Rev. Jean Jeffress (she/her; they/them) serves as the Minister of Faith Formation and Outreach. An ordained pastor within the United Church of Christ, they believe in the creative power of words, preached or sung, to communicate the radical love of Jesus, compel justice seeking, and bring about personal and communal transformation.
Before coming to Foothills, they served as a licensed pastor in Oakland and a bridge pastor in Los Gatos. With an Mdiv from American Baptist Seminary of the West (now the Berkeley School of Theology), they have preached in churches throughout the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ. In addition, they have published essays in The Expositor & Review, devotionals in Resipiscence: A Lenten Devotional to Dismantle White Supremacy, and articles in GEEZ Magazine, as well as contributed to THE WORD IS RESISTANCE PODCAST, a project of Showing Up for Racial Justice.
Jean is a musician, a singer, and an avid cook. They find inspiration in speculative fiction and the movement of God’s people in the form of protest and social change. History, urban potato farming, woodworking, and true crime are among her interests. Jean lives in Oakland with her partner Carol, and their roommate, Nichola.
Church Administrator [email protected]
Fred Cummins has been Foothills’ Music Director since 2001 and organist since 1983, He 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.
Gretchen Rauch joined Foothills as its Handbell Choir Director in early 2019. She has a long and impressive history of ringing with several handbell ensembles in California. A mallet percussionist since 4th grade, Gretchen began her path to professional handbell performing in 1990 and since has served on the Board of Directors for Area 12 of the Handbell Musicians of America and as a past president of Handbell Ventures. She has performed with Bronzewood Paedeia in a Northern California concert tour, toured in Italy with Handbell Ventures, and rung all over the U.S. and Japan with Sonos. A Palo Alto resident with her husband and airedale, she works at and volunteers with Grace Lutheran Church, the latter especially with its summer Christian Music Theatre.
Kristin Burns is our Social Media, Graphics and Web Manager. Kristin keeps our public Facebook Page, private Group, and Instagram account updated with multiple posts every week. She has managed complex websites for over two decades. Kristin also provides music resources for Teacher Molly to use in the Sunday morning Children’s & Youth Program. Kristin grew up within the Foothills church community, participating in Sunday School as a child. As Children’s Music Director, she led singing in the Children’s & Youth Program from 1982 to 2020. She directed the Elementary Choir from its establishment in 2007 until it went on hiatus due to the pandemic in 2020. Kristin is a classically-trained pianist who regularly accompanies our adult choir and substitutes for our organist when he is away.
Molly McDonough is our Interim Children’s and Youth Program Director. Molly grew up at Foothills Church, participating in our Sunday morning Children’s Program and Youth program. After graduating from Santa Clara University and then Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, she taught in Palo Alto for ten years. Since leaving the classroom, Molly has been a support teacher and tutor and now writes children’s books. Molly’s family recently moved back to the area, and she is excited to be part of the Foothills community again in this new role.
Teresa Garcia is our treasured Sexton. In her years with us she has shown herself to take great pride in keeping our facilities sparkling clean and welcoming to all who use them – church members as well as outside groups. We so appreciate her happy attitude, high standards and from-the-heart diligence and commitment. A mother of three children, she is even helping a few of us learn Spanish as we share some English with her.