Board Member of the Month – February 2023 (Paula)

Meet Your Leaders! 

Did you know that our community is led by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees that meets monthly? Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings and learn how UUCPA is governed. In an effort to make the Board more accessible to the entire community, we will feature one Board member each month in our weekly update and on our website. 

This month, Paula Hillard, our Adult Religious Education (ARE) Committee Portfolio holder, is featured. 


  1. What are three interesting facts about you? 

I was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the “Atomic City”, notorious for having been a secret city and purifying the uranium for the atomic bomb during WWII.  

I’ve spent my professional life as a physician-advocate for girls’ and women’s reproductive health and am in the process of winding down that professional component of my life and defining the next chapter as I gradually move toward retirement from my faculty position and clinical practice of pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Stanford.  

I’m a knitter and crafter, and am currently learning how to weave on a beautiful cherry floor loom that belonged to my grandmother and my aunt.  

  1. Why did you join UUCPA?

Growing up in Oak Ridge, TN, my family attended and were active first in a nondenominational “United Church” and later a Methodist church.  My best friends in High School were Unitarians.    I later attended UUCPA and sang with the choir sporadically when I was in medical school at Stanford in the 1970s.  

When searching for a church for our family when our first child was born, we found the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, NC.  Later I was a member of the UU Church in Charlottesville, VA, and subsequently, St. John’s UU Church in Cincinnati (the only UU Church named after a saint—an historical legacy).  When we moved to Menlo Park, I was looking for a UU Church with a strong music program, as music is one of my passions, and I wanted to sing with an excellent choir.  I joined the church because I found not only music at UUCPA, but also a community of caring and committed people, with strong feminist ministers, commitments to social justice, and a beautiful mix of people from various spiritual and religious traditions.  

  1. What made you join the Board?

It was time!  UUCPA has given me a wonderful community, and I found myself at a time in my life (“retired” to half time work, pending full retirement) when I could make this commitment to UUCPA.

  1. What is your portfolio area?

The Adult Religious Education Committee (AREC). The committee brings a really broad spectrum of classes to the UUCPA community, and the members of the committee are very dedicated to this task.  Kay Brown, as committee chair, keeps everyone in line, and works tirelessly for this committee’s mission—Kay and Byron are IT mavens, and have worked to set up the technical components of hybrid ARE classes. 

  1. What is something you would say to the congregation?

Get involved at UUCPA! To the extent that you are able.   Your UUCPA commitment will be deepened and the community will feel more personal with involvement.  

  1. What’s one way you hope to see UUCPA fulfilling its mission in the coming years?

I am so excited by the future vision for UUCPA as a community with a special campus that serves not only UUCPA members, but also the broader community, with facilities that welcome all comers.

7. When is the next Board meeting, and how can I attend? Answer: Our next meeting is Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00pm. You can attend by emailing and asking for the Zoom link.