Women’s Alliance & Program

The Alliance of First Parish

The Alliance is the women’s organization in our church, with a mission to support the women in our congregation, and through that support to advance the interests and efforts of our entire church.

Formal membership in The Alliance is open only to women, but Alliance activities are inclusive across gender and age: men attend meetings as guests and as speakers, and The Alliance is supportive of, and supported by, the youth and children of First Parish.

Alliance Program Dates 2023-2024

Please save the dates! Terrific programs are coming!

The Alliance hosts several programs each year from October to May.
Most programs are held on Friday evenings in the Vestry.

Next Program:

Friday, March 8
A Fireside Chat with Author Martha Ackmann
Program 7:30-9:00pm by ZOOM only
We are looking forward to a Zoom fireside chat with journalist and author Martha Ackmann on March 8th.

Speaker: Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about pioneering women who have changed America including Emily Dickinson, Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro League, and the Mercury 13 women. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, the Paris Review, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She also is a frequent commentator for New England Public Radio, and has been featured on CNN, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Martha is currently writing a book on Dolly Parton. We are excited to talk with her at this event!

Upcoming Programs/Gatherings:

April 28, 2024: Alliance Sunday Service
Lara Jordan James from Facing History and Ourselves
Specifics on her subject will be announced soon.

Friday, May 24, 2024: Alliance Annual Meeting

Date TBD: Summer Planning Meeting

Previous Programs/Gatherings:

Headshot of Dr. Susan PollakFriday, Nov 3
Managing Conflict Mindfully with Susan Pollak
Conflict is inevitable in most relationships, but it is uncomfortable. We usually want the difficulties to disappear. Drawing on new research in psychology on what makes relationships work, as well as a mindfulness practice to help navigate difficult emotions, Susan Pollak, MTS, Ed.D. will teach how to befriend conflict so that obstacles can become opportunities.

SpeakerSusan M. Pollak is a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a longtime student of meditation and yoga who has been integrating the practices of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s. Dr. Pollak is cofounder and teacher at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Health Alliance and was the president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy for ten years from 2010 to 2020.

She is a co-editor of The Cultural Transition; a contributing author of Mapping the Moral Domain; Evocative Objects; and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition; co-author of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy and  the author of the new book Self-Compassion for Parents: Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself.

Dr. Pollak is the author of the Psychology Today blog, The Art of Now: Essential Skills for Mindfulness, an exploration of the art of integrating mindfulness into clinical practice and daily life, sharing new insights, reflections, and inspiration. She is also a frequent contributor to Ten Percent Happier.

Diane Taraz in costume House of the Rising Sun performanceFriday, Dec 1
House of the Rising Sun —The History of the Oldest Profession
Social Time: 7:00pm—Performance: 7:30-9:00pm,
followed by a cookie swap!

Artist: Diane Taraz (click for more about Diane on her website!)
For millennia women have turned to sex work to survive, and societies throughout history have handled its inescapable persistence in different ways. The many songs about this sensitive topic, including the title song from New Orleans, are equally varied —bold, regretful, rowdy, and often filled with defiant humor. We will visit ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance Venice, Japan, Medieval Europe, and the United States, using songs to explore surprising facts about this “forbidden” topic.

Friday, January 12
Annual Chowder Supper!
Supper at 6:30pm with potluck dessert
Join us for mid-winter cheer and fellowship! Welcome in the New Year with a warm tradition provided by the Alliance—a variety of chowder­s, salad, and home-made cornbread and lots of stimulating conversation!