|| Alternative Worship at FPC Allentown
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Alternative worship at FPCA is:
PASSION. ENERGY. WORSHIP.
Come as you are, leave changed.
- High Energy
The music is live, and it's loud. We encourage singing (on-key not required), dancing, clapping, raising hands, or other expressions of worship that help you connect to God.
- Informed by Scripture
Every Sunday, you'll be taught and challenged by great preaching. (The message is live too; you won't be watching a screen-projected version of the sermon in the sanctuary.) The message is current and applicable to our daily lives, but firmly rooted in Biblical foundations.
We have services at 9:00 and 10:30 each Sunday morning in a hall on the north end of the FPCA campus. The nearest entrance is at the rear of the building; use the Cedar Crest Boulevard driveway to access the closest parking lot.
We want you to feel comfortable and welcome when you walk through our doors, because we're excited to have you worship with us. Whether in a suit or shorts or something in between, you'll be greeted with a smile and a weekly bulletin. Get some coffee in the back of the room, talk for awhile and have a seat; we start the service a few minutes before the scheduled time with music or a video presentation.
- This means kids are welcome too -- bring them for the whole service (60 minutes at 9:00 or 75 minutes at 10:30), or let them go to Sunday School (available at 9:00) or Wee Worship (for kids ages 3 through first-grade attending at 10:30).
- Don't forget to let us know that you're here! Mingle after the service, fill out a Visitor's Form, or stop by the Information Center so we can get to know you better.
MEET THE BAND
The 10:10 Band is a group of approximately ten people -- plus supporting sound and light technicians off-stage -- with additional musicians moving in and out on the basis of availability and our liturgical and scriptural context.
This means there will be opportunities for members and friends to share their gifts and talents, even if they aren't able to be a member of the band on a weekly basis. The musical style of the band is more “rock” in nature, so a drum set and electric guitars are staples. Our vocalists sing solos and harmonies, but it's understood that the congregation will always be singing with us.
Adam Tavolaro James Adams Jay Henry
Jim Berger Jim Thompson Lorene Henderson Matt Dobson
Matt Hentz Megan Joseph Phil Henderson Shannan Ott
Tim Benner Trevor Vaughan IV
"I find myself most connected to Christ and 'in tune' with friends through music and worship."
Born in Connecticut and raised near Newton, NJ, Adam has been active at First Pres since beginning his tenure on staff in the summer of 2011. He serves as the church's Director of Alternative Worship, singing lead and harmony vocals as well as playing acoustic guitar and keys. Adam also works as a full-time paramedic in New Jersey, having received a M.S. in Emergency and Public Safety Services Administration from Drexel University. As an undergraduate at Valparaiso University, he earned a B.A. and a B.S. in Music and Chemistry, as well as a Theology minor, and went on to Westminster Choir College where he received a Master's of Music in Choral Conducting.
Adam began studying piano at age 3, and served as accompanist for the high school choir from the time he was a junior high student. Upon entering high school, his choir conductor encouraged him to try singing, and he subsequently became very involved in many of the vocal music groups that his school and region offered, including singing in his home church's choir with his mother and brother. At age 13, he began organ study, and in 1992, accepted his first church staff position as the organist and choir director at a Presbyterian church in Franklin, NJ. While pursuing a career in choral conducting at Valparaiso University, Adam encountered contemporary Christian music through a student music ministry team called Sweetwine, where he picked up a guitar for the first time. It was in college that he developed a passion for sharing Christ through alternative worship music. Adam continued his traditional music journey through undergraduate and graduate school, eventually coming full circle to serve as the Organist and Director of Music at the United Methodist Church in which he was raised - and where his parents are active members - in Newton, NJ.
Adam's musical influences are eclectic: Joseph Flummerfelt, James Jordan, Charles Milgrim, Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Third Day, David Crowder, Hillsong United, and Lincoln Brewster, among others.
Adam's dream has been to be doing exactly what he's currently doing with the First Pres community -- he lives for this stuff! He also aspires to take a Christian band out on the road (not missing weekend worship at home, of course!). Adam says he finds himself most connected to Christ and "in tune" with friends through music and worship. His hope for alternative worship at First Pres is that it continues to explosively grow God's church, encouraging people to encounter the living Christ through a different style of worship and music, and that our whole church continues to grow in its ability to make a huge impact - in the Lehigh Valley and beyond - for Christ!
Favorite Bible passage: Philippians 2:1-11
"My hopes for this service are to reach as many people as we can, and bring them God's good word."
James, a senior at Parkland High School, is one of the electric guitarists in the 10:10 band. He auditioned for the band in July 2011, and has been attending FPCA ever since. A versatile musician, James is also a bass player, a classically trained pianist, and a trombonist. Piano was his first instrument, beginning lessons at age 8 and picking up his first guitar at age 12.
Music plays a huge role in his life, and he enjoys listening to a wide range of artists and genres: everything from classic rock to reggae, ska to punk, metal to even some country now and again. He names his musical influences on guitar as a mixture of blues guitarists like Hendrix and Clapton and 90s punk guitarists like Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Tom Delonge of Blink-182. (He was actually inspired to pick up the guitar by Billie Joe, not Jimi.)
From a spiritual standpoint, James feels closest to God when he is up on stage playing with the band. While he admits to not being the greatest singer, he feels that the guitar is his voice of praise. The ability to play guitar is one of the gifts that God has blessed him with, so to James it is only fitting to use that gift to glorify His name. His favorite song that the band plays is "Jesus Paid it All." To him, the title needs no explanation; the message is clear as day. James hopes that through the alternative service and its music, they can reach many people throughout the region, and bring them God’s good word.
"If my audio technical abilities help someone connect with God, then it's all good and all part of the journey!"
Jay has been involved in various activities at First Pres for more than 25 years, the start of which were initially prompted by his children's activities at the church. His wife, Donna, had already been volunteering as a Sunday School teacher and now has been teaching for about 30 years. As their children became involved in more and more church activities, their involvements grew as well. They have also both been involved as Junior and Senior High advisors with youth programs, and are proud members and supporters of Safe Sanctuary efforts at First Pres.
Music has been a part of Jay's life for as long as he can remember. He plays electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, and builds guitars as a hobby. (He confesses that he's a better builder than player!) He also enjoys the technical side of music performance, which dates back to his college years in Boston when he was the sound technician for a local touring rock band.
Jay was heavily involved in early iterations of alternative worship at First Pres. About 12 years ago, he was asked to help with band set ups for the first church's first contemporary band, called SNA [Sunday Night Alive] Band. This primarily youth-driven band played during youth fellowship events, and Jay held various roles in assisting with, accompanying, and eventually overseeing the band (which later came to be known as Third Sunday).
Third Sunday heightened Jay's interest in Christian music. The group's adult and youth members shared the vision of using their God-given talents to deliver songs of worship and praise to Jesus Christ. They recognized the opportunity they were given to do something they loved for the glory and honor of God, and to share their passion with others as they move through their Christian journey.
When plans were put in place to start an alternative worship service at FPCA in 2011, Jay was invited to attend the first 10:10 Band auditions as an observer, and left with an invitation to join the band's production team. The music and purpose aligned with his interests, and the atmosphere from the musicians was a welcoming one. The purpose of using the music for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ was obvious, and he couldn't turn down the chance to be a part of it.
Jay sees his involvement with the 10:10 Band as a way to use his gifts to help others connect with God, and sees this opportunity as something God put in his life to further his own spiritual development. While it's not something he had initially planned to do, he is glad to be in this position, realizing that it's not necessarily his plan that counts.
"My hope is that this service provides an atmosphere that allows people to feel comfortable and connected as they worship, and praise our God in a more relaxed and informal environment."
Born and raised in Pine Grove, PA - a small town in the southern part of Schuylkill County - Jim was brought up in the United Church of Christ, but became a Methodist over 30 years ago. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1976 with a major in Accounting and a minor in Psychology. Later that year he was hired by PPL Corporation and has lived in the Lehigh Vally ever since. Jim has two children - Jeff (24) and Steph (26), both of whom live locally.
In July 2011, Jim opted to retire early from PPL in order to devote even more of his time to charitable causes and to pursue his passion of listening to live music. He developed his construction/handyman skills over the years by doing volunteer work with another local church. Together with Jim Thompson - the 10:10 Band's bass player - Jim co-planned and organized an annual mission trip to Barbour County, WV, that performed home repairs and even complete home construction. Between 50-60 senior high youth and adults would volunteer a week or more of their time every year to partner with Heart and Hand Ministries to provide shelter for needy families. Jim has leveraged those experiences and that knowledge to volunteer locally with Habitat for Humanity. He has also been active with Big Brothers / Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley for many years; he enjoys advocating for, and working with, youth. To feed his enjoyment of live music, he travels around the area to attend concerts of all genres, except rap. He also volunteers as an usher at the new MusikFest Cafe venue at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.
Prior to being involved in helping with the audio production for the 10:10 service at FPCA, Jim volunteered in a similar role at a contemporary service at another local church. While serving in other leadership roles at that church, he worked and lobbied to create an alternative worship service that would meet the needs of Christians looking to worship in a non-traditional manner, with modern music - guitars, drums and keyboards - rather than by a traditional church organ. His hope is that the 10:10 service will provide an atmosphere that would allow people to 'come as they are' and feel comfortable and connected as they worship, and praise our God in a more relaxed and less formal environment.
Two of Jim's favorite scripture passages are: Matthew 25:40 - "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,'" and James 2:26 - "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
"I hope to always remember that this gift of musical ability is given by God, and should be used for His glory."
Jim serves as the bass player for the 10:10 Band, having played bass for both Christian and secular bands previously. Currently the Director of Software Development at LSI, he has an Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering, a B.S. in Electric Engineering from Monmouth University, and a M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology. Jim lives in the Lehigh Valley with his wife Karen, to whom he has been married for 27 outstanding years. They have two wonderful daughters, Sarah and Rebecca.
Jim's involvement with First Pres began when he heard that Adam was holding open auditions for the band in the new alternative service. He has been attending the church since the summer of 2011, when he learned that he was chosen to be part of the 10:10 Band.
Jim credits his father - who is still an active jazz musician at 90 years of age - with fostering his interest in music. While his father was initially disappointed in his choice to become a rock bass player, he eventually came around. Jim began playing in secular rock bands in the seventies and did not discover Christian rock until the nineties, when he attended his first Christian rock concert while serving as a youth leader. Following that experience, he was recruited to play for a praise band called Cross Eyed Jake. This was the first time that he had the opportunity to use his musical gifts to further the kingdom of Christ, and it instantly became one of his passions. Since then he has been a member of multiple Christian bands, and now through God's calling is thrilled to be a part of the 10:10 Band.
Though he grew up attending church, Jim says he never really "got it," and spent the first part of his adult life attempting to convince Christian believers that they were wrong. Shortly after he and Karen married, she became a believer, which only served to push Jim further in the opposite direction. Eventually, Karen got Jim involved in a mission trip at the church that she was attending: she told the pastor that Jim had a truck and a lot of tools, so he asked Jim to be a part of a youth mission trip to repair houses in West Virginia. He reluctantly went on the trip, and after that week, which included many late nights arguing with the pastor and coming up short, Jim was a believer. He went on to be involved with that trip for 15 years.
Jim's passion for mission has now shifted to using music to bring people to Christ through alternative worship, which for some may be more comfortable than a traditional worship setting. His hope for this service is for it to continue to offer another platform for the presentation of the Gospel of Christ for people who would otherwise not be exposed to this message, while at the same time providing an inspirational, spirit-filled setting for existing believers.
"Music has always been a lifelong passion."
Lorene has found a new home with the 10:10 band as one of the vocalists. She grew up here in Allentown, PA and was raised in the Lutheran tradition. Her love of music originated with her life in the church. Music has always been a lifelong passion. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance at Montclair State University in 2011, and was a section leader and member of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Choir in Montclair, NJ. After graduating, she joined her family at FPCA and continues her vocal studies in pursuit of a career in opera.
"I am grateful for the 10:10 Band; I needed this."
Having grown up in Clarks Summitt, PA, and recently moving with his family to the Lehigh Valley, Matt has been attending First Pres since June 2011. The family chose to relocate due to his father's job and the prospect of better opportunities in general, and the move has proven to be a good one, due in part to the community they have found at FPCA.
Matt currently plays acoustic guitar for the 10:10 Band, uniting two aspects of great importance in his life: church and music. His hobbies consist of music, music, and more music; he doesn't go anywhere without a guitar. His forays into musicianship began as a fourth grader when he was forced to play violin in school. Since then, he has learned electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, bass, ukulele, banjo, piano, and cello. He also enjoys singing, and has done a bit of recording work as well.
Born into a Christian family and raised in the church, Matt has been a believer throughout his life, and his faith has only strengthened since. He recognizes all that Christ has blessed him with, and gives thanks daily. Among the things for which he is grateful is the 10:10 Band: being new to the area and not knowing many people, this has been a way for him to connect with others here. He was looking for a way to use his musical abilities to serve God, so the open auditions for the band came as a welcome opportunity, and an answer to prayers.
His favorite scripture is 1 John 3:17-18. It states, "But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." He strives to live by these verses, which remind him to look for ways to help those in need.
"I never really felt close to God until I got this chance."
Matt, a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley, is the drummer for the 10:10 Band. Prior to auditioning for and subsequently joining the band, and FPCA, in July 2011, Matt had been playing drums at another local alternative service for two years. When not playing music, Matt works as the driver trainer at Republic Services of Eastern PA. He and his partner Dale have been together for 13 years, and they reside in Emmaus with their many pets.
Matt grew up in Whitehall, PA, and was raised in a musical family. His mom was the handbell director at Asbury UMC for 30 years, his dad was a guitar enthusiast, and his sister played piano and sax. Matt began playing drums at age 6, when he got his first [Muppets-themed] drum set. He took lessons throughout his youth, and while he played baritone sax in high school and afterward in various groups, his heart will always be for the drums.
Prior to playing in a praise band, Matt played in a few rock/blues bands during his teenage years. He has developed his own sound mainly by emulating some of his favorite music and playing along to tapes and CDs. His musical taste varies greatly and identifies mainly with the fusion genre, but cites Dave Weckl from Chick Corea bands, Jeff Porcaro of Toto, and Vinnie Colaiuta from Sting as primary influences.
Matt's experience playing in alternative worship bands has been a large part of his Christian journey. He had never felt close to God prior to joining the previous band, and found that act of service to be spiritually rewarding, as well as providing a sense of purpose and acceptance. He feels called to play at FPCA to use the musical gifts God has given him, and hopes that God will use him in building relationships with the church congregation.
"It brings me so much joy to sing and listen to music."
Megan, a sophomore at Parkland High School, is a vocalist in the 10:10 Band. She has been attending First Pres since 2000, and as an active member of the church who enjoys singing, she decided to audition for and join the band in October 2011. Music and singing are passions of Megan's, which she also views as outlets for emotional expression. She has only recently begun to pursue music seriously, and she hopes to always be able to incorporate music into her life in some way.
Outside of church, Megan participates in track and field hockey, and spends time with her friends. She is enjoying the time with the band, and has already learned a lot from them.
Megan is excited for the future of alternative worship at First Pres. The energy and visible enjoyment of the congregation, particularly the children, are positive indications for what this service is growing to become. It seems fitting that Megan's favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
"I believe that the Spirit uses music as a direct line to the soul."
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Phil has participated in alternative worship bands as a musician (keyboards, guitar, and voice) for over 30 years. Phil and his wife, Jenney, came to the Lehigh Valley after Phil obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Southern California and was hired by Air Products and Chemicals where he has worked in various research and development roles since 1987.
In early 2010 the Spirit moved Phil and Jenney to seek out a church with a greater “outside the walls” emphasis and were led to FPCA with its missional focus. As this coincided with the time FPCA committed to produce the alternative worship experience which became the 10:10, Phil participated in the initial worship planning and search committee for the worship director. Raised in a Lutheran church with a broad and deep music tradition, Phil believes that the Spirit uses music as a direct line to the soul to spark or deepen our faith in God.
"There is always a moment for me during a rehearsal or a service that I just stand still and revel in the awe of God's presence."
Shannan, a vocalist for the 10:10 Band, has been singing all her life, and has been a member of the band since the summer of 2011. A lifelong member of FPCA, she has sung in various church choirs and was also involved in the youth program. Her parents and sister are also members.
After graduating with a B.S. in Environmental and Geological Sciences, Shannan returned to the Lehigh Valley and has worked in sales and marketing. At the church, she currently serves as a High School Youth Fellowship advisor, and loves working with the youth.
A classically trained vocalist, Shannan sings soprano in the band. She was a member of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem for five years, and enjoyed the challenge of singing with such a talented group. She competed in singing events in high school and college, in addition to singing with various choirs, and has found that music completes her life.
Church has always played an important role in Shannan's life as well, and she has been actively involved in the life of FPCA since childhood. She credits the church with playing a large role not only in her spiritual development, but also in her love of music.
She admits that originally, as a self-professed "traditional service" type of girl, she wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of a contemporary service. That changed after hearing the band's first rehearsal. This style of music has introduced Shannan to a new set of challenges that come with the genre, and she has enjoyed the growth experience and the opportunity to be in a group of talented musicians who are playing for God's glory.
For Shannan, the environment of the alternative service is unlike anything she has ever been a part of, and she can feel the energy the service generates. She knows that this is where God has called her to be, and that this is what she is meant to do.
"I believe God had been grooming me to serve in this capacity."
Tim serves as an audio technician for the 10:10 Band, and has been working in this capacity since the alternative worship service began. Before he began attending FPCA in the summer of 2011, Tim had previous experience operating the sound board for traditional and alternative services at a local church.
During the week, Tim works as a chemist at Carpenter Technology Corp. (a specialty metals alloy producer) in Reading, PA. A lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley, Tim grew up in Quakertown, graduated from Moravian with a B.S. in Chemistry, and worked as a chemist at Bethlehem Steel for nine years. He has been married to his wife Susan for 22 years, and they have two children, Aaron (20) and Meredith (18), both of whom attend Temple University.
Tim has always enjoyed listening to music, to a nearly obsessive degree, paying particular attention to details about band members, song and album titles, and lyrics. He grew up listening to pop and rock music from the 60s through the 80s, counting Billy Joel, Elton John, and the Beatles among his musical influences.
Since becoming a member of a local church in 1992, Tim had always been a regular churchgoer, but his involvement was limited to Sunday attendance. This changed in 2003 when he began serving as a camp counselor, where music was part of the daily agenda. This volunteerism gave momentum to his spiritual journey, and led to his adding contemporary Christian artists to his music collection.
Looking back, Tim believes that God had been grooming him to serve in the position he currently holds, to help bring His word in musical form to His people. Tim feels blessed to have the opportunity to serve with this talented group of musicians, and feels that participating in this group has helped propel his connection with Christ. He is encouraged by the support and excitement that is surrounding the alternative service at FPCA, and looks forward to reaching more of God's people in the community.
Trevor Vaughan IV
"I praise God with my guitar, not my voice."
Trevor, a Pittsburgh native, is the lead guitarist for the 10:10 Band. Born into a Christian home and raised in a non-denominational church, Trevor values churches that put God first and Christian fellowship second, regardless of denomination. Prior to joining the 10:10 Band in the summer of 2011, Trevor played lead guitar for the alternative worship service at another local church, and is excited to now be involved in the church life of FPCA.
His musical journey began with a different instrument than his current one: he picked up drumsticks at the age of 13, and started learning guitar when he was 16. In college, space and noise considerations within his dorm room prompted the guitar to take precedence over drums. He has played with a number of musical groups, and while he has an affinity for classic rock and blues, he has always seemed to find himself in a praise band.
Trevor cites guitarist Lincoln Brewster as an influence, recognizing the affect that artists like him have had in demonstrating that skilled guitar playing is an acceptable and important way to praise God. (This is particularly significant in Trevor's case, as God blessed him with the ability to play guitar, but did not impart the gift of singing.) He also looks to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, and Slash for inspiration.
Much of Trevor's week consists of working as a supervisor at JCPenney at the Lehigh Valley Mall, and he spends his spare time with his fiancee, Steph Berger. Hobbies include photography, cooking, and playing the occasional game of Halo on Xbox. He is also an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins, as well as the shows 'Arrested Development' and 'River Monsters.'
One of the challenges Trevor finds with being a Christian is having patience and trust in God's timing. He admires Christians of stoic faith, and strives to emulate that behavior and making his mind believe what his heart understands: that God knows best. He draws inspiration from the faith demonstrated by figures in the Bible, particularly in the passage of Hebrews 11:13-14: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them far off, and were persuaded by them and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they are seeking a fatherland."