Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. Now in our 34th Year of Ministry.
  |  Home  |  About  |  Faith  |  Purpose  |  Sexuality  |  Location  |  Worship  |  Contact  |  Resources  |  Staff  |  Ministry  | Organization
Worship is our primary activity as a church.  There is an old standard in the church, lex orandi, lex credendi which means that "the law of prayer is the law of faith" or "that which we pray is that which we believe." Our prayer, our worship is the key to understanding what God has revealed for us to accept as true.  Our congregation offers the leadership, organization, presentation of worship experiences, and the physical building space for worship and education in spirituality as our primary service to the general public.  All are welcome to avail themselves to our services of worship.  As always, you are welcome to call the Pastor anytime with your questions about worship @ 607-280-0374.
As Christians we celebrated Hanukkah beginning 12/25/16 through1/1/17.
Why would a Christian church celebrate Hanukkah, isn't that Jewish?
Read More by clicking here.
Page updated

Lent is one of the seasons in the Church year.  The Church year is a path through the calendar year that leads us through important themes in the life of Christ to help us better understand all the questions of life, death, and new life eternal.  Lent is a 40 day period of time that leads up to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday, at the end of Holy Week.  Lent, therefore, includes the start of ďHoly WeekĒ beginning on Palm Sunday, April 9, in 2017.  Holy Week is considered the highlight of the entire church year because it ends with the celebration of God having raised Jesus from the dead.  God raised Jesus from the dead in part to assure us that we too shall be raised in exactly the same manner as Jesus was. On a day God will decide, God will authorize the day and the hour and Jesus will bring all the souls and spirits of those who will be with Him in Paradise to the Earth, cause our souls and spirits to reunite with our bodies, and call us out of our graves by the authority that has now been given to Him to do so.  We will have completely new and perfect bodies, totally sin free and restored persons (spirit / psyche) and a renewed soul, a trinity of unity of person alive forever, the Resurrection Body.  We begin the fifty day celebration of these events and facts on Resurrection Sunday, commonly called Easter Sunday in society.  This fifty day celebration then leads up to Pentecost Sunday.  Pentecost Sunday celebrates the day the Holy Spirit began a new ministry on Earth, one that steers the Church to this very day.


Lent provides us with a 40 day period of time to prepare for the great celebration of Godís victory over death for all of us.  How should we contemplate such huge God things, Divine things, Loving realities as these I just described?  It is overwhelming for sure, as it should be.  No human being is capable of making these types of things happen.  This is the beauty of the Divine God present with us as we move along the Holy plan and Will of God for all of creation.  It is obvious to me that each of us need to truly let go of all sense of controlling our place in Godís plan and simply allow ourselves to freely move and flow along the current of Godís great river of life.  This is similar to the experience of those who like to go white water rafting.  Stop for a moment and imagine the experience and then realize the water is Godís path into the universal holy Will of God.  Through our surrender we allow the Holy Spirit to be the raft and to supply the oars as we enjoy all the movements, the ups and downs, the curves, and straights of the flowing waters of Godís Will.  What a ride awaits us.


One appropriate response to all of this is gratitude and humble thanksgiving that God has included each of us in this incredible plan of ultimate love and new life.  We can express this gratitude in prayer of course.  We can also put our gratitude into actions that are positive, affirming, open, compassionate, and empathetic when we encounter others in our day to day experiences.  We can look for the most positive aspects of each situation and of every person we encounter.  We can emphasize the good and God presence in all things so that shining holy light on the God presence in all things simply will overshadow the faults, the fears, the pretenses and false starts and failures of life.  We can put into our daily agenda the goals of the Ray Of Hope Statement Of Purpose with its universal and all encompassing Gospel principles.  We can spend a few minutes each day with the Holy Scriptures.  If in no other way, to spend the week re-reading and meditating on the Sunday readings, taking a few lines for each day.  With the selection of a few sentences of the readings for a day we can ask the Holy Spirit to breathe a new and fresh understanding into our experience of those Holy Words so that we can put them into action and thereby transform the world immediately around us.


These are all good Lenten practices and they all promise to enrich us with a deeper awareness of God with us.  Jesus promised to be with us always, even to the end of the Age.  He alone can do this, no other human is capable.  If you have never given Him a chance to prove He is really here with us, then I invite you to make the remainder of Lent, 2017 your time to do just that.  Try some or all of the suggestions mentioned above.  Each day simply say something like, ďJesus, help me experience your true and Divine presence with me today.  I want to experience you in ways that will be unforgettable as I grow and learn to open my deepest self to you.  Lord, steer my raft today.  Lord, hear my prayer.Ē  I assure you, Jesus will personally hear your prayer and you will begin a new journey that will deepen your awareness of Godís Divine presence with you.  Your Lent will begin to make sense, and each day it will grow and prepare you for the Holy Week and the Great Fifty Days of celebration that follow. 

We are in the Season of Lent.  What could some old fashioned church tradition offer us as modern LGBTQIS persons of the 21st Century? Please continue reading in the scroll box below this purple box.