Our understanding of Christian marriage is that it is a covenant or sacred promise among three parties: the two who are getting married, the witnesses (your guests), and God. Here at the First Congregational Church of Rockport, we offer a Christian wedding ceremony within the United Church of Christ tradition with prayers, readings, and music as well as your vows and exchange of rings. We marry members and non-members and unite both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
Our church, located in the heart of Rockport, is a wonderful example of colonial architecture. It is a beautiful place to be married with tall clear windows that let in the outside light, filling the sanctuary with warmth and the natural beauty of our coastal village.
All couples meet with our pastor, Rev. Derek, at least three times before their wedding. During these visits he will get to know the two of you individually and as a couple. You will also spend time with our music director, Phil, to plan the music for the ceremony. Together the four of you will craft a wedding ceremony that will be uniquely yours.
“When planning our wedding we met with Reverend Derek and Phil, the music director, who helped us plan an amazing ceremony which was spiritual, reverent, lighthearted and filled with great joy.”
For a schedule of rental fees and honorarium for the pastor, church musician, and sexton, please contact the church office at 978-546-6638.
*During this time of the pandemic, our sanctuary and other facilities are closed. If you wish to inquire about planning your wedding with us in the future, please contact Rev. Derek van Gulden via the church office at 978-546-6638.
A funeral or memorial service is a celebration of life as the deceased’s loved ones and community gather in the protective shelter of God’s healing love. We share stories, listen to God’s words of comfort through scripture or reading, pray, and infuse music throughout the service. Sometimes a video or slideshow of their life put to music is shared as well. Family members and friends are invited to take part in any way they are comfortable, offering a eulogy, a reading, or music. We end the service by commending their spirit to the loving embrace of God’s eternal love. We work hard to create a service that helps everyone to remember the one who has passed with love, laughter, and tears.
Here at the Old Sloop we offer:
- funerals/memorial services for both members and non-members
- funeral services with the casket or ashes present
- memorial services when there is no casket or ashes
Our pastor is also available to perform funerals or memorial services at a funeral home as well as at the graveside.
For a schedule of fees and honorarium for the pastor and musician, please contact the church office at 978-546-6638.
*During this time of the pandemic, our church facilities are closed. If you are inquiring about our pastor performing a graveside service, please contact Rev. Derek van Gulden via the church office at 978-546-6638.
Looking for a Rockport destination to host your event? We might have the space you are looking for. We are located in the heart of historic Rockport, a beautiful seaside village. Our sanctuary was the original meetinghouse for the Sandy Bay Parish. Our steeple is the highest point in Rockport. For over 200 years the church, known as the ‘Old Sloop’, has been used by lobstermen and sailors to navigate home to Rockport.
- Hold weddings and wedding receptions
- Host an off-site retreat or meeting
- Establish a presence in Rockport
- Host a musical event
We are seeking partners to share and improve short-term or long-term utilization of our facility.
Besides our beautiful historic sanctuary, we have a Fellowship Hall with a full kitchen. The Morgan Room is a modern meeting room with a kitchenette, a large conference table that seats eight or more, and a less formal space with a couch and large comfy chairs. We also have two classroom spaces available for rent.
Our facility is handicapped accessible with an elevator to get between floors. For those who are hearing impaired, we have a t-loop in the sanctuary as well as hearing assist devices. There is internet accessibility throughout our two buildings with either Wi-Fi or ethernet hookups available. We have both female and male bathrooms as well as a gender-neutral bathroom.
For information on rental costs and availability of space, please contact the church office at 978-546-6638.
*During this time of the pandemic, our church facilities are closed. If you wish to inquire about rentals in the future, please contact Rev. Derek van Gulden via the church office at 978-546-6638.