The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is sponsoring a “Day of Diocesan Story-Telling and Celebration,” focusing on Lex Mathews’ time as Director of Christian Social Ministries from 1975 until 1985. Longtime activists with the NC Council of Churches will remember Lex’s many involvements with the Council. I’m proud to say that he and I were unindicted co-conspirators on several adventures, though it was all before I was with the Council.
I came to NC in 1978 to work in the social justice office of the Baptist State Convention and, pretty soon, became the Convention’s ecumenist, being deputized to various Council of Churches events and committees. Lex and I (and George Kloster, a Catholic priest and leader within the Council) did much of the organizational work for the Land Stewardship Council, an early effort to challenge people of faith with the call to care for God’s creation. Lex recruited Bett Hargrave to work with the Council’s ERA Committee. She went on to become a county commissioner and then chair of that board of commissioners. I was even reminded this past weekend, as my wife and I drove back from the beach, that Lex and I attended a Board of Agriculture meeting at the Duplin Winery in Rose Hill. We were there to advocate for the Good Samaritan rules without which food banks would not have been able to operate.
Creation care. Gender justice. Food banking. Just three of the many issues Lex Mathews saw as part of the practice of our faith.
The celebration of Lex’s life and ministry will be on Saturday, April 5, from 10:00 til 3:00. In Raleigh. For more information, including registration, click here.