Category Archives: News

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We post all of our major news, links, events and bulletin information in the app each week. Stay in the loop and download the app today.

Just search “Cedar Hills Community Church” in your app store or click below.



Picnic in the Park


PICNIC IN THE PARK – Sunday, May 16, starting at 6 PM, you are invited to a picnic at Cherry Hill Park. Cedar Hills will be providing hot dogs and hamburgers and leading some group games after the picnic. Click here to RSVP with the number of children and adults coming from your family and plan to bring a side or dessert to contribute to the picnic spread.

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

CRU Testimony Event – Friday 7pm

One of the ministries we support is CRU and Katie Smith down at the U of I. They have a great virtual even this Friday at 7pm “Together For Iowa”.
This will be half an hour of getting to hear from several students at Iowa and Iowa State about how God is working in their lives, which is encouraging to hear! They will share some ways about how we can work together to impact the lives of more students in Iowa.
RSVP here to receive the link:
We are excited to hear how Cedar Hills’ partnership with CRU continues to impact the lives of students and people across Iowa with the gospel!

Ann Harris Memorial Service

The memorial service for Ann Harris is Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10:30am at Cedar Hills Community Church.

A visitation will be held prior to the service 9:30-10:15am. Please keep the Harris family in your prayers as they continue to grieve the passing of Ann Harris.  Ann was the sister of Mark Espe and Mary Landhuis.


Ann Marie (Espe) Harris, 63, of Cedar Rapids, IA died from complications of COVID-19 pneumonia on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids. Ann’s daughter, Sarah, and sister, Mary, were able to be with Ann as she passed peacefully and comfortably. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Ann was born November 14, 1957, the oldest daughter of Arnold and Irene (Kruse) Espe. She graduated from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School (‘76) and went on to complete her bachelors of arts degree in Sociology at the University of Northern Iowa (‘80). Later, Ann continued her studies and completed a bachelor’s of arts degree in Social Work at Mt. Mercy University (‘06). During her 35 year career in social services, Ann worked with disabled adults as a direct care provider and case manager.

Ann had a deep passion for and knowledge of living history interpretation, historical costumes, and preserving Iowa’s history. Ann was especially proud of her 22 years of volunteer work at Ushers Ferry Historic Village which included developing programs like the Prairie Girl Primer and the Oak Hill Cemetery Tour.

Ann’s parents instilled in her a strong sense of civic duty and pride in service to others. She served as a candy striper as a young adult, her uniform is now proudly on display at St. Luke’s hospital, and found many ways to engage in the community throughout her life as a volunteer, blood donor, and as a member of her local chapter of P.E.O.

Ann’s personal faith in God was an important part of her life from her childhood spent at First Baptist (Marion, Iowa) to her time in the faith community at Cedar Hills Community Church. Ann left to her grandchildren a last note that encouraged them to “Look for where God leads your heart and He will never let you down. Make a difference for Good”.

Survivors include her two children; Sarah (Josh) Wilson and Kyle (Taira) Harris; three grandchildren; Calvin Wilson, Kester Wilson, and Tamsyn Harris; a brother, Mark (Cindy) Espe; a sister, Mary (Kent) Landhuis, a niece Casey (Nathan) Cooper and nephew Ryan Espe; and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents; Arnold and Irene (Kruse) Espe.

Services for Ann will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids at 10:30.  There will also be a live feed on the Facebook page of Cedar Hills Community Church.  Prior to the service there will be a visitation from 9:30 -10:15. A private burial will occur at a later date.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff of Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital MICU and their tireless efforts every day to care for Ann. You gave us an invaluable gift of comfort and peace.

Memorials may be directed to Brucemore the Association for Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center.

Super Bowl Subs

Ordering is closed!  There *may* be extras available to purchase Sunday morning.
Inquire in the Gathering Space.

It’s that time of year!  The Journey youth invite YOU to enjoy some wonderfully delicious game-day subs, made fresh the day of the big game.  Your purchase of subs helps support and fund the ministry trips and activities of our youth as they continue to grow in their relationships with Jesus.

Subs can be ordered using the online form or filling out a this paper form available at the Hub in the Gathering Space. Paper forms should be returned to Steve Poole in the church office by Wednesday, Feb. 3 at noon. Checks can be made out to Cedar Hills Community Church.

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.

Becoming a Bible Reader


Paul writes in his letter to the Roman church, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Paul is addressing sin here, but I think we can also apply this principle to spiritual practices. As Christians, I firmly believe we have the DESIRE to do the things we believe we are called to as people of faith: prayer, Bible study, good works, tithing, meditation on the Word.  But the actual execution of these things in a regular and diligent manner is actually much harder.

Authenticity is the degree to which a person’s actions are congruent with his or her beliefs and desires.  I WANTED to be an authentic dig-into-the-Word-daily Christian, but for most of my Christian walk, Bible reading and study just didn’t happen regularly.  Not to mention, I felt like the biggest hypocrite! I love the Lord! Why couldn’t I get into this very necessary habit??!!

Until one day near the end of 2019, a friend of mine posted on Instagram about a daily Bible study/podcast that she was completing, talking about the great growth that had happened in her life over the last year, her failures of not always getting it done daily, but her determination that got her caught up and back on schedule to finish the study by the end of the year on time. Looking at her life, we have much in common—married, three kids, doing the mom thing while being a work-outside-the-home parent.  She had no excuses and I decided it was time for me to hang up mine as well.  I wanted my desire to be a lover of God’s Word to line up with my actions.

 So January 1, 2020 I began a year long journey of reading through the entire Bible, word by word, line by line, following a reading plan inside the YouVersion app called “The Bible Recap”.  It was tough at first. I hadn’t made room in my schedule to fit it in every day.  Something had to change! It was stressing me out to find time in the day to get this thing done without interruption from the kids and noise and TVs and conversations.  So I began to wake up earlier. And earlier. And earlier.  6am became 5:30am became 5…5:30… 4:30am.  Yes, you read that right! 4:30am! It became my new wake up time to spend the time I need to properly digest God’s Word slowly, meditate, complete the daily readings, and listen to a short podcast that accompanies it to help me gain understanding.  It was so hard at first!!! I have never in my life been a morning person, but over time it became my new normal.

So what changed along the way?

  1. I don’t stay up late. I can’t. I’m too tired. I go to bed and get a good night’s rest (minus kids getting up at night!)
  2. I gave up TV all together. Except for an occasional look at the news, I don’t have time for it anymore and find nothing edifying from it.
  3. If I sleep in and don’t make time for reading the Bible, I am grumpy all day. Time in the Word sets my day off to a great and peaceful start.
  4. My heart. Scripture has come alive—even the ‘boring’ sections of genealogies or Levitical law. The accompanying podcast that goes with this particular Bible study has really helped me understand what I just read and make me look forward to the next day.

Can I challenge you to join me Jan. 1, 2021 for my next journey through the entire Bible?  It requires change.  You can’t just squeeze it into your schedule. Some other things have to go.  It’s going to cost you something… time, sleep, activities. But it is so worth it to make an action match the desire.

  1. Download the App – The YouVersion Bible App
  2. Join the study in the App – The Bible Recap Bible Study
  3. Or print off the plan and use your own Bible –The printable chronological reading plan

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media





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Moving Towards Authenticity


“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brene Brown

Letting go of who I think I’m supposed to be means letting go of my perfect parenting notions in favor of parenting the child I was given, with the skills I currently possess.

My six-year-old and I are in conflict as I write this. She has the exact same anger and rage issues that I had as a six-year-old girl. When she and I are at odds, she hits, kicks, and screams. I say too much, cop an attitude, and hold a grudge which can be felt in my body language.

When we are in a season with this kind of behavior, my inner critic shows up and says I’m not “good enough” as a parent.

We have all wrestled with the thought of not being “good enough.” So, why bother to share this internal battle with anyone? It feels safer to pretend these thoughts never existed.

But, Brene Brown says, “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

Letting go of who I’m supposed to be means sharing the hard stuff with a few of my Christian friends in a small group. In my case, my small group of women I study the Bible with. It means letting them in on the inner struggles, my own bad behavior, and the difficulties of parenting.

Authenticity is not about sharing an open wound on social media. It’s not about shouting to the world in anger. Those things are easy to do.

Authenticity is about letting a few Christian friends see what’s really going on in your heart, and letting them speak into the mess and the brokenness and the shame. This path of sanctification also leads to growth in faith.

Being authentic is messy and hard and requires the grace of God.

For the body of Christ, practicing authenticity is a way of strengthening our muscles. These are the muscles that allow us to glorify God as we move towards others in love.

Lindsey Ungs
Connection & Communication Architect




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