Cedar Heights Community Presbyterian Church |  www.cedarheightspres.org
December 2013 
In This Issue


Blessings and Merry Christmas from the Mission Committee!  Our Adopt-A-Family Angel Tree this year will include the needs of families from local schools, a local organization called Community Housing Initiative which helps Cedar Valley homeless residents secure housing, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (P.D.A.)


Beginning Sunday, December 1st, the Angel Tree in the Commons will be filled with ornaments listing the requested gift for local needy residents, as well as sizes and other pertinent information.


You will also have the opportunity to support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance by choosing an ornament with a suggested monetary donation on it.  According to its website, P.D.A. enables congregations and mission partners of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events.  The P.D.A. disaster ministry responds to national and international disasters such as typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, refugee and humanitarian violence and wildfires. 


To help, please select an ornament, then write your name and phone number on the sign up sheet next to the number that corresponds with your ornament's number.  Gifts should be wrapped with the paper ornament securely attached to the package.  Check donations to PDA should be placed in an envelope with the paper ornament attached.  All gifts must be turned in by Sunday, December 15h so they may be sorted and delivered in time for Christmas.


Please also consider donating blankets, new or gently used ADULT mittens, hats, and scarves to share with homeless and needy people in our community.  These items may be placed unwrapped under the Angel Tree.  Thank you for your generous support!


Fair Trade Tasting 
Coming December 8th!

             Between services you will have an opportunity to try several new products from Equal Exchange.  We will have 2 new chocolate bars, 3 flavored coffees, 2 teas, organic dried fruit, nuts, and olive oil available for tasting.  You will have the opportunity to place an order that day for any of these products for Christmas baking or giving.
If you are wondering why our church's Mission Committee is selling these products, we have found that Equal Exchange pays producers a guaranteed minimum price, allowing them to improve their quality of life.  They provide high quality products while encouraging sustainable farming practices empowering consumers to make purchases that support their values.

Children & Youth


Children's Ministry Happenings


Sunday School: All children 6th grade and below are invited to attend Sunday school each Sunday at 10:00 AM.  We will offer four classes for various age groups: 2-3 year-olds will meet in the Nursery, Pre-K-Kindergarten will meet in Scripture Tent (upper level across from the Nursery), 1st-3rd graders will meet in Creation Station (lower level across from the Youth Room), & 4th-6th graders will meet in the Youth Room (lower level). 


December Class Schedule:

December 1st: 3rd grade & below: Ruler from Bethlehem; 4th-6th: Caesar

December 8th: 3rd grade & below: Mary Visits Elizabeth; 4th-6th: Unit Rewind

December 15th: 3rd grade & below: Jesus Is Born; 4th-6th: Annunciation

December 22nd: No Sunday School

December 29th: No Sunday School


Children's Church: All children 3rd grade and below are invited to join Stephanie and a parent volunteer for Children's Church each Sunday following the children's message during the 11:00 AM service.  Each week we will explore a bible story, have time for a fun activity, sing a song or two, and say a prayer.  There will be no Children's church on December 22nd or 29th.


Wednesday Nights @ Cedar Heights: WN@CH  will resume in January. We've had a great fall, full of fun, fellowship, and faith. We look forward to seeing you all again in January.


Sing, Supper, & Play Practice: Wednesday, December 4th, 11th, and 18th, 5:30-7:00 in Fellowship Hall.  A time for singing, ringing bells, enjoying supper, and practicing "Just A Little Christmas" Dress Rehearsal will be on Sunday, December 22 at noon.


Jr. & Sr. High News


All Youth


Dinner & A Movie: Join us for the second round of the Hobbit series on Friday, December 13th.  We'll meet for dinner at Pancheros in Cedar Falls, then head over to College Square theater for a showing of the Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smug.  Please sign up Sunday, December 8th. Tickets for the movie are $9.50. Pastor Eric will be purchasing them in advance.


Jr. High (6th-8th Graders)


Youth Group:  We meet from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the youth room.  Bring your friends and join us for a good time of fellowship, faith, and fun.


Jr. High Christmas Party: Bring a friend and a white elephant gift (something you find laying around, but ask your parents first. Also, nothing that is or has recently been alive should be gifted.) to our annual Christmas party on Wednesday, December 11th in the Youth Room from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  We'll enjoy cookies, a bit of Christmas trivia, and our gift exchange madness.


Sr. High (9th-12th Graders)


Sr. High Fellowship:  We will meet from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM each Sunday in the youth room.  Bring your friends and join us for a good time of fellowship, faith, and fun.


Sr. High Christmas Party: Bring a friend and a white elephant gift (something you find laying around, but ask your parents first. Also, nothing that is or has recently been alive should be gifted.) to our annual Christmas party on Sunday, December at Pastor Eric's house from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  We'll enjoy cookies, a Christmas movie, and our gift exchange madness.


Adult Education


Adult Forum: During the month of December, Pastor Eric will lead an Advent study and discussion around Paula Gooder's book The Meaning Is in the Waiting.  Several copies are available for purchase at $12 per book in the office.



December 1st: The Meaning Is in the Waiting

December 8th: The Meaning Is in the Waiting

December 15th: The Meaning Is in the Waiting

December 22nd: The Meaning Is in the Waiting

December 29th: No Sunday School


Oxygen: Join this group of adults for a lively, refreshing, and renewing conversation.  It is a little time on Sunday morning to reconnect and recharge.  We are currently watching and discussing short films by Christian leader and popular author, Rob Bell.


Men's Bible Study: Meets weekly, at the Cedar Falls Panera on Friday mornings at 7:00 AM for a time of bible study and fellowship led by Pastor Eric.  This month we will continue studying lectionary passages.  Please contact Eric with any questions.


Women's Circle Bible Study: Meets on Thursday, December 12 at 1:00 PM.  This is open to all women.  We are using the Horizon's Bible Study-An Abiding Hope: The Presence of God in Exodus and Deuteronomy.  Lesson 4 will be discussed.


Women's Book Club: Meets on the second Thursday of each month at 9:30 AM, at the church.  On Dec. 12, 2013, we will discuss Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth.


January 9:  Learning to Swim by Sara Henry


Where Moms Connect: Moms come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing's for sure- all moms need to connect with other moms!  Where Moms Connect is a unique curriculum that brings women together and helps them connect naturally, through faith-based discussion, and fun.  No matter where a mom is on her journey, she's welcome at Where Moms Connect. Each one-hour session includes insights on the day's topic, small-group discussion time, Bible insights, and practical ideas to apply what's learned. Any questions, contact Janelle Darst at 319-231-2435 or janelle.darst@uni.edu.  We will meet the third Saturday of each month: Dec. 21, Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, May 17.

  "When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." (Romans 1:12)

Music Note



Interim Pastor's Note


Advent is here!  This first Sunday in December, we enter this strange and wondrous season.  Advent is all about waiting.  How do we wait?  With patient anticipation for what God might do, is about to do?  Or do we fidget and fret with not-so-patient waiting?  In the words of Carol King:  "anticipation is making me wait, making me crazy." 


To fully experience Advent, we must suspend our native skepticism, we must step out of our own time and place, and re-enter the world of Judea BCE.  We become again a people longing for peace, hungering for justice, and most of all having given up hope that God's promises will ever be fulfilled. 


Those people had been suffering oppression and deprivation for half a millennium ~ conquered by empire after empire.  No one alive remembers anything else.  Yet there are some faith-filled persons who still hold hope that the words of the prophets will be fulfilled, persons who anticipated the coming of the Expected One, the Son of Man, the Messiah ~ the one to rescue the people from this morass. 


In order to be ready to fully receive the announcement of "unto you a child is born, unto you a son is given."  In order to hear the words of Handel's Messiah with newness of heart, we much first become that people longing, hungering, thirsting for redemption and liberation.  We must re-enter an interim time between the promise and fulfillment. 


The season pre-Christmas can be for us a time of impatience and distraction as it so often is, or it can be a time of spiritual stretching, of renewal and regeneration.  All we have to do is to reorient our hearts to trust that God's purpose will indeed happen, as scripture says "in the fullness of time," and to change our perspective from "getting ready for Christmas day" to readying ourselves for God's reaching into our lives. 


Pastor Jay


Associate Pastor's Note


"But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them In her heart..."   ~Luke 2:19


Dear Members & Friends of CHCPC,


Mary "pondered them in her heart." The Advent and Christmas seasons are holy and significant moments in our faith. They invite us to wait with the God who also waits for us; to celebrate the new thing God, again, sets out to bring about in our lives.


But often the quiet moments-the waiting and pondering moments-are not able to withstand the noise of the holiday hoopla. Frenzy latches onto us. There are gifts to wrap and gifts to unwrap; parties to attend and parties to throw; meals to share and meals to prepare. As the sage author of Ecclesiastes may say, "It is a season for every matter under heaven." Yet might we, as God's faithful people, be called to something different?

There are many ways to mark the passing of time. We all follow the various rhythms that work to shape our lives. The school calendar marches us toward the midpoint of the academic year. The Gregorian calendar presses us toward the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Maybe this year you might consider taking on a spiritual practice that will help you live this season differently.


Advent calendars originated in 19th-century Germany, as Protestant Christians counted down the days to Christmas Eve. While the calendars have become commercialized, offering the promise of small gift or treat, many can be found today that offer the opportunity to reflect daily upon a small portion of scripture. Such a practice is a wonderful way for individuals and families to ponder these things-the coming of God with us, the in-breaking of God's way, the possibilities of new life found in Jesus-in their hearts.


Perhaps, a new tradition will be born in your home this year-one that leads you into the great and glorious mystery of God's holy presence with us. Whether it is an Advent calendar, carving out time to be present with our family of faith for Sunday morning worship, or simply committing to a discipline of prayer and reflection, may each of you have a most holy and sacred Advent.


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Eric


Life of the Congregation

Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 

  Experience the true meaning of Christmas as we gather in Fellowship Hall for cookies, cocoa, cider, and conversation.  You may choose to make a Christmas card, ornament, play a game or simply enjoy a time to visit and eat!  At 4:00 we will depart to carol at the homes of our CHCPC friends and deliver a homemade Christmas greeting.  Bring along a friend or neighbor too - let's celebrate with gladness the great promise in the Advent!


December Birthdays
Prayers, Letters & Thank You's


  Johnny Dickinson, Pearl Apling, Linda Gleissner and also her son Dan Gleissner; Joyce & Henry Hermanstorfer; for Norma Caquelin's cousin; and for Linda Walther's brother. 



  •  Betty Meewes and family on the death of her niece.
  •  Betsy Berggren, Lynn & Jackie Berggren and Jessie & Bruce Sorensen on the death of husband and brother, Dean Berggren, on Nov. 12.
  •  Pearl Apling and family on the death of her sister.
  •  Jan & Mick Reifsteck on the death of Jan's aunt.
  •  Kathy Ott on the death of her cousin.



  •  ...for the support and prayers for my cousin Steve and his family during his illness and recent passing. It meant a great deal to them and myself.  -Barb Dowd
  •  ... to Eric Sunderland, Kathy Ott, Fran Beal, and Sue Feltman for the delicious food delivered to our door this week. A special thanks also to DeAnna Lane for much time and effort invested in helping us find housing. We are settling in very well thanks to all of you!  -Susan Losher
  •  ... Consecration Sunday Breakfast Crew:  Julie Book, Gail Carter, Jill Brodahl, Anna Brodahl, Nate Northey, Laurel Northey, Jerry Purcell, Mary Lea Purcell, Fran Beal, Kathy Ott, Kellie McNally, Jill Kinsinger, Troy Garrett, Greg Dietz, Pete Voorhees, Dan Ekstrom, Janet Ekstrom, Wendy Henderson, Mikaela Mallin, Kendra Mallin, Holly Honey, Alyssa Honey, Stacy Van Gorp. The results of your hard work, and others who helped with the fall stewardship campaign, were amazing and wonderful. Not only was the food tasty and served with aplomb, but our celebration was timely. Hurray for the report that, as of Consecration Sunday morning, we achieved 84% of our ambitious pledge/budget goal. We salute Rev. Eric for his awesome leadership and rejoice in the fellowship we shared. The future at CHCPC shines bright.  -Judy Benson
  •  ...for the beautiful stoles you have given me on the occasion of my ordination as Teaching Elder.  You have put on my shoulders the tangible reminder of God's love, your support of my ministry for two years (and counting), and my responsibility to share God's love with others.  With gratitude, Rev. Christine Kaplunas
  •  Thanks to all our church family and friends for all the calls, cards, and kind expressions of sympathy shown us during the time of Dean's death.  A special thank you to Pastor Eric, Pastor Jay, Fran Beal and the gals who served the refreshments, and to Kathy Ott of the Care Team.  -Betsy Berggren & Family, Lynn & Jackie Berggren, and Jessie & Bruce Sorensen 


Volunteer Schedule


Communion Preparation for December 15: 

Kris Hansen & Dianna Briggs




Dr. D. Jay Losher, Interim Pastor

Rev. Eric Sunderland,Associate Pastor of Christian Education

Rev. Christine Kaplunas,Outreach & Web Design

Rev. Robert Roof, Pastor Emeritus

Sue Feltman, Director of Music

Janelle Darst,Early Childhood Christian Education

Stephanie Ehlers, College Intern of Children's Ministry

Kim Latch, Office Administrator

Shelly Mallin, Accounting

Elena Lyalina, Sanctuary Choir Accompanist

Morgan Horning, Soprano Section Leader

Leia Lensing, Alto Section Leader

Brent Smith, Bass Section Leader

Cindy & Tim Klatt, Custodians

Samantha Wohlert & Jessica McEvoy, Nursery Attendants


Cedar Heights Community Presbyterian Church | christine@cedarheightspres.org | http://cedarheightspres.org/
2015 Rainbow Drive
Cedar Falls, IA 50613