Christ Church Greenwich Launches a New Contemporary 5:00 Service with Rob Mathes Leading the Music of Spirituals and Worship songs

Christ Church Greenwich is launching a new, 5:00 pm contemporary, come-as-you-are service of worship and spirituals, “The Loft.” Understanding that people are often busy on Sunday mornings, this service provides a relaxed worship experience, one that will be more informal and include music not normally associated with the extraordinary Anglican, Episcopalian tradition that Christ Church is famous for.

Sunday, February 25 is the preview worship service for The Loft 5:00 series that will officially begin in the Fall of 2024 and will rotate musicians throughout the year with R&B, Gospel and Pop sets of songs.

For the February 25 service, renowned musician Rob Mathes is bringing a group of musician friends together, along with special guest violinist and vocalist Anna Jacobson, to perform some of the arrangements and songs he wrote and arranged when he was a worship leader at Trinity Church in Greenwich during the early 2000’s.“Sean Witty, former Youth Pastor at Trinity and Head Pastor at Newton Baptist Church in Newton, MA, will be with me playing guitar for this service.”

During Rob’s time at Trinity Church, and soon after in Christ Church’s “Conversations on Courage and Faith,” Rob amassed a large body of arrangements and compositions around the subjects of faith and worship.

When Maya Angelou and Mavis Staples came to perform in the Conversations series, Rob arranged an entire set of music around these women and their artistry.

“In recent years, my life as a music producer and arranger became intense,” Rob remembers. “I started working with bands like Panic at the Disco and Train, and giants like Sting and Bruce Springsteen. I also finished up my long 13-year stint musically directing the Kennedy Center Honors. My work with those extraordinary artists was the most important work of my life. So much of it is melodic, warm, and deeply felt music.”

Recently, Rob began to talk to the Rector of Christ Church, Marek Zabriskie, about the possibility of a short prayer and worship service with communion at Christ Church. “Marek and the clergy at Christ Church have brought this extraordinary warmth and openness to the services at Christ Church” Rob said.

“When Rector Zabriskie called about doing something, I jumped at the chance. In the fall, Christ Church will have these services weekly, and my goal is to be with them once a month. I hope some of the people who come to my Christmas Concert will join us. It will be a service for the rest of us, a service for music lovers, seekers and those who don’t normally wake up early on a Sunday.”

“We are extraordinarily blessed to have Rob, Anna, and this group of talented musicians join us for this kickstart of The Loft services,” Rev. Zabriskie said. “We are bustling on Sunday mornings and this is another offering to bring people closer to God, wherever they are on their spiritual journey.”

Clarena McBeth is a mother of four children. “I am so grateful Christ Church Greenwich is offering a 5:00 service. Growing up we had a service like this, and it was the most popular. It gave my family an opportunity to do something meaningful together. I know it will do the same for my family now.”

“I like the phrase ‘church for the rest of us,’” Mathes said. “Many of us grew up in a religious household and have left the church for a myriad of reasons, me included. Yet that tradition contains so much food for the soul. I can listen to Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’ or go to Christ Church on Christmas Eve and feel close to something ineffable, purposeful, full of love and grace.”

This service will take place in The Loft, in the Parish House at the circular drive, in front of Christ Church. Parking is on either side of the church. Please note: this space is on the second floor and is not handicap accessible.

Christ Church’s Parish House is located at 254 East Putnam Avenue.