Category Archives: Open Hands Food Pantry

Food Pantry Receives $500 gift

We are excited to announce the addition of two new wire basket carts on wheels for the distribution of bread in our Open Hands Food Pantry!

The pantry regularly receives donations of bread from local Hy-Vee stores.  Until now, the bread has stored in boxes in the pantry and had to be unpacked and placed on tables every time the pantry opened.  The two new carts allow volunteer to both display and store the bread more efficiently and allow food pantry patrons easier access to bread and perishable donations.

This is due to a generous gift from Jeff Bezos to Feeding America, with $500 of that gift directed to us through HACAP.

The Open Hands Food Pantry is remaining open during the COVID-19.   We’ve temporarily adapted the hours to Mondays 5-6pm, and Wednesdays 10am-12pm.  Visitors to the pantry can visit once per calendar month.

Updated Food Pantry Hours

The Food Pantry is cutting back hours temporarily until the COVID-19 pandemic is lessened.

We will now be open only Mondays 5-6pm and Wednesdays 10-12pm.  We will be closed on Fridays.

We thank everyone who continues to volunteer and donate to our pantry!  We have not been hit with a lack of resources – just less visitors to our pantry to where it makes sense to cut back our hours temporarily.

Bright Spot – Food Pantry Moment

We’ve witnessed many bright spots this week in how neighbors are reaching out to neighbors.  This beautiful scene happened during the Food Pantry Drive Up this morning.  A food pantry visitor’s car had died in the drive up lane and another visitor immediately rushed to help and give the car battery a jump.

The Open Hands Food Pantry has remained open in the midst of many closings around us.  Volunteers are working tirelessly to meet our pantry guests with our new ‘drive-up’ pantry regimen while maintaining regular pantry hours.  Visitors remain in their cars while a pantry volunteer walks out to meet them and get their information.  Other volunteers rush back to the pantry to load the shopping carts with bags of food to be delivered straight to our pantry visitor’s cars.  It has been a beautiful system and helps to limit exposure to any potential COVID-19 concerns.

The need for food and assistance is great in these times! Thank you to our volunteers for stepping up their game and keeping the pantry open!

How We Continue to Be the Church in Light of COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, we are convinced and convicted more than ever the need to be the church beyond the walls of our physical church building.  While our building may be a bit quieter as we wait out the social-distancing rules, our roles as the hands and feet of Jesus increases that much more.

A couple of unique and powerful opportunities for us to continue as a church:

Open Hands Food Pantry

We anticipate an increasing need for food in the next few weeks.  It is our desire to keep the pantry open and switching over to a ‘drive-by’ solution where pantry visitors stay in their cars and we go out to meet them and bring the groceries to them.  This means we need the help of more able bodies, able to carry groceries (or cart them) to and from the pantry to the front doors.  If you are off work due to the virus or have extra time on your hands, this is a perfect opportunity!  If you are able to help, please email pantry leader Darlene DeVries.

Pantry Hours: Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm, Fridays 10am-12pm


We’ll be both uploading pre-recorded content and streaming our worship services online, and not physically meeting onsite for worship beginning immediately.  Sundays will be live at 11am on Facebook.  Our Wednesday Lenten messages will be pre-recorded and released on Wednesdays with announcements and encouragement! As part of our regular worship, we encourage you to give online via the app or website, or to take time to mail a check.   Please continue to support the ministry of our church!

If you are unable to catch the live feeds, we post all our sermons online. They can be accessed in iTunes, Buzzsprout, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartradio, and on the website. (There is also a button in the Cedar Hills Appget the app!)

Watch Parties

We encourage you to keep worshipping with us on a regular schedule, and taking “Watch Party” pictures of your family or group as you join together to listen/watch online, submitting them in the ‘comments’ of the video feeds.

Facebook Groups

There are couple of Facebook groups we want to draw your attention to that you might like to join. We believe within these groups we can support each other, hear of needs, and respond from what we have! Toilet paper, childcare, meals delivered, etc.  We are especially excited about how we can respond to needs as they arise.

Children Singing Video

The children ages 3 to 5th grade have been working for weeks on a song they planned to sing Palm Sunday.  We would like to collect videos of your child singing along with the song to create a video montage.  The recording and lyrics are here.  When completed, send your video recording to Leah Carolan by March 29 (email, dropbox, ishare… whichever way you prefer!)

Journey Youth

Pastor Steve has created a YouTube channel for the Journey Youth.  He’ll also be touching base with the youth via texts and email.

Zoom Meetings, Marco Polo and Other Video Apps

If your small group decides to forgo physical meetings, consider setting a time once a week where you will all login together for a Zoom meeting or other video meeting app.  Or begin a Marco Polo group and stay in touch via video messages with encouragement, prayer support and community.

Stay Connected

Please call your friends. Check on your neighbors.  Connect with those who live alone and let them know they are not alone.  Respond to needs you hear as best you can! (Or share them with us in the Facebook groups.).  We need each other.


Continue to pray.  Join our prayer chain to lift up others in prayer.  Pray that God would help our lights to shine brightly as we minister to those around us.

Follow us on Social Media

Facebook – @cedarhillscommunitychurch
Instagram – @cedarhillscr
Twitter – @cedarhillscr


Food Pantry Sunday

The first Sunday of every month is Food Pantry Sunday! Bring an item for the pantry this Sunday morning. Items can be placed in the bin under the Mission Table or placed outside the Food pantry doors (down the left hallway, just past the fireplace area).

Last year, our food pantry served almost 12,000 in the greater Cedar Rapids area. Thank you for your support and generosity!

To pantry is open Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm and Fridays 10am-12pm and can be visited once per calendar month.  If you are in need of food, please do not hesitate to stop by!

“I would like to give a BIG ‘thank-you’ to everyone who has supported the Open Hands Food Pantry in 2019. Those who worked in the pantry, hauled food, gave donations of food and money, and for every prayer that was said for us. This past year we served a total of 11,800 people and a total of 3,693 families. None of this would have happened without you!”

Darlene DeVries,
Open Hands Food Pantry Leader


Church Closed Wed. Jan 30

The church will be closed Wednesday, Jan 30 and all activities cancelled or postponed.

Open Hands Food Pantry – Closed. It will reopen for normal hours Friday 10am-12pm.
1st Service Worship Team – Rehearsing Sunday 7:40am
2nd Service Worship Team – Rehearsing Sunday 9:45am
Sanctuary Choir – rehearsal next week Wednesday, 6:45pm
Family Adventure – event postponed until Feb. 13.

All other meetings, please contact your group leader for reschedule information.

In an emergency, please contact the pastors on their cell phones. (The numbers went out in a church-wide, but are also available in the online directory–CCB.)  Don’t have the CCB app? It’s a great resource for staying in touch with your Cedar Hills Church family. Get the app.

Ken Bronkhorst – Visitation and Funeral Details

H. Kenneth BronkhorstKen Bronkhorst Funeral

Services for Ken will be Friday, October 19 at 10am.  Visitation will be Thursday, 4-7pm and one hour prior to the service on Friday (9-10am).  Please continue to pray for Karen and the entire family as they grieve.


Obituary from Brosch Chapel.

H. Kenneth “Ken” Bronkhorst, 74, of Cedar Rapids, passed into the arms of Jesus on Saturday, October 13, 2018.

Born June 5, 1944, in Chicago, Ken was the son of Herman and Dena Bronkhorst. He married Karen Schwolow on August 25, 1967.  Life adventures took them to Alaska, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and finally Iowa. He was a teacher at heart, finishing his career as the head of the Respiratory Therapy department at Kirkwood Community College. He loved life and had a vast array of friends across his personal and professional life. He exuded community in everything he did—from work, to church, to life.

Ken shared his love of fishing with his grandsons. He tried to play golf. He sang in many choirs over the years, passing down his love for music to his boys, from the Beatles to Handel’s Messiah.

Ken is survived by the love of his life for over fifty years, Karen, was the beloved father to three wonderful boys, Jay (wife Amy), Michael, and Paul (wife Joy). He was a grandfather to 8: Jayson, Hunter, Chase, Payton, Maiya, Micah, Makya and Macy, and a brother to Rolaine Belgrave of Oak Lawn, Illinois.

A Celebration of a Life Well Lived will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, October 19, 2018 at Cedar Hills Community Church, 6455 E Ave NW, Cedar Rapids. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 4-7 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church. Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids is serving the family.

In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the Cedar Rapids Metro Parkinson’s Association, Cedar Hills Open Hands Food Pantry, or the Salvation Army.