Our Minister and Staff
Gretchen Woods, Accredited Interim Minister
Minister’s Office: (650) 365-1426
If you would like to schedule a time to talk with our Minister, please send her an email or call the church office at: 650-365-1426. She is off on Fridays and is most available to schedule appointments Monday through Wednesday.
Gretchen has a unique blend of deep experience and comprehensive education, with an approach to Ministry consistent with the needs of our Fellowship and a robust passion for not only UU Ministry, but also specifically for Interim Ministry. Gretchen is passionate about helping congregations heal and prosper during times of transition, and approaches her work with warmth, humor, and great enthusiasm for her ministry. She is eager to learn about us, help us face our challenges, work with us to envision our desired future, and begin our evolution into the kind of community we want to become in the next few years.
Gretchen has over thirty years experience in UU Ministry, including almost twenty six years as a Called Minister and as an Interim Minister the last seven years. She has extensive academic training in both religion and music, including a Doctorate in Ministry from Northwestern Theological Union, with a focus on congregations as systems; a Masters in Religious Studies from John Carroll University, with a focus on Systematic Theology; and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College, with a focus on Instrumental and vocal music (and French Horn for her performances).
Derby Davidson, Director of Religious Education
Derby Davidson has been Director of Religious Education (DRE) at UUFRC since October 2010. The DRE’s role is to administer and guide religious education programming for children (5th grade and younger) and youth (6th through 12th grade).
Derby has completed five (out of ten available) Renaissance Modules: Philosophy of Religious Education, Teacher Development, Curriculum Planning, Ministry with Youth, and Administration as Leadership. Renaissance Modules are 15-hour trainings for religious professionals offered by the UUA.
One of Derby’s biggest passions is the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program of age-appropriate, comprehensive human sexuality education developed jointly by the UUA and the United Church of Christ. He is certified to facilitate (i.e., teach) OWL at the following levels: Kindergarten-1st grade, 4th-6th grade, 7th-9th grade, and 10th-12th grade. Derby has also been certified to train OWL facilitators at the 7th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade levels.
Derby grew up unchurched in Buena Park, California. He and his wife were looking for a church community when they discovered UUFRC in 2003. They became members in 2004.
Cindy Johnson, Connections Coordinator
Cindy Johnson has been with UUFRC for seventeen years, the last eleven as the Connections Coordinator. Working to greet new people and assist longtime members and friends, one of Cindy’s favorite things is to help make connections between people. She’s the one to go to, with any questions about who can help with something, what activities match your interests, and more.
Cindy’s deep commitment to UUFRC and friendly face bring a smile to folks on Sunday mornings. Stop by the Greeters table and say hi before the next service.
Dawn Reyen, Music Director
Telephone: (650) 365-6785
Email Dawn (mid August – mid June)
Dawn Reyen received her BA in Music from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont and her masters degree in Choral Conducting from Loyola University in New Orleans. She has conducted children’s choirs and taught elementary music for many years, and currently teaches preschool through middle school music at St. Raymond, as well as “Music and Movement” classes for Ragazzi Boys Chorus. She is the founding conductor of Palo Alto-based Aurora Singers, assistant conductor and accompanist of the Schola Cantorum, and music director at UUFRC. Dawn has accompanied professionally since the age of 12, and enjoys working in many different musical styles and genres. Dawn also enjoys her freelance work as pianist and coach.
Malia Fineasi, Administrator
Telephone: (650) 365-6913
Sara Morgan, Assistant Administrator
Kim Rosenmiller, Bookkeeper
Dawn Reyen, Email Dawn