Category Archives: Saturate

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


Core Discipleship Priority: Disciples Making Disciplies

Annual Report – Special Edition

Core Discipleship Priority: Disciples Making Disciples

A disciple is someone who follows Jesus. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).

  • “Come, follow me” Disciples follow Jesus.¨
  • “and I will make you” Disciples are changed by Jesus.
  • “fishers of men.” Disciples take up the mission of Jesus.

Discipleship is based on our identity in Jesus.

  • In Jesus we are Family
  • In Jesus we are Servants
  • In Jesus we are Missionaries

As disciples we live out our identity in the everyday stuff of life, learning to follow Jesus 168 hours a week! Disciples who make disciples submit increasingly all of life to the lordship and empowering presence of Jesus.

  • Life on Life: We connect with others one-on-one.
  • Life in Community: We need the input, encouragement, and gifting of a whole group of people to grow in Jesus.
  • Life on Mission: We reach out with the love of Jesus in Word and deed to friends and neighbors.

Disciples practice six rhythms common to all people – these six activities make up much of the everyday stuff of life.

  • Story-Formed: Our stories intersect with God’s Story. Story-formed people grow in understanding our neighbor’s stories and we share God’s Story.
  • Listen: We set aside regular times to listen to God by dwelling in the word and prayer. We take time to slow down and listen to others. We ask questions!
  • Celebrate: We gather together to celebrate God’s goodness and God’s extravagant blessings. We invite others into this celebration regularly and engage the celebrations of those around us.
  • Bless Others: We intentionally bless others through words, gifts, or actions because God desires for all people to be blessed through Jesus.
  • Eat Together: We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into the community. We see our dining table as the best tool for reaching out. We invite friends, neighbors, and the poor over for dinner.
  • ReCreate: We take time to rest, play, create, and restore beauty in ways that reflect God to others. Part of our recreation includes Sabbath rest and worship.

Family Adventure – New for 2018!

We’re so excited to announce our new programming, called Family Adventure. Its goal is to equip families to be modelers of a gospel-centered life. The event will be held on the 4th Sunday of every month, 5:30pm-7pm with dinner 5:30pm-6pm. The night will be filled with Jesus, fun and fellowship!

Family discipleship is of the utmost importance to us, and we hope and desire that every child would be accompanied by a parent, guardian or adult family member. Family Adventure is about having an experience that children and adults alike can share in together. We hope to see you there!  Register.

Did you know?

“In a city of less than 130,000, such low rates of reading and believing the Bible perplex many observers. It defies the expected connection between religiosity and middle-class values. Cedar Rapids is known as a good place to live and grow up, as evidenced by two national accolades it earned in 2016: the best place to raise children, and one of the best affordable cities… Cedar Rapids looks more like a post-Christian coastal city than the outdated stereotype of Middle America. It has a high percentage of religious “nones”; nearly half (47%) of the adults in Linn County…identified as such in 2010. That’s comparable to Manhattan’s New York County (56% nones), Los Angeles County (47% nones), and Chicago’s Cook County (40% nones).” from “The Curious Case of Cedar Rapids” at

Are you ready to change this? To saturate our city and the corridor with the good news of Jesus until every man, women and child is digging into their Bibles on a daily basis, loving the Word, believing the Word, and choosing to follow Jesus? I believe it is possible and it will start with us. This Fall we are choosing to invest time and love into
those places we already are: work, schools, clubs, programs – until the Gospel of Jesus is known.

~ Leah
Director of Worship & Media


According to the dictionary, transform means to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of something, some place or someone.

If I ask you to think about our world, can you think of anything, place, or person who needs a thorough dramatic change?

What about a dramatic change in your neighborhood?
Dramatic change in your home?

If I can name some things ripe for dramatic change: weeds and gnats. I could stand for a lot fewer of both. And  also, a lot less violence, poverty, abuse, suffering, prejudice, injustice, sickness, and hatred. And don’t get me started on the need to transform access to good education, clean water, affordable housing, adequate nutrition, decent jobs, and quality healthcare.

When you imagine a world thoroughly and dramatically changed, what kind of world do you imagine?

Ever imagine a world covered by the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea? (Habakkuk 2:14) A world where everyone enjoys life abundantly? (John 10:10) A world overflowing with forgiveness and reconciliation?
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19) A world with a multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language united as one? (Revelation 7:9) A world with more joy? (Philippians 4:4) I would love a world with fewer gnats and more joy. That would be great!

Put your thinking caps on. In about one month we are going to launch a year-long conversation about the kinds of transformation that God desires for our neighborhoods. If God decided to thoroughly and dramatically change something or someone in the Cedar Valley Corridor in which we live – what kind of change would God bring?

You think and pray about this and I will ask for your answer next month.

The Lord be with You,
Pastor Kent

Growing Missional Communities

When we feed our hearts with the gospel, we will be strengthened to fulfill our calling to make disciples. I love this promise because it is the explanation of how we will fulfill our mission of disciples making disciples in the everyday stuff of life.

Sooner or later everyone hits a wall. We wake up one morning exhausted and uninterested in fulfilling our calling. When life gets busy and our schedules overflow, it we have a tendency to question the purpose and impact of our lives. When that happens we need to feed on the gospel.

At its core, belief that life is too busy to follow Jesus is a gospel unbelief issue. If we are so busy that we don’t make time to hear from God through His Word and His people, then we must take a step back to evaluate our busyness. It is through meeting together that we gain perspective on our circumstances and remind each other of the gospel. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Living life together can be messy. Laying all of our messes on the table can be humbling.

Sharing our messy stories allows us to apply the gospel in everyday ways. The gospel reminds us that our identity isn’t found in our strengths but in our weakness. The gospel becomes real in the mess of life!

The calling to love each other with no limits sounds grand and noble, but when the rubber meets the road it can be tough. If pursuing people and wanting to see change in them stems from glorifying yourself by being their Savior, it’ll never work. The gospel isn’t meant to be a tool to make you look good, it is a truth that points to Jesus. A truth we all need.

Through Jesus we have been changed and so we get to be the hands and feet that carry the gospel to those around us in the everyday messes of life. There is no limit to what God can do through one disciple delighting in and submitting to Jesus. As we seek to believe the gospel in our own lives, we are then equipped to bring the sweetness of it to others. The gospel strengthens us to be disciples who make disciples in the everyday stuff of life!

Loving the gospel,
Pastor Kent

Disciples Making Disciples

We are called to be disciples making disciples in the everyday stuff of life. This is not an event or program tacked onto our already busy lives. It is our everyday life as a disciple. Disciples make disciples by listening to the Holy Spirit, listening to our friends and neighbors, and intentionally sharing Jesus in word and deed everywhere we
go. We can do this in everyday ways without overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions:

photo from

1. Eat with non-Christians.
We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a friend. Whether he/she is a Christian or a non-Christian, God can use this to make or grow a disciple. Order pizza, host a cook-out, meet at a restaurant and focus on having a good conversation.

2. Walk; don’t drive.
If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking around your neighborhood, apartment complex, or campus. Instead of driving to the mailbox or convenience store, walk. Be deliberate in your walk, greet people, and take interest in your neighbors. For added impact, take your dog and pay attention to what happens next!

3. Be a regular.
Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places at the same times. Get to know the staff. Smile. Ask questions. Build relationships. Be a regular, listen well, and pray for open doors.

4. Hobby with Others
Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try a sports league or a local cycling team. Share your hobby by teaching lessons. Teach sewing, piano, guitar, knitting, or tennis lessons. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun and be yourself!

5. Talk to your co-workers.
Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers; pray for them by name. Form parent groups in your neighborhood. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Be intentional.

6. Volunteer with non-profits.
Find a non-profit in your neighborhood and take Saturday a month to serve your city. Volunteer regularly. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small groups. Spend time making the world better everyone!

7. Participate in local events.
Instead of time with electronics, get out with other people. Go to fundraisers, festivals, clean-ups, summer shows, parades, seminars, and concerts. Strike up conversation. Study the culture, and reflect on it. Pray for and love the city.

8. Serve your neighbors.
Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, fixing a car. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Ask your local Police or Fire Stations for ways to help. Get creative and serve.

Summer is a great time to get out and grow as a disciple making disciples in the everyday stuff of life. See you out and about!

~ Pastor Kent