Rev. Pamela Mars Shepherd

Passed away on October 25th at the age of 65, after living with an ongoing illness. Pamela was born June 29, in Harrisburg, PA. Pam was raised in a family that valued service, and from an early age, she dedicated her life to serving others. A wilderness enthusiast, Pam supported many environmental organizations, including Amigos Bravos. Pamela graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s in Creative Writing and was a published author. In 1988, Pam returned to New Mexico and taught creative writing and English at Northern New Mexico College. Passionate about education, Pam founded the Bridges Project for Education in Taos. After 9/11, she experienced another calling. Pam and her wife Nancy Stapp relocated to the Bay Area, where Pam attended the Pacific School of Religion. Coming from a long line of female lay pastors, Pam had returned to her roots. After eight years pastoring a flourishing church in Ashland, Oregon, Pam took a sabbatical and worked on social justice issues at Koinonia Farms in Georgia. It was clear to Pam where she needed to be: back home in New Mexico. Shortly after returning, she founded Taos United Church of Christ. In a mere five years, the church has grown exponentially and started the Taos Medical Debt Relief Project, helping 968 Taos families pay nearly two million dollars in outstanding medical bills. Pam united 11 local faith communities in this effort, and they continue to carry out her vision today. Pamela Shepherd was beloved in her community. Known for her kindness, generosity, and radical spirit of welcome, she always worked for those at the margins. She will be greatly missed by her friends, students, congregation, and the non-profit community. A giver all her life, Pamela passed away in her home, surrounded by friends and family. Pam is survived by her longtime soulmate and best friend Nancy Stapp, brother Craig Seltzer (Donna), sister Patricia Wagoner (Rolf), nephews Owen Seltzer, Noah Wagoner (Shimona Gorelick), Austin Wagoner (Lauren), niece Geneva Kramer (Brandon), and grand-niece Riley Wagoner. A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 13, 10 AM, at First Presbyterian Church of Taos. A Zoom option is available: http://us02web.zoom.us/j/964597068 In honor of Pam, donations can be made to the to the incredible unsung heroes at Mountain Home Healthcare Hospice Services and to the Taos Medical Debt Relief Program at Holy Cross Hospital.

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