to Ray of Hope
Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Southern Tier Extension Chapel Page
December 6, 2016
We own our property at 380 W. First Street in Elmira, NY 14901
We are the Church in the Southern Tier where everyone is welcome, including
persons of all social classes, any kind of family, all races, sexual
orientations, and gender expressions.
God welcomes you and so do we.
We never held a vote to decide if we would be an INCLUSIVE
church for you.
We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING
church for you.
We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or
RECONCILINGCONGREGATION for you.
We are not an OPEN MINDED or ACCEPTING
church where you can attend
as long as you blend in quietly and discretely.
THIS is the church where YOU belong.
Ray Of Hope Church is the church
by us, for us, and made
33 YEARS OF MINISTRY IN CENTRAL NEW YORK
opened our Chapel on June 1, 2003.This
was the first Sunday of Pride Month in 2003.This is a picture of the front of the building in 2003.
2014 we received a very generous gift and were able to make the monastery and
chapel accessible to persons of all abilities.Here is what the front of the building looks like today with the porch
and wheelchair elevator, and two new sets of cement staircases on the front of
both of these recent pictures (June, 2016) one of the five straight women who
started the Southern Tier Extension in 1996, Jane Mc Dermott, is seen in her
wheelchair on the new accessible porch.Jane
is 79 years old and still very proud to be a Member of Ray Of Hope Church and
one of the foundresses of the Southern Tier Extension.Pictured with Jane are two of her Personal
Assistants – Philip and Logan who worked with her in the Spring of 2016.Logan Wenzel is also the professional
Computer Science major who reformatted our previous version of the web site
into the platform we are using now.
these two pictures taken in May of 2016 the special outdoor elevator is easily
you come into the building, use the small door to the far right, seen here.
380 W. First St. in Elmira is the Parsonage/Rectory/Monastery of the Southern
We have a beautiful chapel at the Monastery open to the public for private
prayer seven days a week.
is what the chapel looked like in 2003 when we first opened.
of the most beautiful and most memorable features of the chapel is the original
painting on the floor of the circular rainbow and the Jerusalem Cross forming a
medallion in the center of the room.This original painting was designed and painted by Pamela Wenck.Pam practiced drawing the artwork and
discovering all the mathematical formulas in the Jerusalem Cross.Her design is flawless.We are forever grateful to Pam for her
outstanding artwork in this chapel.
2015 the chapel changes with every season of the Church Year.
picture is from Holy Week, 2015
Everyone is welcome to come in and spend time praying in the chapel of the
Monastery. There are booklets near the front entrance to help you with your
prayer and meditation. You are welcome to bring a book or your Bible and sit
and read and pray in the chapel. When the door is unlocked you may come in.
One reason we keep silence in the chapel is Jesus Christ is especially present
in the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion reserved for
prayer inside the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is in the front left corner of the
chapel under the picture of Jesus and the open Bible. The Tabernacle can be
seen twenty-four hours a day from the street through our beautiful large windows
across the front of the parsonage. Often times people who are passing by stop,
face the Tabernacle, make the sign of the cross, or stand and close their eyes
and pray. It is very moving to see people take a moment out of their day to
acknowledge Christ present in our lives and in our world.
is a picture of what the Tabernacle area looked like in 2003.
are some pictures of the Tabernacle area today.Please come in and use the kneelers and offer your prayers.
is Christmas 2014
the beautiful pulpit in this picture.This is the original pulpit from the original St. Mary’s Church in
Horseheads, NY when it was on lower Broad Street.We received this gift in 2014.It was given to us by Lisa Frost.Lisa had dedicated the pulpit in thanksgiving
and in memory of her parents, Martha and Burton Cummings, and in honor of Aja
Lee Merritt who passed away on April 20, 2015 at the age of 23.Aja is the cousin of Crystal Nye who is a
Personal Assistant here with Jane at the monastery and a good friend of our
is Advent, Week I in 2014
picture was taken 6-24-16.We should
also tell you these kneelers were from the former Dominican Monastery in
Elmira, NY.The Sisters who lived there
prayed two women at a time 24 hours a day for the 40 years they were in Elmira
on these very kneelers.These are the
kneelers that were used for perpetual adoration of Jesus truly present in the
Most Holy Blessed Sacrament, the Bread Of Life and the Cup Of Salvation.We are very honored to have these kneelers
and to be reminded of the years of service and devotion they represent.You can feel in the top pads where these
women pressed their elbows and in the bottom pads where their knees pressed
into the foam as they prayed for all of us all those years.
The Tabernacle is marked by the "PX" symbol. The "PX"
symbol is a monogram of the Holy Name of Christ which is spelled xpistos in
Greek, the original language of the Christian Testament.
(spelled here with English letters that sound like the Greek letters).
picture is from 2003
A red candle burns nearthe Tabernacle,
mounted to the wall, twenty-four hours a day to remind us of the constant
presence of Christ
who promised to be with us always, even to the end of the age.
picture is also from 2003
is what the Tabernacle Light of Presence looks like in 2015
2015 Christina Benedict purchased a print of a modern sculpture dating from
1980 by Claude Gruer, depicting Christ giving the first Eucharist.The original sculpture is on the Main Altar in
Saint-Samson cathedral, Brittany, France.Christina dedicated this print in memory of her Mother, Eva May Mills
who passed away this year.Sometimes
during the year you will see this print in the Tabernacle area.
The Bible is also on display at all times and lit with a light. The Bible can
be clearly seen from the street. We display the Bible as our witness that we
believe the Word Of God is one of God's greatest gifts to all people. It is
only through the reading and meditation on Sacred Scriptures that we can be set
free from the myths and lies of racism, sexism, homophobia, gender bias,
ageism, misogny (silent prejudice against women), anti-Semitism, and all forms
of oppression. We love the Word Of God. Contrary to popular opinion the Bible
does not condemn us, but it does set us free from denominational dogmas of
those persons who do condemn us.
When you enter the chapel at the Parsonage you will see an artistic carving
reminding us that Jesus was resurrected by God and is seated now at God's right
hand making intercession for us. Jesus is now serving the Church as our one and
only High Priest, the Chief Shepherd Of Souls. The carving shows him ascending
to Paradise, but the Cross and the palms are right behind Him reminding us that
our victory and our own resurrections are made possible only by the
Jesus endured for us.
The resurrection cross is standing above the holy water font. In this dish is
kept holy water (water set apart) to remind us of our baptism. Some people like
to touch their fingers into the water and make the sign of the cross to
reaffirm their own baptismal promises to be faithful to God until we are all
safely in God's Kingdom.
A lamp is often seen at night in our window. It lights up the street in front
of the Parsonage. It reminds us to keep our hearts watching and waiting for the
return of Christ for His Church. Notice the beautiful rainbow cross colored
glass art piece made for us. It often reflects a beautiful rainbow on the wall
behind the cross.
here in 2003
is what the exit door looks like today, 6-24-16
the rainbow cross is the medal of St. Benedict, front and back.Just over the light switch is print of the
painting “Lamb of God” by Nathan Greene.What is so noticeable in this painting is Jesus is holding a black
sheep.The black sheep is an image
LGBTQIS persons are often familiar with.Here we see Jesus loving the black sheep.This print was given to the church by Larry