Pallas Stanford is a 2003 graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. Starr King School for the Ministry is one of two Unitarian Universalist seminaries in the country. She was granted preliminary fellowship within the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association in September 2005. Prior to attending seminary, Pallas lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she did a stint as organizational consultant and lawyer while also being a mom, a spouse/partner, and a Unitarian Universalist lay leader. Pallas left to go to seminary in the summer of 1998 just as daughter Kynthia was about to begin her second year of college.
Pallas came away from seminary with her M.Div. degree which she likes to think makes her as a mistress of divinity. While in seminary, she began calling her work the loving overthrow of all oppression and discovered that political theology and moral philosophy were her somewhat natural occupations. Rather than take these up in a scholarly manner, she accepted the charge from a professor to go forth and do “internet guerilla theology.” Although she has yet to fully discover what that means, she knew right away that it involves use of the arts in the struggle for justice. Pallas counted herself fortunate, therefore, to land next as Ministerial Intern at the beautiful Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Kentucky, where local history and the congregation willingly conspired to bless her investigation of arts and justice as combined work. It was in the Lexington fellowship hall one day that a powerful yes to the possibility of parish ministry rose up and announced itself to her.
After completing her internship, Pallas returned to Colorado Springs for a unit plus a year’s residency in the chaplaincy training program at the Penrose/St. Francis Health Care system. Having determined that she would join Cindy Sheehan’ peace camp near George Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, Pallas gladly accepted an offer to serve as chaplain to a local Colorado Springs contingent of vets and others and traveled there with them in August 2005. Upon returning from Crawford, Pallas remained active as a leader in the group as they established a local peace camp where the partnership of arts and justice was alive and well.
After obtaining her ministerial fellowship, Pallas entered the Accredited Interim Minister’s program and accepted a position as Interim Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches in North Palm Beach, Florida. The honor and delight of finding her first parish ministry in her home state was multiplied by the congregation’s decision to ordain her there.
Pallas came to Santa Cruz as a Consulting Minister in August 2008. The opportunity to return to Northern California was a prayer answered for Pallas and a welcome homecoming for Lloyd Baird, a gem she’d taken on as partner just as she was leaving seminary in summer 2002. After a precious seven years together, Lloyd passed away in September 2009. Although she misses him sorely, Pallas continues to feel Lloyd’s blessing in her life. Had he been here, he would’ve been giddy with pride and happiness when on March 14, 2010, she humbly and happily accepted a unanimous call from the Santa Cruz congregation to enter their settled ministry.