The Reverend Bear Ride
Interim Pastor and Head of Staff
650-325-5659, ext. 102
A native Californian and cradle Presbyterian, Bear was raised in Los Angeles, and received her BA in Religious Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, and her M. Div. and D. Min. degrees from San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union. She has served churches in Southern California, was the Director of the Women In Ministry Project for the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, and held the position of Dean of Students at the southern campus of SFTS. Bear also directed the Peace Center at United University Church, and later became the “Intergalactic Field Organizer” with her sister’s outreach to middle school girls through Sally Ride Science.
Bear continues to be actively involved in the work of the Presbyterian Church, USA, having served as co-moderator of More Light Presbyterians, and a variety of boards and agencies of the Church. A rabble rouser at heart and daughter of a political scientist, Bear loves politics of every sort. Bear loves to travel with her wife, Susan Craig, frolic with their beloved Tibetan Terrier, Laika, read, enjoy a good meal and good music, and generally spend time with family – especially their grandchildren.
The Reverend Annanda Barclay
650-325-5659, ext. 108
Annanda obtained her M.Div. at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is a Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellow. Over the past year she has been a Youth Ministry Assistant at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, IL. After graduating seminary Annanda spent a year as a student chaplain at University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Her services to the Church and denomination include being Co-Moderator of the national board of directors for More Light Presbyterians, and an occasional blogger for Believe Out Loud. She serves and works with various groups to strategically advocate for intersectional justice, love and kindness. Annanda has a deep reverence for God’s grace made manifest in how we love and honor our selves and God’s creations. She is very excited to be a part of the beloved church family of First Pres Palo Alto! She enjoys pilgriming about life, nerding out on eco-housing, going to concerts, film, food, and finding the Divine in the outdoors, strangers, friends, family, and her beloved dog Wes. She also enjoys a good old fashioned hootenanny.
Director of Music
650-325-5659, ext. 107
In the office Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday
Originally from England, Andrew Chislett moved to the United States at the age of sixteen. He holds a doctorate in music in organ performance and literature from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, where his principal organ teachers were Marilyn Keiser and Christopher Young. Andrew previously studied organ in Seattle with J. Melvin Butler. He is also an accomplished pianist and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, New York City.
As a performer, Andrew has given numerous solo recitals in both organ and piano. As a pianist, he gave his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 2002. Andrew is presently the Director of Music and Organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, a position he has held since July 2012. Andrew performed his first Bay Area organ recital at First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto in October 2011, and has since performed recitals at St. Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco, First Presbyterian Church and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley, First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, Stanford’s Memorial Church, and First Congregational Church, Palo Alto. In May 2014 he presented a lecture recital at the First Congregational Church, Berkeley, as one of the season events for the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The lecture recital was titled “The Organ Works of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies,” the topic for Andrew’s doctoral thesis.
As a choir director, Andrew has directed the First Presbyterian Church Choir in performances of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Cantata Wachet Auf, and Durante’s Magnificat to name a few highlights. Prior to working at First Presbyterian Church, Andrew was organist at the First Lutheran Church of Palo Alto, where he accompanied performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Fauré’s Requiem, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Andrew is also a Deputy Organist at Stanford’s Memorial Church, where he plays weddings and funerals. He has also accompanied Stanford University’s Messiah Sing-a-long at Memorial Church in 2015 and 2017.
In his spare time Andrew enjoys studying Jazz piano as well as biking or hiking in the Bay Area.
650-325-5659, ext. 100 or 650-325-5650
In the office Tuesday-Friday
Catherine was born and raised on the Peninsula, attended Burlingame High School and graduated from Mt. Holyoke with a degree in French and International Studies. Her interest in medieval history began at an early age, and this eventually led her to complete her doctoral degree from Trinity College, Oxford, on the fortifications of English Gascony at the end of the Hundred Years War. An Anglo Benedictine, she published her debut novel, The Templar’s Garden, prior to joining the staff of First Presbyterian Palo Alto and she is in the process of completing the other two novels of her historical fiction trilogy set in the 14th & 15th centuries, with accompanying music performed by the Choir of New College Oxford. She has lived abroad in the UK, Thailand and Japan, and in her “free time” Catherine enjoys writing poetry, swimming, traveling, singing soprano in the choir of St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, and of course spending time with her daughter.
Professionally, she has held positions such as office coordinator, business development and marketing director, marketing and business assistant, and editor of a history-oriented magazine. Catherine is very excited to join the staff of First Pres; her faith means a lot to her, and she feels the working at a church is a calling, not just a job. She looks forward to getting to know everyone, and to helping us engage with and serve the community around us!
Pledge & Gift Accountant
650-325-5659, ext. 105
As a Methodist Michigander, Jule was married into First Pres with Peter Barney in October of 1966. He had been a member since the mid-1950s, and they were married almost 34 years before Peter’s death. Julie has been part of various committees over the last 40 years, including membership and two Mission Study Task Forces in preparation for calling two new pastors. She has been the Pledge & Gift Accountant since 1994 and prides herself as one of the congregants with a “church memory.” She is committed to the natural beauty of her transplanted home and First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.
650-325-5659 ext. 109
In the office Tuesday
Kaela was raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and lived there for 23 years before moving to California in 1976 (mostly to get away from the cold). She has since become a U.S. citizen.
Her bookkeeping career started in 1986 when she took bookkeeping classes through Adult Education in Petaluma, CA. She went on to take various accounting classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and started working full-time in Novato, CA. Then she started her own bookkeeping business in and around Sebastopol taking on small jobs. When she moved to Palo Alto in May 1999, she took on a part-time job at First Presbyterian Church where she has been ever since!
Kaela enjoys International Folk Dancing and teaches several times per year, mostly at Stanford International Folk Dancers in Mountain View. She also enjoys the outdoors by bicycling and hiking.
Her immediate family includes her husband, Paul, and his two daughters, Lara and Natalie. She has a twin sister, Brenda, who lives in northern Idaho, a brother, Philip, in Montreal and a brother, Barry, who resides partly in Montreal and partly in Chisasibi, northern Quebec.
Please contact the Church Administrator at 650-325-5650
In the office Sunday-Thursday
Javier was born in Veracruz, Mexico in 1980. His family was very poor so he was only able to go to school until he was 13 years old. That year he was given his first pair of shoes so that he could work with the grownups. In the mornings he worked for their bosses and in the afternoons he helped cultivate the little plot of land that they let his family use. As a child living in a tiny cardboard shack, he dreamt of one day owning a nice solid house with its own yard, so when one of his brothers decided to make the trip north to the United States, Javier asked to come along, even though he was only 17. It was a difficult journey and an even harder transition to make once he got here and everything was new and different, especially the language.
He worked for three months in a carwash before getting a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Javier used his free time to help the cooks, who taught him how to be a prep cook. When that job opened up he was promoted to work the grill with a guy whose cousin introduced him to his future wife, Rosa. It was while he was hanging out and trying to impress Rosa that he met and hit it off with Ozzie Osborne, a good and friendly man who taught him the art of gardening. When Rosa was offered the janitorial post here at First Pres, Javier came along to help her out and little by little wear down her resistance to his marriage proposal (she said he was too young for her!). It worked, and they were married on the anniversary of their first encounter, on March 6, 2001. Since that was also the year they became independent contractors with the church as one of their clients, they decided it was a good time for Javier to get his Green Card and start the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. In 2007 he became a citizen, and in 2008 he accepted the full-time job as sexton/custodian here at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.