Rev. Julie Forest resides in San Diego with her wife, Maren Outwater. Their son, Jude, is in college.
Rev. Julie will serve as a half time minister. Previously Julie has served congregations in Wisconsin and Washington. She attended Wayne State University and earned a degree in Psychology. She also time studied Chinese literature, history, and the Mandarin Chinese language. Julie graduated from seminary at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Religion.
Learn more about Rev. Julie by reading her message to the congregation on the Worship Page.
Born and raised in Clarion, Pennsylvania, Chuck moved to the valley just over five years ago and is very happy in his new home. His parents were both educators and stressed the need for a broad learning experience. He says that "education became a hobby for years" and he holds degrees in music, education, divinity and theology.
Although ordination came later in life, Chuck has been involved in the church forever. He began as a church musician, singing in and directing church choirs, including handbell choirs and serving as church organist. Music "is certainly the core of who I am. I don't know what I would do without it in my life". He currently sings with Modern Men, recently serving as their president, and with the church choir at Bloom in the Desert UCC, his home church.
The Rev. Dr. Chuck Wilhelm (Charles was his grandfather – Chuck is less formal) is "thrilled to be on board at UUCOD. It has been my second home for some time now and I love my new friends here and am honored to be an official part of the family."
Geoff is a native Californian, born in Los Angeles, and is the son of a Methodist minister. He studied at CSUN and CSUF and has taught jazz band at the University of Texas, San Angelo.
Geoff has been a freelance musician (trumpet player) for most of his life, having played on many recordings, musical productions, and touring bands. He is also author of one of the most popular trumpet method books currently on the market.
Geoff has been in the publication industry for almost 40 years as an editor for many books, hundreds of magazine articles, publications coordinator for the University of San Diego and managing editor for a major legal publisher.
Nancy Gallardo, our Children’s Religious Education teacher, has 10 years of experience as a Preschool Teacher in the Desert Sands Unified School District & private preschools. She loves teaching children and believes in promoting social, physical, intellectual & religious growth with the help of the family & community.
Learn more about Religious Education here.
Dorian McWain, 2nd grew up in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York where he studied voice and clarinet at the local community college. He went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in Music Business at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia where he became a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After college, he assumed directorship positions at both The Unitarian Church of Barneveld in Barneveld, NY and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica in Utica, NY.
In 2008, he relocated to San Diego, CA where he performed several seasons with the San Diego Master Chorale and the Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship choir. Five years later he relocated to Palm Springs, CA where he's since been an active member of the music community. Dorian plays oboe and English horn in several local ensembles including the Desert Winds Freedom Band, Redlands Community Orchestra, Temecula Valley Symphony and the Coachella Valley Symphony.
Dorian is honored to lead the UUCOD Choir and music program at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert. He is excited to share the awesome power and beauty of music with his fellow Unitarian Universalists.
Kurt Jordan developed an intense interest in learning the piano after having seen The Phantom of the Opera with his parents at age 10. He studied under the guidance of Joann Algier throughout middle and high school, during which time he discovered a love of music using multiple pianos. This passion was further explored while studying at Azusa Pacific University under Dr. Robert Sage until 2010 when Kurt graduated with a BA in Music Theory and Composition.
Kurt has performed and recorded several recitals of material he arranged for two and three pianos. These recordings have been broadcast in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Boston, Austin, and Beirut, Lebanon. In 2009, Kurt had the honor of performing the West Coast premiere of Alvin Curran's 7 1/2 hour-long piano song cycle, Inner Cities 1 to 13, as well as the U.S. premiere of Curran’s movement 14 at Burning Man in 2013.
Kurt is an accompanist for many musical groups throughout the Coachella Valley including Harmonic Voices, Melodiam, the College of the Desert, the Cathedral High School Chamber Singers, The Arrangement, and Songshine. The latter is a non-profit organization that teaches speech therapy through music for people with Parkinson's Disease and stroke.
Most recently Kurt has become the Principal Accompanist for Modern Men, as well as Black Tie Opera, a new opera company in the Coachella Valley.