Our History

The History of the Nauset Fellowship

The Eastham Universalist Society was established in 1889, and the chapel on Nauset Road was dedicated in 1890.  Initially, weekly meetings were held year-round.  At times the ladies met to sew.  Starting in 1936, there was a long period of summer-only services with guest preachers and then no activity except for some Christmas Eve services.

The Founders in January 1890

The Society’s founders in January 1890. Front row L-R: John Ryder, Elkany Hopkins, Nathan Clark, Capt. Edward Penniman, Leslie Chase, Mrs. Sarah Cobb. Back row L-R: Joseph Cobb, Mrs. Carrie Howes, Mrs. Etta Clark, Mrs. John Ryder, Mrs. Carrie Holbrook.


The Universalist Church of America  merged  with the American Unitarian Association in 1961.  Ten years later the members of the Universalist Society in Eastham and First Parish Brewster agreed to become one entity: the First Unitarian Universalist church of Cape Cod (FUUSOCC).  One minister preached in both towns: there was a Sunday School and other activities.  The First Encounter Coffee House was initiated, and continues to flourish at the Chapel.

In 1978 FUUSOCC planned to put the Chapel up for sale.  Some members saw this as a chance to use the building for a Fellowship. In August 1978, Nauset Fellowship Inc. was incorporated as a 501c3 organization under the laws of Massachusetts by Robert Seay, Rosemary Abbott and Theodore Fisher. The building was purchased with funds raised through chowder suppers held during the summers and annual tag sales.

Nauset Fellowship offers a spiritual home based on humanistic values and regard for each other and our community. It is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rather than have a minister or formal service structure, the Fellowship has chosen to have Sunday morning speakers and/or discussions on topics of interest.  Sometimes they are ministers, priests or rabbis but often the focus is on the natural world, local history or questions of social justice and equity. Questions and discussion are always welcome and encouraged. A coffee hour follows every Sunday meeting.

The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles