Adair Small’s Retirement

Dear OCUUC Community,

Serving as your Congregation Nurse since early 2002 has constituted a significant part of my nursing career.  This ministry, which is what I quickly came to realize it was, has added a dimension to my profession and my life that has enriched all my contacts and relationships and will continue to do so.

I have decided to retire officially at the end of February. Especially given my present absence from California, it only seems logical to do this now, rather than arbitrarily wait until June. Marilyn Giss is stepping in to fill the role so you will not be without a nurse.

Marilyn is very highly qualified for this job; she and I attended the basic Parish Nurse training course through Hoag and Marilyn went on to run the Health Ministry program at Mission Hospital for a number of years. She thus served as the leader of the south county counterpart to the Hoag program with which OCUUC has been affiliated. The Congregation Nurse concept has always been very important to her and she wants to see it continue at OCUUC.

Her nursing experience is also broader than mine. I specialized early in maternal and child health and then in midwifery, not the most helpful expertise for most of the congregation! Marilyn worked in home health care for many years with people who had a much more diverse range of medical conditions.

I will continue to be available as a volunteer in both the nursing role and as a member of the Caring Ministry until we relocate permanently to Chicago within the next two years. I am happy to be a resource for all of you and for Marilyn, but will take a less prominent and unofficial role.

Over the past 20 years the OCUUC community has enriched my life in so many ways; deepening me spiritually, theologically, intellectually; rewarding me with wonderful friendships; leading me to laughter and to tears. I have belonged to many churches in my life and many UU churches, but it was here I not only read the Bible for the first time, but “taught” it, and here that I found myself in the pulpit more than once. And, most significant of all, here that I found I could combine my professional life with my spiritual life. I will treasure always my membership in this extraordinary community and these very special years as your Congregation Nurse.

In Love and Faith,

Adair