My House shall be a house of prayer for All People, says the Lord God. (Isaiah 56:7)
Are you gay, lesbian, heteroflexible, bi, trans, asexual, a straight ally, gay adjacent, pansexual, or any other orientation or gender expression that is not considered "tradtional heterosexual" and someone said you aren't saved? GOD SAYS YOU ARE SAVED! Click here for the proof you are safe and secure in God.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
See our new Facebook live videos taken during our worship events by going to our Worship page by clicking in the main navigation bar or click here.
We are called to do the ridiculous while God provides the miraculous. Stop in for some "R & R" Revelation and Response and experience a real encounter with God. Pastor Benedict
This is our Baptismal Holy Water Font given in memory of John Sosadiaz, and The Candle Of Hope. Baptized into Christ we are confident to live eternally in the Community of God. Everyone is welcomed to Holy Baptism at Ray Of Hope Church.
"You are as welcome here as Christ Jesus himself."
Fr. Bartholomew J. O'Brien [born 5-30-1914 - Entered Heaven 11-7-2003].
He always displayed this welcome above his doorbell on a hand typed piece of paper. see Romans 15:7.
We are gay by God, for Christ's sake! It is all God's fault. God started this rainbow parade, God is leading it, and God will bring it all to completion. June 28, 2018 Stonewall 49 ~ Br. Shawn Benedict, Pastor
Updated 4-4-20 4:08 p.m. HOLY WEEK 2020 all ON LINE. We are celebrating every worship service of Holy Week. Thank God for our years of experience with live and interactive worship services on line as this will be the only way we will present our services this year. To see the schedule for signing on for each of the Holy Week services CLICK HERE.
Together we continue to pray for a resolution to this health crisis here and all over the world. We hope you will rely on the real and true presence of God, in Christ, and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit during these difficult times. On Sunday, March 29, 2020 we had very encouraging readings during worship. Here are four verses from our second reading you will find very strengthening. Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:9, 10, 11 9 "But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, God who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through God's Spirit that dwells in you." With these verses we have the assurance that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are in us and that we are secure with the real presence of God with us and in us. We are secure today, tomorrow, and forever as Christ assures us we are eternally and intimately united to God in the love of God. COVID-19 continues to unsettle every country in the world. Scientists and medical professionals all need our prayers and support as do their families. We extend our prayers and encouragement to the families of those who have died after being sick with this virus. We extend our prayers for many people who are passing and are alone when they die due to the exposure preventative policies at many institutions. As persons who are sick begin to realize they are indeed dying we pray they would be truly aware of the presence of God and know they are not alone. We also pray that knowing God is with them will help them not be overcome with fear. We hear of family members not being at the bedside of relatives as they are promoted to Paradise. We hope families in grieving will rely on God's presence with them. We can also be encouraging to employers who are in the very difficult position of deciding what to do with the employment of those who depend on them for work. We can also be encouraging to those who have lost their employment during these very trying times. God is with us, there is no doubt about that, the challenge may be how well we are able to be with each other and support each other. Ray Of Hope Church has been comfortable with on line platforms for years. We are here for you and anyone who needs a spiritual community at this time. Invite your friends and relatives to join us on line as we continue our services in this safe format of the Skype platform. Another idea while we are staying indoors during this COVID-19 prevention plan is to visit our scrolling prayers page. Many people think they do not know how to pray other then asking prayers. Here, with our web site anyone can learn to pray in five seconds and enjoy hours of guided prayer, meditation, and actively praising God.
+ Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is Christ-centered in all of its teachings, and therefore does not ascribe to the dogmas, teachings, or practices of any denomination, or para-church organization of the Christian Church. Rather, we maintain an autonomous freedom to draw from the two millennia of immense riches known in all denominations of Christianity. Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is an "independent" local Church. This does not mean we stand alone, as though on pride or arrogance, rather we seek to share an interdependence with other assemblies and fellowships of believers who endeavor equally as hard as we do to bring the Gospel to all people.
(Ray Of Hope Church Statement Of Faith)
All content on the Ray Of Hope Church, Inc. web site is written for intelligent and interested nonspecialists. Academic and professional specialists are invited to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to visit our St. Benedict of Nursia Memorial Library where all of the material on this web site is sourced. Our library currrenty has over 6,000 holdings.
Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. is the name of this ministry. The only name associated with this ministry is the "Name above all names." (see Philippians 2:8-11)
8 Jesus humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
9 Because of this, God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him
the Name above every other name,
10 So that at the name of Jesus
every knee must bend,
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth,
11 and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God:
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.
(based upon the New American Bible - divine office version - 1970 with inclusive language added.)
Saint Matthew Shepard, pray for us.
(born. 12/1/1976 - Entered Heaven 10/12/1998)
Martyr of the Christian Faith - Episcopalian -
victim of hatred of young gay men.
Saint Harvey Milk,
pray for us.
(born 5/22/1930 - Entered Heaven 11/27/1978)
Martyr of God, Jewish, giving his life for liberty and justice for all.
Saint Brandon Teena,
pray for us.
(born 12/12/1972 - Entered Heaven
12/31/1993) Martyr - former Roman Catholic - victim of hatred for transgender people.
Join us this evening, Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. for our Bible Enrichment Session on line using Skype or Facebook Live. Tonight will also be our first Facebook Live from our Ray Of Hope Facebook page. The Host will be Ken Ryan. Ken will monitor and facilitate the Facebook web cast. You may still join us on line using Skype. Please sign on to Skype between 6:00 - 6:25 p.m. - We will run both the Skype and Facebook live at the same time. You may start the study with us anytime, do come. We will look at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and if time permits, the Names and Offices of Christ. This is the Bible Study for the LGBTQISA++ COMMUNITY. It is our Holy Book. God's Word is intended to bless us and help us celebrate who we are. For more information Click Here.
Nathan Greene's masterpiece, titled "The Blessed Hope." It beautifully "captures the emotion and joy of the moment when Christ returns to redeem his children from all walks of life and take them home to heaven. To order copies directly from the artist, Nathan Greene, click here.
Listen to the GIVE THEM HOPE speech by Harvey Milk CLICK HERE
Read an essay on who we are as the Church of Jesus Christ that was written by Pastor Benedict in 2017. Click Here.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
Ray Of Hope
Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
is the original Church in Central New York for
ALL People, including but not limited to
persons who are or might be:
Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Asexual, Pansexual, Heteroflexible.
Anyone who is human!
Married, divorced, remarried, single,
and persons of all gender expressions.
Persons of any faith / religion or
no faith, no religion, or have no idea where to start with
A spiritual home for those
who are "spiritual but not religious."
WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL Y
OU IS WE ARE
the Church by us, for us, 4 U!
The Church made by you
we ARE you!
Ray Of Hope Church was founded in 1983
and is serving Syracuse, Ithaca and Elmira New York.
We are in fact serving the world with live interactive worship
Bible enrichment sessions, and meetings
through SKYPE on the Internet.
WE ARE YOU!
We never held a vote to decide if we would be an INCLUSIVE church
WE ARE YOU!
We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church
WE ARE YOU!
We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or
RECONCILING CONGREGATION for
WE ARE YOU!
We are not an OPEN MINDED or ACCEPTING or WELCOMING
church where you can attend as long as
you blend in quietly and discretely.
God doesn't condemn LGBTQIS+ persons, only churches do that! The Bible does not condemn us, only churches do that! Christ doesn't condemn us, churches do that. There is a difference, unfortunately. Rev. Br. Shawn Benedict, 3/9/2019.
".....I know that justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967.
We are a church not because of what we do, but simply because we are here together. ~Br. Benedict
Christ died for everyone so that today, in 2019 we who live might no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us and was raised from the dead by God. This resurrection conquered the power of death forever. Now we no longer live to ourselves, nor do we die to ourselves. "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." In fact "Christ is the Lord of both the living and the dead." We are under the authority of the Love of Christ. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God made known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour.(see 2 Cor. 5:14,15; Romans 1:4; 14:7-9; 8:39)
Easter Sunday night, April 21, 2019. The chapel was nice and quiet and decorated to proclaim Christ risen and gloriously triumphant forever.
Visit our NEW Ray Of Hope Church Pride Pages Portal. CLICK HERE.
The passing of Nora Jane Mc Dermott, a Foundress of the Elmira Chapel of Ray Of Hope Church. Jane was born March 12, 1937. She was promoted to Glory and passed into Paradise October 1, 2019. Visit our page dedicated to Jane where you can read the entire Obituary, see a video of the Graveside Service, see a video of the placing of her ashes into her mother's grave, and see a video of the entire Praise and Thanksgiving Worship Service held on October 11, 2019. You may also print a copy of the entire worship bulletin of her service. CLICK HERE.
Jane's Page updated
Each Sunday we read from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt official list of Names during our worship service. To learn about this 49,000 (2016 ) paneled wonder and icon, click here.
Our soul is waiting for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.
Our hearts find joy in the Lord. We trust in God's holy Name.
May your love, be upon us, O LORD, as we place all our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22
Dear Friends and Members of Ray Of Hope Church,
Charlotte J. Allen was promoted to Glory and passed into Paradise the morning of December 23, 2019 around 5:00 AM at home with Cheryl at her side. We are so thankful that Charlotte shared the last five years of her life in our worship community. She taught us so much about love and acceptance and being family all together. We will certainly miss Charlotte. We are greatly comforted in knowing how much Charlotte loved the Blessed Sacrament and would do just about anything to be able to attend Sunday worship with us. Charlotte loves (yes that is in the present tense) Ray Of Hope Church and she was often heard saying she wanted more people to attend worship with us. Charlotte will be one of our strongest prayer warriors for sure.
The Service Of The Resurrection was celebrated Friday night, December 27, 2019. You may watch the full service Click Here. You may also read the full program. Click Here.
Please remember Charlotte's family in your prayers. Remember to give God thanks and praise for the time we have had with Charlotte these last five years.
Come to our movie, munchie, and mingle meeting LGBTQISA++ Social Group .... Update. The group meetings will be suspended until the ban on group meetings is lifted in New York State. To read the text of the message sent to group participants Click Here.
Do you remember when in June, 2015 then President Obama signed a Proclamation LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2015? The words he expressed in that document are timeless. Be inspired and read them again: CLICK HERE.
All we can do is do our best and bless the rest! Pastor Benedict 10-30-19
All things are yours (you, the person reading this, the believer). . . the world, life, death, the present or the future. All of them belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:22b-23)
On Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 we participated in the all city Ash Wednesday Service presented by the Elmira Area Clergy. Eight local churches came together for this event. To view the service, meditate, and pray along with those who attended CLICK HERE.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, always praise the Lord, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in times of plenty and times of want, and with births and deaths. He is Lord of the living and the dead. (Colossians 3:17, Romans 14:9)
The civil rights leader and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. aide, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery has been promoted to Paradise at the age of 98. One famous expression of his: "We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right," Lowery prayed at President Barack Obama's inaugural benediction in 2009. To read more about Rev. Lowery Click Here. To hear the prayer he prayed at President Obama's Click Here. Read more on our Black History page 2, just Click Here. (3-28-20 11:24 a.m.)
See in this picture our live Skype session during a Bible Enrichment on a Tuesday night. This is one way to practice social distancing and still worship with fellow believers. It is easy to participate in all of our worship events using Skype. Skype is free and works on any device Apple or PC or Android Phones, etc. For easy instructions on how to participate in all of our activities using Skype Click Here.
Where did the Coronavirus-2019 come from? How was it named? What do the letters in the name stand for? Is this something that just happened or has the World Health Organization known about this for long time? The answers to these questions are here on the World Health Organization's web site. It leaves one wondering why our Government was so late to the Scientific response. Click Here:Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it
World Health Organization Director General MEDIA BRIEFING on COVID-19 April 3, 2020 experts panel presentation. CLICK HERE.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
DID YOU LOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?? DO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? NEW YORK IS READY FOR YOU. NY State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services Announce Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers, as Novel Coronavirus Cases Climb: Click Here.
Here is a picture to brighten you up. This is Aubree Lucas, daughter of Stephen Lucas, a dear friend of our Congregation. This is a beautiful moment as she prepares The Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation for her entire family as they share worship at home together. May God increase the understanding of the Blessed Sacrament for all of the members of this very good and holy family. May God richly reward the parents of these lovely children with grace where they need it the most.
Black Lives Matter held a protest in the City of Elmira on Friday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. Ray Of Hope Church was represented by our banner, carried by Ken Ryan and by Br. Benedict. We walked along with other clergy from Elmira. You can see our banner in the parade at -12:21. Here is a link to see the demonstration: Click Here.
Screen shot of banner from video. You can see our banner in the parade at -12:21 in the video at the link above.
Our banner was made by Steve Fox and Lisa Frost.
To read about the 1033 Program and the militarization of local police departments Click Here.
Join us for worship Sunday August 9, 2020. Ray Of Hope Church is the church made for you, and by you because we ARE YOU! Persons of all sexual orientations and all gender expressions are present in our congregation. There is a place for you too. We celebrate the truth that the LGBTQIAS2ss+ community is included in all of the promises of salvation to all. God has created, blessed, ordained and set into motion all sexual orientations and gender expressions. It is up to us to own, live and celebrate these wonderful gifts of God. Consider joining us for worship this Sunday August 9 at 10:30 a.m. To Read the bulletin for Sunday August 9: Right Click Here. MUSIC RESOURCES Right Click Here. To read our order of worship Right Click Here.
On Sunday June 21, 2020 Christina Benedict married Ian McLaughlin. Christina is now Mrs. McLaughlin. Pastor Arthur Reed of the United Baptist Church officiated the Service of the Word and I officiated the Service of Holy Communion. Every aspect of the day was absolutely beautiful. Christina, Ian, Ken, and I couldn't possibly be any happier and at peace. Christina and Ian met at World Communion Sunday October 6, 2019. Ken and I actually watched Ian walk across the church to meet Christina. They have been together since that very moment. Jane was buried the next day, Monday October 7 and Ian was kind enough to drive Christina to the cemetary and wait during the service. After the service I went right over to him and invited them to the Monastery for our first visit. They stayed for about two hours. In all, everyone knew we were all blessed to be starting a new family that would be together for a long time and many years. Ken and I frequently visit Christina and Ian at their home for meals and social time and of course prayer. Christina comes to the Monastery many times each week. So, yesterday was the next chapter in God's plan for all of us. I also want to tell you that every person, including the photographers (husband and wife expecting their first child) received The Blessed Sacrament during the wedding yesterday. Before the service everyone was sharing their stories about their past "church" experiences. The majority of the attendees had been or were currently Roman Catholic and there were some other traditions present. I showed everyone that each piece of bread had been individually placed in a sealed snack bag and each cup of grape juice had been pre-poured and sealed with plastic wrap with respect for our infection prevention plans that are in place. Everyone took that as their cue to discuss their various faiths. When the time came during the wedding it was so moving to see every person receive the Cup of Salvation and the Bread of Life. This is why Ray Of Hope Church exists to bring salvation and healing to everyone. Please join us in giving God thanks and praise for this wonderful series of miracles God is doing in our lives. ~ Br. Benedict
The program for the marriage of Christina and Ian McLaughlin. June 21, 2020 11:00 a.m.
Mr. McLaughlin walks Christina down the aisle.
Everyone listens to Christina making her final vows.
Everyone listens to Ian making his final vows.
Mrs. McLaughlin makes the table look beautiful.
NPR On Point does an interview with author Anna Feignenbaum who wrote the book Tear Gas From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today. Tear Gas is banned in warfare when on the offensive, but it is regularly used by law enforcement to move crowds during protests. Listen to this interview and see what you think is consistent with our Statement Of Purpose. To hear the interview and read the NPR article Click Here.
17Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17,18) (Verse 18 is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.)
To read the text of this historical speech CLICK HERE.
July 4 is the anniversary date of the July 4, 1966 signing into Law of the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into Law. This law "requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request." (Wikipedia. To continue this article Click Here.)
A Massachusetts City Decides to Recognize Polyamorous Relationships
The city of Somerville has broadened the definition of domestic partnership to include relationships between three or more adults, expanding access to health care. To read the full article and other articles on polyamory visit our Pride Pages. Click Here.
Thoughts from the Pastor of Ray Of Hope Church:Remember, there is one race on this planet,
the Human Race.There is one creation on
this planet, God's creation; an ongoing and ever increasing act of love.All people are equally and fully part of God's
creation.God does not show, design, or
imply any priority of one ethnicity or social status over any other. (Romans
2:11; Acts 10:34,35)In fact, we are
known to be "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16), "children of
God," in fact being "born of God." (John 1:13)There is, in fact, one God, Originator of all, "who is above all, and
through all, and in all." (Ephesians 4:6)Poetically, Scripture says God "fills all in all" and Christ is "all in
all" in these citations: Ephesians 1:23; 1Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 3:11.
This equality in God is realized and put into action in a
healthy society.As a Christian Church
we are called to openly live these principles by Scripture verses such as this
one: "Whatever you do in word or in deed,
do everythingin the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God through Christ." (Colossians 3:17)These verses taken together, and many other
verses in Scripture, are reflected in our social goal of "liberty and justice
for all" that we pledge as citizens of these United States of America.These Scripture verses are not chosen as if
they are proof texts to support the social goals of "liberty and justice for
all."Rather, these social goals reflect
the original truth of God revealed in Scripture that we are all equal and loved.
Therefore, it is with ease, with conviction, and without
any internal question that we, the Members and Friends of Ray Of Hope Church Of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. promote all of these principles and work for their
exercise within our society.We try to
provide tools for this work here in our web site.Visitors to our web site are invited to
examine the pages linked on the menus across the top and down the left side of
every page to find news and tools on the subject of "liberty and justice for
all."In these particular times visitors
are especially encouraged to visit our Pride pages and our two Black History
pages where current information is being added almost daily.Thank you for visiting our web site.May the presence of God be obvious to
you.May you experience the blessing of
God. Rev. Shawn F. Benedict.July 7, 2020.
* Message from Pastor Benedict: Scroll Window→
COVID-19 Update July 7, 2020 5:15 p.m. from Br. Benedict, Pastor. The Chapel is closed until further notice to the general public. Unfortunately, there has been a serious uptick in new cases and deaths due to COVID-19 on a national level. Also, there are new questions that the coronavirus may in fact be able to survive airborne for longer periods than originally thought and in smaller droplets called aerosols, or droplets smaller than 5 microns. There may be a very significant increase in opportunity to be infected in an indoor space that does not have professional ventilation, such as our chapel. To read further about this new information read this article from the New York Times: "239 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne." Click Here. Our Sunday worship, Tuesday Bible Enrichment, and all meetings will be available on Skype so we can continue our ministry and worship. For more information on how to view on Skype Click Here. Please continue to pray for our Scientists and world leaders that they will listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and resolve this unfortunate time and crisis. God bless you and your family.
We received a call from the field representative of the Job Corps. program for our area. This program is perfect for so many people we know who have lost their connection to the education and labor path of transition from youth to adulthood. Check out this non-religious program where persons of all sexual orientations and gender expressions may receive an equal opportunity to finish high school if need be, and then receive professional career training in trades and skills. This is a residential program completely paid for by our Federal and State Government. Do you know someone who would benefit from this? I do! I plan to introduce some people I know to this program. Click through the links (graphics) below and see how rich this program is. ~ Br. Benedict 7-10-20
Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 to 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. The Job Corps program is authorized by Title I-C of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (supersedes WIA 1998). For more information about the Job Corps program at a national level, please visit our Official Public Web Site.
OUR CENTER'S MISSION
At Oneonta Job Corps Center, we support the Job Corps program's mission to teach eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent and place them in meaningful jobs or further education.
To read a great tribute article and see a short film tribute to Congressman John Lewis in the Washington Post Click Here.
Like and follow our Facebook page to be informed of future events. To go to our Facebook page Click Here.