Our Ministers and Staff

Ministers

Reverend Dr. Chris Breedlove, Senior Minister, joined Foothills Church in April, 2018.  Chris comes from Community Church UCC in Fresno, where he served as Senior Minister for six years.  Chris has a history of engaging in social justice issues, and has been recognized in his previous communities for efforts to improve understanding of Islam and Muslims.  Chris leads the congregation in worship, and provides a teaching ministry and pastoral care.  Come back soon to learn more about Chris.

Reverend Melanie Weiner, Minister of Faith Development, joined the staff of Foothills Church in February, 2015. Melanie has experience in youth ministry and faith formation ministry for all ages, most recently as the Minister of Faith Formation and Youth Ministries at Ladera Community Church in Portola Valley. She believes faith formation and youth ministry are grounded in sharing and exploring our sacred stories and discovering together how they are related to our lives today. Melanie is a graduate of the University of Houston and received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion.

Staff

Susana Leung is our Administrative Assistant and has been at Foothills since 2000.  Originally from Hong Kong, Susana and her family have lived in Los Altos for many years.  As the face of Foothills, she is often the first person you meet when you come to the church.  Her open and welcoming personality is appreciated by all.  In 2005 Susana became a member of Foothills and has thrown herself into the life of the church.  You will find her at the Rummage Sale, Women’s Fellowship and knitting with the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  If you don’t see her on a Sunday morning it is because she is playing badminton that day!

Fred Cummins has been Foothills’ choir director since 2001 and organist since 1983 and served as children’s music director from 1972 until 1981. He accompanies the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus and has sung in the San Francisco Choral Artists and San Francisco Bach Choir. Fred holds  a Masters in music education and a Bachelors in music from Stanford, where he sang in the Early Music Singers, Memorial Church Choir and Mendicants (which he directed for 2 years).  He has also studied voice with Marie Gibson and organ with University Organist Robert Nanney.  Fred was the first professional director of the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View.

Kristin Burns is our Children’s Music Director.  She began leading singing in the Children’s Program in 1982, and was asked to direct the Elementary Choir when it was formed in 2007.  She is a classically-trained pianist, who regularly accompanies our adult choir and substitutes for our organist when he is away. Her high-school-aged children, Anna and Sam, are active participants at Foothills, as are their grandparents!

Gretchen Rauch, our new handbell director, has a long history of ringing with a number of handbell ensembles in California, including Sonos, Bay Bells, and as a founding member of Low Ding Zone and Timbré. A mallet percussionist since the fourth grade, Gretchen began the path to professional handbell performing artist in 1990 when her church was looking for “a few more ringers” for Christmas. Since then, she has served on the Board of Directors for Area 12 of the Handbell Musicians of America and is a past president of Handbell Ventures, an organization she still serves as graphic designer and board member at large. Gretchen has performed with Bronzewood Paedeia in a northern California concert tour, toured Italy with Handbell Ventures, all over the United States and Japan with Sonos, and appears on the CDs “Light a Candle” (Bay Bells) and “Chimera” (Michèle Sharik). In her day life, she masquerades as mild mannered administrative manager for Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, where she supports the church, the preschool, and the summer camp Christian Music Theatre. Gretchen lives in Palo Alto with her husband John and their one year old airedale, Rosie.