The Rev. Jill H. Small
The Community Church of Durham UCC is the fifth congregation to be served by the Reverend Jill H. Small as interim pastor. Jill also has been the settled pastor in three Maine UCC churches for a total of 25 years.
Jill’s primary academic interest is in exegesis, the analysis and explanation of a text, with particular emphasis in ancient Hebrew literature. She’s also interested in cultural theory, specifically identity.
A native St. Louisan, Jill is a lifelong Cardinals fan who also enjoys hiking, rafting whitewater, jazz, and opera. She reads mysteries and is a competitive trivia player.
Jill is married to Charles Small and they have one daughter, Becca, who is a pre-school teacher.
Dave is also a music teacher at Oyster River Middle School, where he directs their renowned Jazz Band. He is married to fellow teacher Ellen Ervin, and they have two children, Thatcher and Alana.
Dianne Thompson is our Business Administrator, working with the Stewards in taking care of our financial needs. Dianne Thompson is a retired educational computer specialist. Most recently she worked in the Exeter School District. She enjoys gardening and you may frequently find her out tending the Friendship Garden by the upper parking lot entrance. She also enjoys quilting, cooking, and reading. Dianne and her family moved to Durham in 1974 and she has been a member of the church for over 40 years. She has three children and five grandchildren. She welcomes any questions or concerns you have.
She can be reached by email at
Heather Curran is our Office Administrator. Heather brings a wealth of skills to this position. Although she has never worked in a church, she has spent the last 12 years working in medical and dental office administration. Heather and her family live in Durham and she has children who attend the Oyster River Schools.
She can be reached by e-mail here:
Catherine is a New Hampshire native and three time winner of the Granite State Piano Competition (1981, 1983, 1984). She is a 1988 graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and a winner in the New England Conservatory Honors Piano Competition (1988). Catherine was a semi finalist in the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition in 1989, and won the Commonwealth Competition for Young Pianists in 1991. She was the Guest Composer at Cornell University Center For Theatre Arts in Ithaca, NY where she was also assistant choirmaster at Sage Chapel. In 1992 she was one of four national finalists in the Chicago Club of Women Organists Competition. Catherine was the Resident Music Director and Director of Music Education at the Beck Center for the Arts in Cleveland, Ohio before returning to NH 2003. In 2005 her piano trio won the Chamber Music Foundation of New England's International Chamber Ensemble Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall. Catherine also teaches piano at her studio in her home in Barrington, where she lives with her fiancée Lloyd and their five children.
Director of Education and Faith Formation
Kristin has worked for 20 years in community building and teaching. As founder of a non-profit organization, she has experience working in strategy, leadership, and development. She appreciates her work time most when she is hands-on in programs working with children and families. She has taught all ages from toddler to university. She devours books, recipes, and art, and especially loves long walks in the woods with family, friends, and her dog.
Clark Williams is our Building Director, responsible for coordinating building repairs with our Warden Team, Stewards, and outside contractors. Clark lives in Durham and has two daughters who live in New Hampshire with their families. He is retired from a career in the Hazardous Waste Remediation Field, where he worked in varying management capacities. Currently, he sits on an Institutional Review Board which convenes weekly in Newburyport, MA. The board is a federally regulated entity with a mandate to review biomedical and behavioral research studies. For the past seven years, he has also worked part-time at the Ohana Family Camp, located in Fairlee, Vermont and operated by The Aloha Foundation, a non-profit organization with a 100+ year history.
Aaron Wrightsman, Sarah Garstka
Aaron Wrightsman and Sarah Garstka joined our community at the end of June. As alumni of the University of New Hampshire, Aaron and Sarah are excited to be back in Durham. While working through the final parts of her graduate degree, Sarah splits her time between two local non-profits, including Friends in Action where she manages the partnership with the Echo Thrift Shop. Aaron is an aspiring writer by day and floor manager at the Seabrook Poker Room by night. Aaron and Sarah spend their free time throwing a frisbee, climbing mountains, and playing board games. The pair appreciates good food, good books, and good people.
If you’d like to introduce yourselves or need to reach the sextons: and