What We Believe

Since 1952, the Fellowship has been a voice for liberal religion in Dutchess County, providing a home for people with open minds and open hearts seeking to develop themselves within a community of other seekers. As we move into our eighth decade, the Fellowship continues to build on the sturdy foundation laid by our founders. Like the building itself, the Fellowship is a mixture of eras and styles that come together in unexpected harmony to form something of beauty and depth.

As a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and as a Welcoming Congregation, the Fellowship fosters community where diversity is valued, spiritual growth is nourished and faith is put into action. 

As a place where all of us, children and adults alike, are encouraged to seek answers to life's questions on our own terms, where we can express ourselves in an atmosphere of acceptance, where we can join forces to address issues of justice and peace, our Fellowship has real, intrinsic value. 

Ours is a religious community fashioned from a unique and rich blend of individuals who challenge and support each other on this journey through life.

The Flaming Chalice

The Flaming Chalice has become, for all intents and purposes, the symbol of our free faith. We can also think of ourselves as the chalice and our spirits as the flame, and each congregation as a chalice and the community created by our coming together as the flame.

First designed by artist Hans Deutsch as the symbol of the Unitarian Service Committee in 1941, the chalice made its first official appearance as a symbol of Untiarian Universalism on the 1976-77 UUA Directory. For more detailed history please click here.

There are many variations on the meaning of the chalice. However, we particularly like the description given by our friend Mark Krehbiel, Master White Smith of Raventree Pewter. We came to know Mark when we ordered beautiful hand-poured pewter chalice pendants from him as Coming of Age graduation gifts and as tokens of appreciation for our Religious Education volunteers.

Though not a UU himself, Mark developed this description by synthesizing his readings about the chalice when he first decided to design the pendant:

"The Flaming Chalice, like the faith, stands open to receive new truths that pass the tests of reason, justice, and compassion. A flame can symbolize witness, sacrifice, testing, courage, and illumination."

We would hope that we ourselves, as the chalice and the faith, stand open to receive new truths as part of our free and responsible search, acknowledging that such a search may call us to be tested, to make sacrifices, to draw on reserves of courage and to bear witness for change in order to work towards our goal of a beloved community where there is peace, liberty and justice for all.

There are many forms of the chalice in use in the UU world. At the Fellowship, we light the chalice at the beginning of every service, at the beginning of every Sunday school class and often at the start of important meetings.

Our Spiritual Network

As Unitarian Universalists, we strive for greater understanding and acceptance of one another, not just within our own congregation, but in the world at large. 

Here in Poughkeepsie, we are lucky to have a rich diversity of faith traditions. Here are some of the spiritual friends in our ever-widening network (click on each to learn more):