The South Valley Team
Reverend Lora Young
Rev. Lora joined us on August 1, 2020. Prior to earning her M.Div from Iliff School of Theology in 2017, Lora worked as a chaplain at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and provided pastoral care at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care in Santa Barbara, CA. Past ministerial positions include a sabbatical with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Luis Obispo and an internship at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congreg-ation. She has also served as Director of Development for the Santa Barbara Charter School and as Co-Executive Director at Kids in Common. You can find Rev. Lora’s blog here.
Reverend John Cooper
John works as a Board-Certified Chaplain at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff. Areas of interest include the use of research to demonstrate the role of spiritual care, life stories as sacred texts, and end of life needs. John is also a member of our choir, The South Valley Singers.
Director of Religious Exploration
Robb Carlson hails from Colorado, and has served local congregations in the United Church of Christ over the last 14 years working with children, youth and families. Robb holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Northern Colorado, and is in his final year as a graduate student at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities pursuing a Master of Arts in Ethics & Justice. Robb has been involved in the leadership of various outdoor ministry programs for children and youth as a camp counselor, camp director, retreat coordinator, song leader and worship musician.
Cindy has served in administration and office manager roles for South Valley since 2014. Before that, she was a minister, teacher, and counselor at a spiritual center for more than 20 years.
A product of musical parents, John Knight Allen began his musical development with the piano in LA at age 4. He continued his studies with the violin at Brigham Young University for his undergraduate career, and recently completed a Master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Utah as a student of Robert Breault and Barlow Bradford, where he is now working on a DMA in voice and choral conducting. Summer studies include the Chautauqua Institution in New York, the Aspen Music School in Colorado, and abroad in Italy. John has performed internationally both as a violinist and singer, and enjoys interpreting the standard repertoire as well as championing new works.
Rick is a keyboardist, vocal coach, composer and music educator. His long career includes stints with the Oakland, San Antonio, and Utah symphonies, and he was instrumental in creating the Film Composer’s Lab at the Sundance Institute. He has been associated with Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater for over thirty years.
Grace has been deeply dedicated to SVUUS and our Religious Exploration program, first as a youth, and then as a volunteer and child care provider. She is studying elementary education and is on the path to become an elementary school teacher.