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 38 years. October 31, 2021 - 38th Anniversary now in our 39th year in Ministry.
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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.
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
+ 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.
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.
Listen to the GIVE THEM HOPE speech by Harvey Milk CLICK HERE
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
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.
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.
All we can do is do our best and bless the rest!  Pastor Benedict 10-30-19
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.
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 !
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!
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, now known as Kaiden Benedict, 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.
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.)

Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY 14901 participated in the Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial church bell ringing for the 400, 000 + persons who have died of this Pandemic.  As you play this video, remember the lives lost and pray for those who are sick now.  Also, pray for our Scientists to figure out how to best apply the Science of Medicine to stopping this disease.  Play this video and do pray.  Right Click Here.
Left to right, Pastors: H. Strickland United Methodist Church, R. Behrens Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, J. Scott-Jones The Episcopal Church USA , B. Benedict Ray Of Hope. 
and Ray Of Hope Church Member K. Benedict with banner at the Black Lives Matter held a protest in the City of Elmira on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
Chapel Ash Wednesday, 2-17-21
The altar cloth is a gift from Trinity Episcopal Church.

Kaiden Rae Benedict (formerly Kenneth Richard Ryan) is carrying the cross.  Michele Sanford carried the incense at our all-City Ash Wednesday Service.  See the all-City Ash Wednesday ecumenical worship service recording: Right Click Here.
Praying during the Ash Wednesday virtual service.  Kaiden receives ashes during the Ash Wednesday service.  Pastor Benedict leads part of the Eucharistic Prayer during Ash Wednesday ecumenical Service.
Musical  Flowers in our Monastery garden.
LGBTQSIA 2ss+ and millions of other people often secretly wonder every "Easter" how to get three days and three nights of Jesus in the grave from "Good Friday" at 3:00 p.m. to Sunday morning sunrise service.  This question is exacerbated when we go from Friday 3:00 p.m. to the "Easter Vigil" which is celebrated at sunset on Saturday.  There is no way to get from 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon to Saturday night at 7:45 p.m. and call it three days and three nights when Jesus was in the grave.  Just ask the people who are responsible to change ALL of the church decorations from a stark and empty church on Friday afternoon to one that is full of white, gold, yellow cloth with hundreds of flowers, freshwater for baptisms, taper candles with wax catchers all placed, an "easter fire" ready with wood stacked outside, and so much more if they had THREE DAYS to get ready from Friday night to Saturday night!  Twenty-four hours is NOT three days and three nights.

Is there an explanation for this?  Yes.  Was Jesus really crucified on Friday?  This is very unlikely.  There was a Sabbath in the equation so it had to be Friday didn't it?  There were two Sabbaths and that is what causes the confusion.
Come to Bible Enrichment tonight, April 27, 2021, to hear an explanation for this confusion.  It will help you be able to explain the obvious when someone else looks you in the face and says they can't believe the "easter story" because even "the three days thing" is off. 

We will discuss the difference between a historical account and a celebration of that account.
Join us interactively on Skype: https://join.skype.com/q4QyQ4G4Risu   You do not need a Skype account to use the Skype meeting. Or, watch the session on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/       The materials for the session will be on our website at about 6:00 p.m. @ http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/BibleEnrichment.htm The session will run from 6:30 to 8:00 tonight
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Welcome to our Photos Page.  Here you will see Ray Of Hope Church in action pictures.
Pastor Benedict and Kaiden at the Reclaim Pride Queer Liberation March, June 27, 2021.
Cheryl Allen joined Ray Of Hope Church on Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2016.
April, Steve, Charlotte, and Cheryl Palm Sunday, 2016.
Ian, Christina, Veronica, Brother, Kaiden, Whitney and Lisa, during Eucharistic Prayers, Advent 2020.
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Ian, Christina, Lisa, Brother, Kaiden, Whitney and Veronica, during Eucharistic Prayers, Advent 2020.
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Veronica, Brother, Kaiden, Ian, Christina, Lisa, Cheryl, and Lisa, during Eucharistic Prayers, Advent 2020.
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Praying the Words Of Institution for the Cup we see here Veronica, Kaiden, Brother, Lisa, Cheryl, and Whitney. Sunday January 24, 2021.