Amy Sander Montanez – Keynote Session One
By Beth Fulmer
Amy Sander Montanez, our South Carolina Synod Assembly keynote speaker, spoke eloquently about courage, spiritual formation, and the knowledge of how one creates a relationship with God. She did so by quoting poetry by David Whyte and by referencing writings by Richard Rohr.
The very heart of her message was that to attain inner peace, one must start “close in.” Peace is lively and active. To become a peacemaker, one must have a right relationship with God, self and others. “Blessed are those who are in a right relationship with God.”
Becoming a peacemaker is a process with many layers; visualize the layers of an onion. In the center is self, followed by family, the extended family, culture, nation, and, finally, the world. God comes through those layers. “Blessed are those who make peace with themselves.”
Montanez continued her lecture by addressing having peace within oneself. To enter shalom, one must fearlessly face temptation and also have a conversion moment. Even Jesus went through this process. He converted at age 30 but then was sent to the desert for forty years where he faced many temptations by Satan.
In conclusion, she quoted Charles Brewer, “Everything is related to everything else.” Her audience was mesmerized by her insights and hung on her every word.