Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The LGBTQIS Pride Activities, and Social Events Center of Elmira NY
The only Church in Central New York founded and fostered by the GLBTQIS community for 37 years. October 31, 2019 - 36th Anniversary in our 37th year in Ministry.
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Artist: Richard Hook
"Head Of Christ"
Site updated
5/28/20
6:51 p.m.
Announcing the formation of a PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE for 2018. For more information click here.





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.
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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. 
PRAYER   IN   MOTION   CLICK HERE
The Palm Sunday bulletin had wonderful Scripture readings in it.  To read and pray the Sunday bulletin Click Here.

+ 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 rayofhopechurch@aol.com 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 tonight, Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. for our Bible Enrichment Session on line using Skype.  Please sign on to Skype between 6:00 - 6:25 p.m. -  You may start the study with us anytime, do come. 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,

Transgender,

Questioning,

Intersex, Queer,

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 religion.

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 because

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 services,

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 for you.

WE  ARE  YOU!

We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church for you.

WE  ARE  YOU!

We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or

RECONCILING  CONGREGATION for you.

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.

WE  ARE  YOU!

THIS is the church where YOU belong.

Ray Of Hope Church is the church

by us, for us, and made by You.

  * Scroll Window
To have firm principles with flexible application will provide opportunity for growth and evolution.
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.
Jesus protected women.
Empowered women.
Honored women publicaly.
Released the voice of women.
Confided in women.
Celebrated women by name.
Learned from women.
Respected women.
And spoke of women as
Examples to follow.
Our Turn.

Check out this great web site
Jesus Women
Click here.

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
12/6/19
1:30 PM
Photo taken on 11-15-19 showing our new front doors.
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.
Christ's peace,
Br. Benedict, Pastor
to Read the full obituary Click Here.

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.
Holy Week 2020  was all live and on line through Skype and Facebook live.  To see all of the services recorded you will be redirected to our worship video index, just Right 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.
This Sunday, May 31 we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit descended as a gift to each person so that we are can be formed into the church, the Body of Christ.  The fullness of the Holy Spirit is a gift that is available to anyone who asks.  This Sunday, May 31, we can pray for this gift for each and every person.  Yes, the LGBTQIAS2ss+ community is included in all of these promises.  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 Morning May 31 on Skype for worship at 10:30 a.m.   To read the current bulletin with this week's announcements Right Click Here.  For more information on how to participate, Right Click Here.
COVID-19 Update May 20, 2020.  The Council of Ray Of Hope Church agreed to allow up to ten persons to attend events in our chapel with the following conditions: 1) Masks must be worn, unless you are standing at a station for presentation and speaking (Altar/Communion Table, Podium, etc. and are six feet away from all others in the room).  2) Gloves will be worn at all times.  We will provide the gloves.  3) Holy Communion will be prepared individually before the public attends.  Small glasses will be filled and covered with plastic wrap and one wafer will be enclosed in a paper napkin for each recipient.  These will be prepared by a gloved worker.  4) Attendees at Bible Enrichment will wear mask and gloves and sit in chairs six feet apart.  Realistically speaking it will be easier to limit our chapel use to eight persons.  The chairs have been turned around to facilitate proper social distancing.  We will also keep a record of who is in attendance on what dates in case we are asked for contact tracing at a later time.  We still encourage all those who can use Skype to attend our events to do so.  Skype allows the participants to stay at home which is the best way to shelter in place and still participate in worship and other events.  Today, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that religious gatherings of up to 10 people can take place in New York State if attendees practice proper social distancing.  (Source New York Times, Click Here)  For more information on how to view on Skype Click Here.
Pastor Benedict
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.
       We Are Family !
We Are Family !
Ray Of Hope Church
of the LGBTQIAS2ss+ people
of Central NY State.
www.rayofhopechurch.com
The church by YOU and for You.
We ARE you!
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, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, Pansexual, Hetero-flexible.  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 religion and spirituality.  We are a spiritual home for those who are "spiritual but not religious."  WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU 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 serving the world with live interactive worship services, 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 for you. WE  ARE  YOU!  We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church for you. WE  ARE  YOU!  We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or RECONCILING  CONGREGATION for you. 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.  WE  ARE  YOU!  THIS is the church where YOU belong.  Ray Of Hope Church is the church by us, for us, and made by You.


To view our Mother's Day / Foundresses Day service we conducted on May 10, 2020 you will be redirected to our worship video index Right Click Here.

Monday was the nation's 155th Memorial Day. The holiday was first observed in Waterloo, NY in 1866. Let's always remember to take a moment to remember our fallen servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms and our security.