Amy Sander Montanez – Keynote Session Two
By Beth Fulmer
On June 2, Amy Sander Montanez delivered the second keynote speech at the South Carolina Synod Assembly, building upon her first presentation. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. The attributes of peace include a wholehearted activity. Peace is definitely not a passive concept.
To reach shalom, family must come first. She talked about her family. She adored both her mother and father and expanded on the traits that she had “inherited” from each of them. She compared this to the fact that we are children of God and that we should find in ourselves resemblances to our Father.
Her story led to our connection with the community, which begins as a pseudo-community with four distinct stages that lead to a healthy environment:
- Stage 1 can be defined by a superficial peace and shalom. This stage yields sarcasm, cynicism, and a distancing power struggle.
- In Stage 2, there is chaos where others are being begged to change. One begs; one resists. One manipulates and the other retaliates.
- Only in Stage 3 do you see the beginning of a healthy community. It begins by emptying ourselves. We stop trying to be right all the time. We listen to God and to others. Mainly, one gives up his/her own agenda. The challenge she proposed was to imagine yourself resembling the Holy Trinity.
- Stage 4 is a working healthy environment in which no one’s individuality is lost.
Montanez concluded her speech by listing 10 beatitudes:
- Blessed are those who follow Mathew 5: 23 – 44.
- Blessed are those who practice the compassionate hypothesis.
- Blessed are those who own their own feelings and thoughts and use “I statements.”
- Blessed are those who see Christ in every person and do not pour salt on wounds.
- Blessed are those who practice the Golden Rule and the Platinum Rule, Do unto others as they want to be done to.
- Blessed are those who develop and maintain good boundaries.
- Blessed are those who will take charge by boldly saying, “I will not continue this conversation as long as you are…”
- Blessed are those who are vaccinated against community viruses.
- Blessed are those who work for the common good.
- Blessed are those who empty themselves again and again.
Once again, Montanez held the audience in the palm of her hand and delivered a powerful message.