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My term on Session ended in May 2016, and I opted out of a second term as leadership changes in 10:10 required band members to step up and help manage the band.


First Presbyterian Church members are living God’s love in all kinds of ways. One of them is Phil Henderson, who is a founding member of and songwriter for the 10:10 band and active in church leadership positions. Here’s his story, in his own words.


I had been a lifelong Lutheran attending a local Lutheran church for over 20 years after moving to the Valley, but the Spirit moved us to look for a new church home, one that would have a more external focus in showing God’s love and spreading His Word.


After visiting FPCA in the spring of 2010, we decided to meet with a pastor to make sure Luther wouldn’t be rolling in his grave if we attended a Presbyterian church. As luck (or the Spirit) would have it, Session had recently approved the idea of an alternative worship service. At that time, I had been involved with alternative or “contemporary” worship for over 30 years, playing either keyboards or guitar and singing. When the lead pastor at the time, Tony Sundermeier, heard about my experience, we spent most of the meeting discussing how to start an alternative worship service instead of the differences between Luther and Calvin.


We then worked the next year on building the foundation for what


4


became the 10:10 service: hiring a director for the service, modifying Fellowship Hall, and forming the band. In September 2011 the service debuted, and thanks to many people who let the Spirit work through them, the service greatly exceeded my expectations from that first meeting more than a year earlier.


In 2012 I was asked to take part in a newly revived Long-Range Planning Team. I became interested in church leadership and specifically the role of church leaders “to equip the saints for the work of ministry,” as described in Ephesians 4:10-16. Understanding the gifts and talents the Spirit has entrusted to people and then connecting those people to ministry opportunities that will use those gifts became one of my passions.


Tis led me to be on Session as Elder for Nominating and Equipping in 2013, during what turned out to be an interesting and challenging period in the life of the church. Tis “Lutherterian” attending FPCA just a scant three years was now ultimately responsible for forming a Pastor Nominating Committee for the lead pastor position. With the help of the Spirit working through a great nominating team, the Session, and a lot of prayer, we were able to nominate and elect the PNC in just a few months.


During 10:10 band leadership interim periods, I have selected songs for the service and helped lead practice. Another role I’ve had in the band is in composing original songs. I had written and arranged a small number of songs in previous alternative worship bands, but it is during my time with 10:10 that I have studied the craft of songwriting. Te style of music 10:10 plays comes from mostly non-liturgical worship traditions, leaving several thematic opportunities (Lent, Advent, confession/ absolution, and others) with few songs to choose from.


More importantly for me personally is that songwriting has become my lectio divina. I’ll meditate on and discuss with others


a Bible passage or spiritual theme in great depth. At some point (usually days) after thinking about the passage or theme, a snippet of a new song will come to me; it’s the Spirit singing to me. If the song idea “sticks,” then comes the hard work of crafting a song from that snippet, either on my own or with a co-author.


It has been a blessing to have available the talent that is in 10:10 to realize that these songs further deepen their meaning through the arranging and evolution process. However, it is hearing the Spirit sing the initial snippet and getting it on paper that transforms me and deepens my faith, or what makes it lectio divina for me.


Tere are many ideas and fully written original songs that 10:10 will likely never produce, but just the act of getting the idea down on sheet music completes a small spiritual journey for me.


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