Message From the Minister August 2020

Necessary Trouble

 

Photo: Michael Avedon

 

This past week marked the passing of civil rights icon, John Lewis, who spent his life getting into what he called, “necessary trouble.” Representative Lewis left us with some powerful words to live by. He said, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

During my time of study and training and to be a minister with Unity Worldwide Ministries, I was told something which attached itself to the core of my being. One of my instructors told me, “Authenticity and vulnerability are two of your superpowers. These two traits, above any others, will help you become an effective, compassionate and successful minister.” I am giving myself permission to call upon those powers in order to express myself today. Otherwise, I may have absolutely nothing to say.

Since I was hired as the spiritual leader here at Unity on Cape Cod on November 1, 2016, I have written a monthly blog. This is it, what you are reading now, the message from the minister. Every single month of my ministry here I have shared my thoughts and feelings on a number of subjects, including the spiritual perspectives we can employ in order to see it all as part of our spiritual awakening and growth as a community. My hope is that you will read my words and take them to heart, and perhaps something I express will also attach itself to the core of your being in such a way that awakens the Christ in you, igniting the inner light which transforms and heals this world, for our need for healing has never been so great.

These are times that can shake the foundation of one’s faith and bring doubt of humankind ever recovering from such unconscious behavior. This is one of those times for me as a minister and spiritual leader that has me asking the question, “What is mine to do? What is my good and necessary trouble?” If I follow the man from Nazareth, who turned over the tables in the temple and who rebuked the pharisees as well as the wind in the storm; or if I speak of men like Gandhi and Martin Luther King as some of my heroes, then isn’t it up to me to find my place of impact upon the consciousness of this world?

I believe I have found that place; but I also find myself on occasion slipping off that place of peace and purpose, and I begin to feel that sea of despair lurking, waiting to swallow up a good portion of the human race. I see a battle between ego’s rage on, while we arrogantly cling to our separate perspectives and continue to harm one another, physically, emotionally and dare I say, spiritually as well. The most vulnerable and innocent and authentic seem to be bearing the brunt of our anger and violent reactions. We continue to pour our resources into war and weaponry instead of investing in the generations to come. Racist, elitist and homophobic ideologies are allowed to masquerade as religion and politics. A global pandemic rages on. Hundreds of thousands of people struggle and suffer deeply and die while the so-called leaders play childish games with our lives.

What do I do? I meditate, find my inner peace, say my prayers, do my lessons in A Course in Miracles, the Daily word, write the Sunday message, another monthly message in the blog, sing another song, quote another philosopher, read Charles and Myrtle Fillmore… I suit up, I show up, and I hold back my tears and swallow my pain, and I stand and sing, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” It isn’t enough for me. I signed on to a vision of a world powerfully transformed by the growing movement of our shared spiritual awakening.

I have this idea, If you are not awakening from this dream of separation, I am not doing my job. If you still see people “out there” as the problem in your world, I am not doing my job. If you still cannot tap into the spirit of the living God within you and heal yourself and others, I am not really doing my job. If I lose my faith in the human spirit to overcome these challenges, I am not doing my job. If fear and frustration begin to alter my direction, I am not doing my job. If you are not strengthened by my words and inspired to greater compassion, I am not doing my job. Yes, I am human, I will feel at times this crisis of faith; but I also was also once told by a Unity minister, “if you ever experience a deep crisis of faith, that is because you are doing your job.”

This path I have chosen is the one that gets you in the most trouble, because it requires a constant trust in a power greater than yourself, yet within yourself as well. I really have nothing to rely on but my faith. So, when that faith is tested, I am in the most trouble there is, letting go of everything I know, think, feel and believe, and stepping out into the great realm of uncertainty. I not only do this for myself, but as a spiritual leader I also ask you to come with me, to take that leap of faith, trust in the eternal love of God to guide us as we discover a reality previously unknown to us, that which only comes to those willing to relinquish their personal mortal self in favor of the Christ within, the identity of light.

John Lewis also said…

You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates… Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.”

I know there are those in the world that will mock and beat and deny and crucify the one who accepts this kind of trouble; but as Jesus (Yeshua) would say, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid for I have overcome the world.” And, I can say from experience, there are also those who will celebrate you, they have been waiting for you and will welcome and cherish your light. Remember my friends, you are the light of the world. Hide not your light. Shine that that light into the world, make that light known, lift it up so all may behold your brilliance and experience your love. This is what powerfully transforms the world.

Rev. Tony Cryer

Message from the Minister July 2020

Unique Expressions of God

 

 

 

This fourth of July was unlike any I have experienced in my lifetime. A global pandemic has brought about the unavoidable fact that we are all connected and affected by the actions, words, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes by every other individual on the planet. In the midst of this awakening to our innate oneness, we are now faced with looking at the ugly darkness of separation and those things we must eliminate from our consciousness and our society. All these things have come up for healing and we are called to be the healers.

Of course, the first and most glaring example of separation in our world today is the ugliness of racism, which may seem like a daunting task to eliminate from society; but we can take the steps to banish it from our individual consciousness, and thereby ensure we do not enable the darkness of hatred to perpetuate in our communities. This is how we can be both independent and recognize our interdependence simultaneously. By our individual commitment to being an example of inclusion, we promote and further inclusion in our communities.

What could be simpler than to love your neighbor as yourself. If God is love, then we too are born from that love, and our nature is to love one another. We are called to be unique expressions of that love. Anything else we layer onto this equation is an attempt to veil our hatred and hold onto our embedded racism. Loving our neighbor is the first step in undoing the centuries of hatred born of separation and attack. Loving our neighbor is not only a prerequisite to calling yourself a Christian, it makes good sense, both spiritually and socio-economically.

The one thing which drew me to the teachings of Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth is the idea we are all equal in the eyes of God. He maintained a constant focus on love and inclusion, an insistence that the kingdom of Heaven was the inheritance of all humankind, that we are all children of the Most High. If one of the sheep wanders off, we leave the others to find that one. If someone asks you to go a mile with him, walk with him two, and if someone takes away your coat, give him your cloak also. He went so far as to tell us to love our enemies and pray for them that curse us and abuse us. These are some of the reasons I follow the teachings of Yeshua the Christ.

The important thing to remember in this day and age is that these teachings are not passive suggestions, but active directions on how we must conduct ourselves as unique, individual expressions of the divine on Earth. It makes perfect sense that our spiritual nature must be expressed through our human nature if we are ever to discover and experience the truth of our being and that of our creator. This is why I love Unity so much.

Unity has a firm foundation of inclusion, One in which God is love and only love. (1 John 4) Unity does not believe in god which can be angered or condemn, a god which capriciously judges who is worthy of freedom, dignity and equality. Unity states in its second principle that every human being has the spark of divinity, the Christ light within them. It is not, therefore, in our best interest to judge others if they are hiding their light under a bushel of false and negative beliefs. It is ours, however, to seek for that light, and allow that light to shine away the darkness as the Christ in our brothers and sisters emerges to take the place of the darkness and turmoil the ugliness our belief in separation has wrought upon our world.

These teachings are not exclusive to Christianity, but sound, simple directions for each and every one of us to help heal our human family and bring us into a peaceful, prosperous and compassionate future for all. The only thing we need to bring about this collective shift in consciousness is your unique expression of God active in the world.

Often, in times like these I like to recall the words from the Jewish Talmud…

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do Justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

 

Keep the Faith my friends…

Be blessed and be a blessing!

 

Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister June 2020

Let There Be Peace on Earth

 

 

In the New Living Translation of John 14:27 Jesus states, “I am leaving you with a gift… the gift of peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, do not be troubled or afraid.”

When I think about the upheaval in our world today, I could easily allow my heart to be troubled and myself to become afraid. In fact, if I want to experience peace in my mind and heart, it is necessary I turn my attention toward the gift that has been offered me through the awakened master from Nazareth. He reminds me to turn away from the conflict and focus on the solution that is, ‘not of this world.’

The solution is letting there be peace, not forcing or fighting, but letting there be peace on earth, and letting it begin within me. I am allowing a greater change to take place in me and in the world. I know there are those who resist change and deny the miracle before us; but the inevitability of human evolution, both spiritual and social, gives me cause to rejoice, and ability to accept that peace now.

No matter what is going on, our purpose remains the same, to be the light of the world and a powerful healing presence in every situation. As spiritually-minded people, we have faith in divine law and follow spiritual principles as we let there be peace on earth. I remember that gift of peace that was given me and seek to offer that gift to all those who need peace. To the ones who are oppressed as well as the oppressors I offer peace, to those in pain or suffering of any kind, I offer peace, to the conscious or unconscious beings on this planet, I offer peace, to all people I think of or who think of me, I offer peace. I offer you the peace of God, without reservation or qualification.

As Thomas Merton famously said, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” This is my reminder to you my friends. You are worthy. You are enough. You are magnificent, and you are a light in my life. Please remember this and know that peace is not something I am hoping to achieve in the future, it is something I am allowing to fill my consciousness and envelop my being right now. In the acceptance of the deeper, all-encompassing presence of peace, I offer it to you as well.

The Bible speaks of that peace which passes all understanding. The good news is  human understanding is not required in order to experience this peace. The only thing that is required is my acceptance; my desire for peace, my letting go of all that blocks my path, and a deep, authentic appreciation for the gift that has been bestowed on me, and now is mine to offer to the world.

Be blessed my friends, be a blessing and be in peace!

Rev. Tony Cryer

 

 

 

Message from the Minister May 2020

Global Pandemic or Global Awakening?

 

 

When I look at the world around me, I am tempted to see the chaos, the pain, the frustration, and the fear of the future that the pandemic has triggered in our global society. However, if I look a little closer and allow my awareness to focus on the natural positive response of human beings, I am filled with hope and even excitement for a future completely different from the past.
There is an immensely helpful spiritual perspective I take whenever a painful or disturbing situation arises. I always say, “this must be coming up for healing, this situation is showing me what needs to change, what needs to be healed.”

If I look at global events as a macrocosm of what needs to be healed in me, then I can begin to focus my energy on the solution and not the problem. This current situation is also showing us the depth of our compassion, our willingness to cooperate and care for one another. It is showing us our great strength and inner resolve to overcome any and all obstacles to the awareness of Love’s presence. It is showing me the ultimate need for spiritual awakening on a global scale, and perhaps even more importantly, connecting me with thousands of others who perceive the same need and are dedicated to awakening the Christ spirit within themselves as well.

The fear, the greed, the blame, anger, and the unimaginable indifference to the suffering of others is our real problem, not the virus. The coronavirus has been showing us all the places where we still harbor those negative attitudes and energies. It is showing me what I need to eliminate within myself. Let us remember the words of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who said, “If you want to awaken the entire world you must awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the pain and suffering of the world, you must eliminate all that is dark and negative within yourself. The greatest gift you can offer the world is that of your own self-transformation.”

Perhaps, for the first time in human history, we are being given an opportunity to go within, collectively, on a mass scale and envision something together, something that has yet to be realized by our species, a world that works for everyone. We are being called to awaken from the dream of separation and demonstrate to others the joy of awakening. I am convinced that from that joy will come the experience of Global transformation and awakening that we long for in our hearts.

The time is now my friends! The Global Awakening is in its beginning stages. Stay together in prayer and meditation and mindful living. Love one another in the deepest possible way, watch the Spirit take hold of each living heart and show us all the reality of God-within, and watch as the human race learns the inevitable lesson of living in love rather than fear.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing

Rev. Tony

Message form the Minister April 2020

The Power of Prayer

So often, I hear people say they believe in the power of prayer; but they don’t think it can change the outward conditions we are experiencing now. I have to remind those people; the power of prayer unleashes forces that we cannot begin to comprehend from our limited perception. Prayer, according to Charles Fillmore is, “The most highly accelerated mind action known.” Prayer is the one thing which can instantly join our minds in Truth and allow the miracle to replace any appearance of lack, limitation, illness or suffering with the healing light and love of God.

Turning to The Spirit of the living God within us, we connect to that same Spirit in our brothers and sisters. This is how we truly see the Christ in others, by joining in the light through prayer. Rather than begging or pleading for favors from an external source, we extend the spiritual energy of our mutual surrender to the Truth. We acknowledge the perfection and grace available in the field of all-possibility, and we ignite the creative energy of our higher mind to bring about a world manifest from the substance of pure love and shaped by the intelligence of divine law.

There is nothing we cannot do, nothing we cannot heal, nothing we cannot use for the holy purpose of awakening humankind. Even the present condition of a global pandemic can and will be used for a higher purpose if we let it. Our task is to train our minds to see the greater good possible in every situation and extend that vision to each and every person on the planet. This is my idea of prayer my friends, holding a vision of a world that is being manifest by divine love and governed by divine law, holding a vision of a world powerfully transformed by the growing movement of our shared spiritual awakening.

Let us not be content to view this idea as mere sentiment, or simply words written on a page, rarely read and even more rarely understood; but let us strive to make of them a reality for us individually and for all the world.

“Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind,” was the directive from Paul in the New Testament, and my suggestion is no different today. The mind of Christ can only emerge in you through a genuine experience of transformation and a renewing of your higher mind. What I call prayer can be defined as the creative expression of Christ in you. You are the light of the world in a very literal sense, and if the world is to be powerfully transformed, it will need your light!
Shine my friends… forever and always… shine!

Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister March 2020

Love is the Answer


As Spring begins its welcome approach upon the land, perhaps the new sun will begin to melt the coldness of our hearts as well. Perhaps we can make an effort to answer each circumstance and every situation with love, hope and respect. Perhaps the decision to love will make more sense than ever before, and the motivation to love unconditionally will be more apparent than ever before.
I have a dear friend whose tagline at the bottom of every email reads, “No matter what the question, love is the answer.” It seems so appropriate when the world around us is being filled with fear and judgment, division and suspicion, to be reminded that love is still our only answer. Love remains the only true power and the singular force capable of healing us and our world.
The healing power of love can be witnessed on a daily basis, if we are willing to look in love’s direction. Of course, to see with the eyes of love we must use our spiritual sight. The eyes of human judgment will not be sufficient to reveal the mind of Christ. If we are serious about thinking with the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, (Phil. 2:5) our focus must be dedicated to seeing the good in every person and God present in every situation.
When I hold certain people or circumstances apart from truth of God’s grace, I am also holding myself in that same prison of judgment. Matthew 7:2 in the NIV bible reads: “For in the same manner you judge others, you will be judged” The reason this is true is that we are going to live in the same world in which we have condemned others, for the jailer must stand watch over the ones they have imprisoned, making sure they do not escape.
However, the opposite is also true. One of the highest truths I know is that I will experience all the love I give; as I forgive I am also forgiven, what I offer to my fellow human beings is what I receive, when I accept healing for myself I simultaneously offer healing to the world. If oneness is the ultimate reality underlying all experiences in life, my focus and dedication to oneness will certainly extend the unfailing love of God within me to the world around me.
These uncertain times can be for us a turning point of faith. We can be bold in the face of all judgment and make a firm commitment to respond with unconditional love to every situation and condition of life. Remember my friends, no matter what the question, love is the answer.
Be blessed and Be a Blessing…
Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister February 2020

Reconnecting to the Truth

In Unity we like to call ourselves, “Truth students.” I particularly like to look at the study of Truth as process of adventure and discovery, rather than a destination of knowledge. When I think I have arrived at the true ways of the Spirit, there suddenly opens a wider range of understanding yet to be explored, an experience of spiritual awakening and illumination beyond my wildest dreams.

Illumination, enlightenment, awakening, transformation; these are all terms we as Truth students have found difficult to define by use of our past learning and limited understanding. That is why I prefer to be a constant, continuous student of the Truth, an open mind for God to pour into it a new dimension of understanding and the grace with which to receive it.

Perhaps the winter months become fertile ground for this type contemplation; but whatever the reason, I feel compelled these days to reconnect to the Truth in the deepest way possible. I have been extremely occupied with worldly matters these last few months and my soul longs for those extended moments of uninterrupted silence and experience of light I have come to depend on.

Nurturing the soul must become a priority in life if we are to truly live and not just exist. The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our experience. I have found that the quality of my thoughts increases exponentially when I dwell in the silence and live in the Truth.

Charles Fillmore said, “The road of Truth is the straight and narrow path along which Spirit directs, and which proves so smooth and safe that one refuses to allow oneself to be misled by habit into trusting sense perception.” (pg.200, The Revealing Word)

Considering how rough the road of sense perception can become, I have chosen to stick with the road of Truth, the road of peace and the road that always leads me home to God. To me this is the first and most important step of living a spiritual life, to reconnect with Truth and allow the flow of infinite blessings fertile soil in my heart and mind, to bring forth a new season of spiritual growth and wonder.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing
Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister January 2020

The Year of Clear Vision

 

 

Fasten your sets belts my friends. This is not only the start of a new year, but the beginning of a new decade as well. With all that is going on in our world today I am convinced more than ever in the value of spiritual awakening. We are faced with raging wildfires, raging conflicts, raging people and unprecedented manifestation of separation and fear. The solutions to all our problems are available, but we cannot use the solution if we want to keep the problem.

This year represents a crucial turning point in the evolution of Humankind. Will we act from kindness and a sense of inter-connectedness, or will we attempt to preserve our way of relating to the world through the lens of judgement, attack and defense? Will we truly choose love over fear, and generosity over greed? Can we turn the negative and divisive rhetoric into praise and acceptance of one
another? Will we be inclusive and loving or will we continue to give into the temptation of anger and hatred?

These are big questions, and not so easily answered; but we must be prepared to answer them now, individually and with a clear vision. I want to bring a clear vision into this year of what is mine to do and how I am going to do it. I am very clear that I can only receive what I am able to give, and I will only see coming to me that which I allow to flow through me. When the seeming problems of this world appear too big for me to make a difference, I set my mind on the solution. I set my mind on the unfailing, infinite presence and power of God within. I firmly believe, along with Wayne Dyer, “There is a spiritual solution to every problem.”

The task before us in this emerging decade is one of healing the differences perceived between people and confront all the challenges of this modern era with hope, faith and optimism. We can choose to see every obstacle to peace as an opportunity to love. We can see each and every brother or sister as a messenger from the spirit, and we can see joy in the world when we find it in our hearts. There is no end to all the good we can see and receive when we turn our minds to Truth and trust in the spirit of the living God within. The mission set before this new year is to welcome a clear vision of what the world can be when we all act from the reality of oneness instead of our mistaken sense of separation.

When we consider all that may be required of us a spiritual people, as healers, teachers, ministers and bringers of the light in all its forms, we may feel overwhelmed by the suffering in this world. In the new year may we find solace in this timeless spiritual advice from the sacred Jewish text, the Talmud.

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

And I might add, “Hold a clear vision in your heart and mind of the world you would like live in and ask only that it be done according divine law and manifest from the substance of pure love. That shared vision will become your reality… for what we hold in our heart becomes who we are.

Happy New Year,

Always yours in Christ Consciousness

Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister December 2019

The Birth of the Christ Consciousness

As we enter another Christmas season we are all reminded of the opportunity which faces each individual soul, acceptance of the Christ being born again in us. Living from the Christ consciousness is not as easy as some may think. It requires us to willingly abandon our littleness; it demands we pursue a rigorous honesty with ourselves, to love unconditionally and awaken from our dream of separation.
Even though the glorious reality which awaits us is sure to bring joy and happiness beyond of wildest imagination, we hesitate to take the steps necessary to find our true self. The birth of the Christ Consciousness in us seems like something completely impossible, and to our limited perception, of course it is. That reminds me however, of an old saying, “The one who says it is impossible should not interrupt the one doing it.”

If you are committed to experiencing the birth of the Christ Consciousness in you, no one and nothing will stop you. If you wish to celebrate the coming of the Christ in this manner, Unity is a perfect place for you. If you have ever had an experience of Christ as principle instead of personality then it truly is the season to celebrate.

We can celebrate our authentic experience of Christ, not merely coming to one child over two thousand years ago but coming again and again in each one of us. The advent of human beings realizing their divine nature, this is Christmas to me, and indeed worthy of celebrating. Yes, we needed, and have an example of the Christ principle being fully realized in Jesus; but we also have his teaching, “Greater things than I have done will you do.” (John 14) Those greater things are made manifest the moment we accept our role in demonstrating the Christ in us, through us and finally as us.

If you think the birth of the Christ Consciousness in us is impossible, the only thing I suggest is enjoy the season, spread good cheer, wrap your presents with love, be patient with your children and remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
“They called him Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)
Happy Awakening Beloved Friends, Merry Christmas!
Rev. Tony

Message from the Minister November 2019

The Adventure Continues

 

On November 1, 2019 my mother left her body and the physical realm to continue her adventure on the invisible side of life. Some say she is on the other side of the veil, a thin veil of perception which keeps us from awareness of the greater reality. I can honestly say it has never kept me from awareness at all. There is a wonderful quote which crossed my desk this week… “Death is nothing more than the spirit upgrading to a better means of transportation.” Rev. Anonymous

I have come to discover the truth that there is no death, we are spiritual beings, connected to all life for all eternity. The mystery that revealed this great truth to me did not come in a single flash of divine providence, but rather through many moments of miracle and revelation as well as consistent practice of spiritual principles for most of my life. I can also say without reservation, this is my experience and not merely concepts or words on a page.

The adventure of life is given to us in a way which unfolds according to our desire and decision. When we are ready for the next step, the path appears before us, not a moment sooner or a moment later, but in perfect, divine timing and divine order. If these steps are taken with grace and ease, I believe is largely up to us. How do we want our adventure to unfold? That is the direction we will set our inner compass.

I know there are those who blame the past for the way they relate to the present moment; but I endeavor to suggest we will enjoy the journey much more when we take responsibility for our experience and claim our power in co-creating our reality. Our fears melt away like dew on the morning grass as the sun begins to rise. Within us something also begins to rise, the awareness of our ultimate reality, our higher consciousness, our power and our freedom.

The transition of my mom from this earthly realm into spirit has not left me alone and troubled, but rather filled with hope and basking in the presence of pure love. I can say without hesitation, the journey has not ended for her or for our relationship. I can feel her strong hand of guidance and words of encouragement echo in my grieving soul. I see a bright and liberated spirit dancing on the winds and calmly entering the last few hardened places of my heart, softening my steps and lightening my journey. I feel the peace and the passion of living. I am renewed in the certainty that my purpose in this life is being fulfilled and by the fact mom wanted only this for me.

My mom was only concerned with my happiness and joy. She was there to see me find the Love of my life, Liliana, to find the spiritual community in which I would become pastor, and she stayed here long enough to make sure that the adventure would continue on a positive path. If you are happy the way Unity on Cape Cod is growing, if you are happy with your minister and all the things he and his wife bring to you each week, if you feel at home in this spiritual community, please take a moment to thank my mom, Mildred Cryer, for making sure I had the support needed to continue my adventure with all of you. She is one of those angels, who for a brief interval of time appeared in human form.

May our adventure continue in love, peace and joy.
Rev. Tony