Message from the Acting President

As most of you know, the conversations begun with Meadville/Lombard and the Unitarian Universalist Association about the possibility of a merger of our two denominationally-related schools have come to an end.  Although we welcome ways Starr King can work with Meadville/Lombard and the UUA to further scholarship and enhance the education of both lay people and those who want to enter our ministry but are not enrolled in either of our schools, the Starr King board did not believe it was in our best interest to proceed with merger talks at this time.

Instead, our board prefers to explore how we can add to our educational programs and increase financial support for Starr King.  In the coming months, we’ll also have conversations with the Pacific School of Religion, another nearby Graduate Theological School member, about a closer working relationship between our institutions. PSR now has several Unitarian Universalists among its student body, and Bill McKinney, PSR’s president, would like to do everything he can to support Starr King and our unique approach to theological education.

Also, Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé, still recuperating in Istanbul from a major bout of pneumonia, has finished his sabbatical and is now the furthest-flung member of our core faculty.  Dr. Farajajé is the new Director of the Starr King Luce Project for Multi-religious Theological Education. This year he’s teaching online courses about Islam, continuing his supervision of GTU doctoral students, and adding his input to faculty meetings from his home in Turkey.  He welcomes conversations with people.  Contact the school for his e-mail address.
Rev. Dr. Dave Sammons

New Students & Podcasts

Starr King School welcomed 19 new students for August orientation.  Among them were three entering the Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change (MASC) program, two M.A. students and 14 aiming for a M.Div.  Four already live in the San Francisco Bay Area while four come from nearby Roseville, Sacramento and Davis.  The rest arrived from Annadale, Va., Lake Bluff, Ill., Washington, D.C., Kingston, N.J., New Haven, Conn., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Narrowsbury, N.Y., and Durham, N.C.  This talented group includes an engineer, a teacher, a community organizer and a California state legislative aide.

“We’re looking forward to engaging with such vibrant, lovely people,” said Becky Leyser, SKSM Dean of Students.

Photo: New students Cathy Rion and Azeem Khan

Just click our “Podcasts” link in the column to the left to go to our podcast page where you can hear “From Pulpit to Pedagogy” in which the Rev. Dr. David Sammons shares his transition from 41 years of ministry to Starr King, where’s he’s teaching and filling in for the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, the school’s president, while she’s on sabbatical. You’ll also find “Planned Parenthood Chaplain,” an interview by the Rev. Sammons with Lisa Sargent, ’06 SKSM grad and California’s first and only full-time, paid chaplain serving the clients in the organization’s Golden Gate district.

Upcoming are podcasts of Rebecca Parker reading an excerpt from “Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now,” her recently published essay collection, and SKSM student Chris Long reading Thomas Starr King’s essay about God and and the jewel-like beauty of Lake Tahoe. You can listen directly from your computer, burn a CD of our programs or find them in iTunes.



Thank you, SKSM grads and friends, for your role in helping us reach $8.23 million in our Centennial Campaign. The campaign’s positive impact is already at work in our schoolhouse with new courses in Unitarian Universalist preaching and worship and public ministries. We’re also upgrading our classrooms with state-of-the-art technologies, new lighting and furniture. We’re planning a series of gatherings across the continent throughout this coming school year where grads and friends of the school can meet with Starr King representatives to learn news of the school and how you can be a part of the next century of success. Look for e-mails and invitations soon.

Rev. Kelly Flood, Vice President for Advancement

Ordinations Meghan Conrad (’05), Kansas City, Mo. / Jackie Kelly (‘94), Palo Alto, Calif.

Settled Meghan Conrad (’05), Grass Valley, Calif. / Bonnie Dlott (’05), Napa, Calif. / Carol Hepokoski (’84), Rochester, Minn. / Julie Kain (‘02), Pensacola, Fla. Thomas Rhodes (‘96), Raleigh, N.C. / Adam Robersmith (’05), MRE, Geneva, Ill. / Don Southworth (’00), Durham, N.C. / Heather Starr (’05), consult, Bend, Ore. / Telos Whitfield (’06), Walpole, N.H., and Chester, Vt.

Begin Interim Ministry Myron Andes (’06), Evansville, Ind. / Joy Atkinson (’74), Carmel, Calif. / Caroline Colbert (’82), Los Gatos, Calif. / Gail Collins-Ranadive (‘96), Yarmouth, Maine / Frances Dew (‘99), Ann Arbor, Mich. / Michele Favreault (’00), MRE, Oakland, Calif. / Rebecca Gunn (’05), Boulder, Colo. / Paul L’Herrou (’73), Melrose, Mass. / Shirley Ranck (‘78), West Vancouver, B.C. / Carol Rudisill (‘00), Reno, Nev. / Paul W. Sawyer (’58), Montclair, Calif. / Pallas Stanford (’03), North Palm Beach, Fla. / Marlene Walker (‘92), Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Addae Watson (’04), Southold, N.Y. / Hannah Wells (’04), Port Charlotte, Fla.

Retired Kenneth Collier (‘79)

Emeritus/a Carolyn Colbert (‘82), Eugene, Ore. / Catherine Harris (‘66), Lafayette, Colo.

Memorium Rev. Ronald E. Clark (’68), 70, August 2006, Danvers, Mass. / Harry Nachman, longtime SKSM supporter and former board member, August 2006 / Rev. Diether Gehrmann (’57), August 2006, Frankfurt, Germany.