastor) and Scott from Hope Reformed in Parkersburg. Picture credit: Stuart Geiger

    This particular group visited the Geiger’s house, addressing over half a dozen large trees that had fallen and clearing up debris.  After a lunch break (thank you, Lisa Boldt!), they headed next door to address the house of a neighbor whose husband recently had a stroke. She was feeling overwhelmed with the mess in her yard until this group jumped in.  A couple other neighbors joined in the effort, and many hands were able to address her yard!

    We know there are many needs ahead of us in our community.  Thank you for having open hearts to your neighbors and your communities to see how God can use you to bring His love and His Kingdom to the greater Cedar Rapids area.