Rev. Amy Cantrell
Rev. Amy Cantrell lives and moves and has her being in the intentional community, BeLoved Asheville. BeLoved is an intersectional community of people from the streets and margins love each other and together work to create solutions to homelessness, poverty, and racism.
The community’s life and work includes the Homeless Voice Project, Rise Up Studio artists collective and Street Musicians Guild, a declared sanctuary in the New Sanctuary movement, Elders Free Farmers Market, building community gardens, the first homeless Street Medic Team in the nation and justice campaigns around Housing Not Handcuffs, no Federal Cuts to housing, anti-gentrification, food justice, and the uprooting of systemic racism including work around police brutality and the removal of Confederate monuments. BeLoved also has the honor of being named one of ten Peace Communities by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
Amy was recently named Western North Carolina Peacemaker of the Year 2017. She is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA, was school educated at Columbia Theological Seminary, and was street educated on Ponce de Leon Ave. in Atlanta at the Open Door Community and on Grove Street at BeLoved Asheville.
Amy is co-chair of the local Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She also works as part-time community organizer at Just Economics coordinating the Voices for Economic Justice training program and the People’s Transit Campaign. She is mom to twin four-year olds, loves the color purple, playing guitar, and studying movement history.
The Gospel on Cardboard -- What does it mean to be called to a spirituality of begging? And how do we learn that from holy beggars: from Jesus and Bartimaeus in the Gospels, from St. Francis of Assisi, and from siblings who live on the streets and fly signs.
The Radical Art of Making Home -- What if our primary vocation as humans is to make home? Looking through the lens and stories of BeLoved Asheville to discover a way of being in the world that gets at our God-given calling to be at home with ourselves, one another, and God. How do we fashion from ourselves the beloved community through the values of welcome, hospitality, community, and joining with those who struggle for home.
Our Super Power is Boundary Crossing -- In a time of greater and greater separation and segregation, how do we find each other if we are truly all God's children and one human family? How do we learn to navigate the boundaries and borders we face physically and theologically? How do we build intersectional communities of faith?
“A mentor taught me that love requires proximity. We must cross boundaries in order to begin to build community. There are places that we just don’t go and people we just don’t know. This, I believe, is how injustice thrives. We can create healing through relationships. This is what Dr. King called the beloved community.” -Rev. Amy Cantrell
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