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By Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. (Mark 14:3)

In her book, “The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community”, the Reverend Canon Stephanie Spellers suggests that the Church is the alabaster jar, broken open to the challenges of being Church and the challenges of the world today. 

Inside that alabaster jar are gifts, given by the Giver of all good gifts, God. 

In this moment, we have a decision to make: will we grab the crazy glue and try to put our jars back together, holding the gifts for our use?  Or will we, like the woman who anointed Jesus, and indeed like Jesus himself, allow those cracks to break us open in this moment so that we can generously pour out the gifts we have?

We are in a defining moment for the Church and its future.  We have the power to decide who we are, and how this will shape our relationships with God and the world going forward. 

What happens next is up to us.  We have Jesus as the Guide showing us the way. 

Do we have the courage and perseverance to embody the truth that, as Spellers shares:

“The same Spirit that Jesus received now rests on anyone who follows him. God invites us into a covenant, whereby the power of the Spirit we can choose to allow our hearts to break, and then take the pieces – our lives, our goods, our love, and our privileges – and share it all like a broken loaf of communion bread” (p. 94)?

Join the conversation! Social and Ecological Justice Huron is offering a virtual book study exploring “Church Cracked Open” Monday evenings at 7pm beginning Oct. 25 through Nov. 29.  The program will pause Nov. 22-23 to allow participation in the Diocesan event which will include Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers herself in the conversation. 

Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle is a tri-chair of SEJH and a tri-chair of Justice League of Huron.