Category Archives: Journey

Are you graduating? Calling All 2020 Graduates!

Attention: High school and college graduates!

Cedar Hills will be recognizing our graduates on May 24th.  Please register to be recognized by filling out this form. It asks the following:

  • A current picture (senior picture)
  • A baby picture
  • School from which you are graduating & any honors/degrees
  • What’s next?
  • Words of the wise…

HS graduates – what is your advice to those entering HS?
College graduates – what is your advice to those entering college?


This information will be used to create a slideshow for our worship service on May 24th.  Also, graduates will be featured in the June edition of CHIPS!

Journey Update – May 2020

Journey Student Ministry

ZOOM!  I never imagined when 2020 began that a group video chatting program named Zoom would play such a large role in my life and ministry.  This time of COVID-19 stay home order has upended my life.  Youth group?! How do you do that? I want to just give you a brief glimpse into a youth group Zoom meeting.

Our youth group is so blessed to have many talented musicians. During this time we have been encouraged by lyrics calling us to peace confronting our fear with faith. This time of worship has a ook different.  Worshiping together, to pre-recorded videos of Ben leading worship, to now doing worship LIVE on Zoom.  Our spirits lifted up together, even when we are in different physical locations.

In a Zoom meeting we chat about how all these changes, and the unknown is affecting us.  We offer encouraging words and prayers for each other. Our current series is “You Can’t Quarantine the Gospel.” We pray. We care. We share.  We are praying together for our friends, family and those in need. We are talking about how we can care for our friends and family well and how Christians have been known for centuries for how they care in times of crisis.  We share, learn how to share, the hope of the Gospel, which shines brighter than ever, providing hope in this crisis.

Finally, our Zoom meetings involve playing games!  We have played screen games like, “Did they Peep it?”  A game in which student earn points by correctly guessing if flavor of Peep was real or fake.  (Do they make bacon flavored Peeps?)  But our favorite game has been a scavenger hunt game, where students earn points by getting things from around their house; a bug, tallest tower of toilet paper, previously chewed gum…  The best part is that we are together, we belong, and for just a little while we forget that we are cooped up at home!

Steve Poole
Director of Student Ministry




Journey – COVID-10 Update

Here is the current statement from Cedar Hills:
Wednesdays: We will not be having our Wednesday night Lenten dinners/services but will be sending a link to watch the service online.

Sundays: We will be online only – live streaming. We invite you to watch with others and even send “Watch Party” pictures of you and your family worshipping together. More details and times to come!

Get the app! We’ll be reconstructing it this week to provide links and information for every ministry area of the church.

Journey youth group will not meet on Sunday night until further notice.  We will be monitoring the situation and hope to resume meeting at our regular time when appropriate.

In the meantime, we will be exploring many ways to support each other through online community.  Steve is currently exploring apps like MarcoPolo to post videos to have discussions in small groups.  I am also looking to put daily content on a YouTube channel for our teens.  More details about all this will be coming soon.

Please contact me if you, or your family needs any assistance.  We want to support you and your family throughout this crisis.  Also, if you have any great social media suggestions, or content you would recommend me share, please pass that on to me!

Thank you for all your hard work as parents.  This is not an easy time for any of us.  Your teens are blessed by the way you model hope, joy, peace, and love for your neighbors throughout this crisis.

The verse(s) of the day for me, maybe the next month, is Philippians 4:6-8.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God bless,

Steve Poole

Journey Student Ministry – March Update

Journey youth kicked-off February with our biggest fundraiser, Super Bowl Subs. Thank you to everyone who supported us financially, as well as Bruce Crowther for passing on his wisdom about how to navigate the details. Over $700 was raised! This money will help pay for 6th -12th grade students to experience God’s love at camp and Rocky Mountain High this summer. More than money, it was a pleasure to have our students, youth volunteers, and parents work side-by-side to accomplish a unified goal. There were smiles, laughter, jokes told, and memories shared while serving each other together. Service is an essential element to our spiritual lives, as we heard from the Guatemala mission team. In service, we give feet to our faith. We practice self-denial, putting other people before ourselves, and unite ourselves with Jesus by letting His mind of humility be in us. Journey is so blessed to be supported by such a generous body of believers.

Steve Poole
Director of Youth and Young Adults

Rocky Mountain High Youth Conference!

Rocky Mountain High is almost here!

For the “BEST” registration options, sign up by Sunday, February 2, 2020.

  • Rocky Mountain High is an transformational summer retreat organized by the RCA. We would love to have ALL our students (entering 9th-12th grades) join us on this trip.
  • The cost will be $200/student.  This does not include the Recreation Plus costs.  This does not need to be paid at registration, but will be due after our fundraising is completed.
  • Registration can be completed online now!  Our deadline for getting registrations online is Sunday, February 2nd.  On February 3rd, Steve (Director Youth & Young Adults) will be sending in our group’s registration, this is to ensure that we get our #1 choices for Rec Plus. Late registrations can be added until May 15th.
  • Register online at or just get more info at
  • Please contact Steve Poole if you would like more information.

Mmmm… Chili

The weather has finally turned cold and Fall is in the air!

Now’s the time to break out your favorite Chili recipes, bake some homemade bread, and bring them both to the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off.

Sunday, Nov. 17 our best cooks will be competing for the coveted titles of “Chili Extraordinaire” and “Bread-Tastic Baker” for the 2019 year, competing for the Golden Ladle Trophy.

The rest of us will bring our cash and throw it in the baskets of our favorite batches of chili and bread.  Dollars, quarters, spare change, whatever you’d like. After voting (and enjoying samples of each chili and bread) you’ll be able to enjoy a full bowl (or 2 or 3) of your favorite recipes.

All the funds go to support the awesome ministry of our Journey Youth (middle and senior high students)

Open the Door to Jesus Everyday

Last weekend, 30+ middle school students went on retreat on the new Lake View Camp & Conference Center property near Pella, Iowa.  Students were challenged in their faith and encouraged to “open the door to Jesus everyday.”

We are so blessed as a church to be able to send our students to these faith-deepening weekends.  Thank you to the many who support our youth through volunteering, prayer, and financially. We truly believe we are raising up the next generation of believers at Cedar Hills and creating disciples who make disciples.

We have a great partnership with.  Lake View is one of the missions we support as a church and a number of families in our congregation attend camps in the summer with Lake View.  Camp themes range from grandparent/grandchild camp, day camp, Survivor themed camps, and work trips. When Spring comes, we’ll receive a full schedule of Lake View’s 2020 camping program (and we often offer a discount for church members!)

3rd Annual Chili Cook-off

Sun, Nov. 17, will be our 3rd annual Chili Cook-off, after 2nd service! The cook-off supports the Journey youth.  Bring cash to vote for your favorite chili and favorite bread.  Dollars, quarters, spare change, whatever you’d like. After voting (and enjoying samples of each chili and bread) you’ll be able to enjoy a full bowl (or 2 or 3) of your favorite recipes.

Do you have an awesome chili or bread you’d like enter into the contest?  Sign up below (on the web version there is a signup form…)  Contestants are asked to prepare a double batch of chili or 2-3 loaves of bread for the contest.  Food should be at the church by 11:30am. We will have an assigned table for your chili and bread submissions, as well as name cards for your recipe names.   Bring copies of the recipe to share! (You’ll get lots of requests!).  This also helps those with food sensitivities.  We can help make photo copies in the office if needed.

No Fields Found.

Journey Annual Report

2019 was a year of transition for Journey Student Ministry.

Jeremy Van Genderen wrapped up Spring Ministry at Cedar Hills in May, and headed off to Allison, IA to
assume the lead pastor role at Trinity Reformed Church. Jeremy set a great foundation for volunteers
to continue Youth Ministry over the summer, including Lead the Cause evangelism and discipleship training in Chicago. The search for a new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry culminated in August with the hiring of Steve Poole!

Mission Statement:
Students transformed by a growing relationship with Jesus.

Key Elements:
1. Gospel-minded
2. Discipleship-based
3. Intergenerational relationships 5:1

What can you do?
Teenagers today need to know they belong to a community that is passionate about loving people.
Join the leadership team, mentor a teenager in their faith, attend some of their events to cheer them on,
or invite youth to work beside you in your ministry.

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults