Our church's Executive Board is excited to launch our “Speaker Series,” monthly lectures on topics of general interest not only to our church members, but to all Cheshire residents. The talks will be free and informational , and it’s our hope that we will encourage new friends to come and see what First Church is all about.
Our first talk will be on September 27 at 7 PM, and will feature Ms. Jean Beard speaking about “Nothing to Hide.” Formerly of Connecticut, Jean Beard served for years on the board of Deveraux Advanced Behavioral Health, and in 2008 was the recipient of the Ms Foundation’s Woman of Vision and Action Award because of her work championing the advancement of women’s and girls’ status and the lives of the mentally ill. She will speak about her own family’s experiences with mental illness, her work on advocacy and education, and her decision to write. “Nothing to Hide”, a book that profiles the lives of 44 American families for whom living with mental illness is part of everyday life.
On October 24, come and hear about Cheshire’s extremely early beginnings in a talk entitled “The Natural and Cultural History of Cheshire: Viewed Through an Ecological Lens.” Find out why our town – and your street – is where it is, and all the natural occurrences that shaped this place we love. Laurie Sanders moved to Cheshire when she was 6 months old, and has explored virtually every nook and cranny. After receiving her degree from Smith College, she served as Cheshire’s first environmental planner, then went on to get her master’s degree from the University of Vermont. For some time, she had a regular radio piece on NPR/Amherst called “Field Notes,” dealing with all aspects of the natural world. She is currently a co-Director of Northampton Historical Society and lives in Westhampton, MA with her husband and daughter.