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Jill McAllister (she/her)
Affiliated Community Minister
Monica D. Jacobson-Tennessen
Church Operations Manager
Director of Religious Exploration
Religious Exploration Associate
Staff Contact and Bios
Skyla King-Christison (she/her), Director of Religious Exploration
Skyla King-Christison joined the Religious Exploration team as the RE Coordinator in 2021, and moved into the position of Director of Religious Exploration in 2022. She recently entered the UUA’s Religious Educators Credentialing Program in an effort to bring the strongest skills possible to this dream job, and aims to finish the program sometime next year.
Since graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, Skyla has directed children’s choirs, taught chemistry, and worked in special education. She took some time off to home-school her own three kids, during which time she worked as an author, a workshop coordinator, and a digital planner designer. For the last five years, Skyla has offered restorative justice mediation for juvenile offenders in Benton, Linn, and Marion Counties.
It says Tennessee on her birth certificate, but Skyla is most at home in the fog and rain of the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not at the Fellowship, she can be found playing ukulele, reading in the hammock, painting birds, or wandering the wetlands near the house she shares with an intellectual property manager, three teens, two cats, and a chiweenie. (top)
Jill McAllister, Senior Minister
(541) 752-5218 ext. 101
Reverend Jill McAllister began her tenure as senior minister of the UUFC in fall 2013. However, she is no newcomer to Corvallis, having been a member of the UUFC beginning in 1982, having been ordained to the ministry here in 1992, and having served as our associate minister from 1992 until 1998. Jill is thrilled to return to a place she considers her home.
Jill holds a BS from Duke University, an MA from Washington University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Mt. Angel Seminary. From 1998 until 2013, she was the minister at People’s Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her ministry there, according to her congregants, was transformational in a variety of aspects of church life, including Sunday worship, community building, stewardship, and social justice. Jill was also a key figure in the creation of ISAAC (Interfaith Strategy for Action and Advocacy in the Community), an interfaith group in Kalamazoo and an affiliate of the Gamaliel Network of grassroots, interfaith, interracial, multi-issue organizations working together to create a more just and more democratic society.
Jill has received several honors for her ministerial work. She helped found and continues to work with the International Council of Unitarian Universalists (ICUU), earning their Founder’s Vision Award in 2011. With People’s Church in Kalamazoo, she received the UUA Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Social Justice in 2012. She previously served on the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association, has been a member of the National Clergy Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has held many other leadership roles.
Jill is married to Reverend Walter Balk, a United Church of Christ minister, hospital chaplain and supervisor of clinical pastoral education. Their family includes three grown children and their spouses, plus their dog, Johannes. Jill loves yoga, cooking, singing and reading. (top)
Jamie Petts, Church Operations Manager
(541) 752-5218 ext. 100
Jamie Petts is a welcoming, point-of-contact for UUFC members and friends. Joining the staff at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis in July 2016, she is the church’s informational “hub” by providing administrative support to the staff and the Fellowship, including helping all the functions of various departments work together, managing the use of our buildings and grounds by members and renters, maintaining databases, overseeing volunteers, and much more. She is also responsible for internal and external communications, including our weekly announcements.
Jamie holds a BA in International Studies (with a dual emphasis in Global Health and Global Resources & the Environment) from the University of Iowa, an MPH in International Health from Oregon State University, and also studied Medical Anthropology at Oregon State University. She has worked with a number of nonprofits, and is dedicated to helping people and organizations improve their well-being and community sustainability and livability.
Jamie enjoys yoga, hiking, photography, and reading. She and her husband, Dave, are both originally from Iowa, but consider Oregon home. When they are not working, you can usually find them outside with their young children doing activities like camping, hiking, biking, gardening, or rock climbing. (top)
Rachel Kohler, Religious Exploration Associate
Rachel Kohler joined the staff at the beginning of August 2016 as the Religious Exploration Associate. After four years of service to the Fellowship, she tried being the Director of Religious Exploration for a year, decided it wasn’t for her, and happily went back to what she’s good at: creating programming and telling stories.
Rachel hails from Virginia, where she obtained a BS in Theatre Arts and English at Radford University and M.Litt/MFA degrees in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin College. After graduating, she heeded the siren call of the Pacific Northwest and signed on with the AmeriCorps program, through which she served at two different non-profit organizations based in Douglas County in rural southern Oregon for four years. She also taught writing at Umpqua Community College as an adjunct professor.
When you can’t find Rachel at the Fellowship, she’s probably working her other job at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis, where she manages their educational programming and makes a general theatrical nuisance of herself. She spends most of her free time hanging out with her partner, reading books, playing video games, and talking incessantly about Shakespeare. (top)
David Servias, Music Director/Tech/Website
UUFC Music Director since 2013, David Servias holds MA and DMA degrees in piano performance from Washington State University and University of Washington respectively. He also earned an MA in teaching with an emphasis in choral music education from Oregon State University.
David has directed church and high school choirs, and has performed frequently as a piano soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and church musician. He’s been a rehearsal pianist for opera and musical theater productions, and has worked as a ballet accompanist. David has performed with orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber groups, jazz bands and jazz combos. He loves to play all styles of music, and enjoys adapting to any musical situation.
David previously was the music director at the Unitarian Universalist church in Moscow, Idaho, and has played piano at the Unitarian Universalist church in Kirkland, Washington, as well as numerous other churches in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. David currently teaches piano, music theory and aural skills at Oregon State University. He believes that music has great power to bring people together in community and appreciates the opportunity to serve the UUFC and lead its talented, enthusiastic choir members. (top)
Lauren Servias, Pianist
Lauren Servias has been the pianist at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis since January of 2013. She provides music at the weekly services and accompanies the UUFC choir. Lauren is originally from the Midwest (Rockford, Illinois), but considers herself a Pacific Northwesterner after living in Washington and Oregon for the past fifteen years. Lauren first came to the UUFC as their Acting Director of Music in 2012 during the search for their newest Director of Music, and served in this position for three months.
Lauren holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano Performance from the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Central Washington University, where she also studied voice and organ. She has performed with a number of performing arts organizations, including Tacoma Opera, the Oregon Festival of American Music, Eugene Ballet, and Cascadia Concert Opera. In addition to her work at the UUFC, Lauren maintains a busy performance schedule, teaches three courses for the Oregon State University Music Department and is the Music Director for the Corvallis School District Theater’s musical theater productions.
Lauren has held church music positions (pianist, organist, choir director, children’s choir director, band leader, and Music Director) at several churches over the past seventeen years. She finds playing for Sunday services extremely rewarding, as music plays such a large part in creating a spiritual atmosphere, and she enjoys the challenge of finding and playing music that fits and supports each Sunday’s theme and message. (top)