Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The LGBTQSIAN2ss+ Pride Activities, and Social Events Center of Elmira, NY.
The only Church in Central New York founded and fostered by the GLBTQSIA2ss+ community for 40 years. October 31, 2023 - 40th Anniversary now in our 41st year in Ministry.
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Join us Tuesday May 7, 2024 for our Bible Enrichment Session. Everyone is welcome to attend. JOIN THE SKYPE MEETING https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l   You do not need a Skype account to join the meeting.  When opening the meeting choose the guest option.  Please sign on to Skype between 6:15 - 6:30 p.m.   If you want information on starting a Skype account right click here: http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/view.htm.



This is the Bible Study for the LGBTQISA2ss+ Community.  The Bible is our Holy Book: God's Word is intended to bless us and help us celebrate who we are.


Come spend this time with us in person, on Skype, or on Facebook Live and enjoy God's Holy Word together. This would be the finest night to attend your first Bible Enrichment experience at Ray Of Hope.


Time - 6:30 until 8:00 PM at

Place - Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.

380 W. 1st St.

Elmira, NY 14901

Find us on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/ and on Skype: rayofhope26 is our Skype Contact Name.

Call 607-280-0374, Pastor Benedict, with your questions.


 Come sit with us at the Table of the Feast of the Word Of God.


All versions of the Bible are welcome, so bring your favorite(s) with you.


Cost for our classes?  There is no cost, or fee, ever.  Your tax deductible donations are always welcome.


You are as welcome here as Christ Jesus Himself.  In Romans 15:7 we are commanded to:


"Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15:7 NABRE-2011)


Christ's peace be with you,

Pastor Br. Shawn Benedict


**Please pass this email along to anyone you think may be interested in this great topic.**


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)


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Often I am asked for a brief summary of how we received the English Bible as we have so many renditions today.  Here is a brief summary written by Finis Dake:


How We Got Our English Bible

Our English Bible is the result of 1200 years of work by all kinds of learned men. Portions were translated from the Vulgate, the Latin version, beginning as far back as A.D. 700 when Aldhelm translated the Psalms into Saxon. Egbert translated the 4 gospels sometime later. In A.D. 735 Bede translated parts of the Scriptures into Saxon. King Alfred undertook a translation of the Psalms but died in A.D. 900 before it was finished. Elfric translated the Pentateuch and some of the historical books in the 10th century. Nothing else was done about translation from then to the time of John Wycliffe, who made the first complete English Bible from the Vulgate in A.D. 1380. The next was a N.T. by William Tyndale in 1535 and the Pentateuch in 1530. In 1535 Miles Coverdale made the first complete printed English Bible. Then came the Geneva Bible in 1560, followed by Bishop's Bible in 1563 and revised in 1568. The Roman church came out with Douay version of the N.T. in 1582 and the whole Bible in 1609 which has been used by that church up until now. In 1604 King James authorized 47 men to make a complete translation of the Bible from the original languages. It was finished in 1611 after 7-8 years of diligent work. It has been the most popular and accepted version of the English speaking world from that day until now. There have been several revised versions since then, and a number of Bibles in modern English, but none have been as well accepted and as lasting as the King James version and perhaps never will be.

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As a reminder, our Ray Of Hope Church chapel is not currently open for prayer to the public.  However, personal appointments for time in the chapel may be made by calling 607-280-0374.


The Blessed Sacrament, the "Bread from Heaven" (Exodus 16:2, Psalm 78:24, John 6:32, 41,50,58), the Bread of the Angels (Psalm 78:25), the Bread of God (John 6:33), the Bread Of Life (John 6:35, 48) the Living Bread (John 66:51), the Sacrament of the Eucharistic "flesh and blood" of Jesus (John 6:52-56) is reserved in both kinds (Eucharistic bread and wine) in the Tabernacle in our chapel.  Please know you are always welcome to stop in for a visit with Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament, for quiet prayer, a quiet place to read and meditate, say a rosary, or just be.  Our little chapel could be your perfect get-away.  Who would suspect you were here?  If we see you in the chapel we will certainly say hello and offer a cup of tea or coffee.


Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. teaches the Doctrine of Universal Salvation.  This is the statement we agreed upon in 2011 and added to our Bylaws.


"We believe that Salvation is a gift that God has given to the entire human race.  Romans Chapter Five explains this Doctrine of Universal Salvation.  One's personal salvation is assured by believing in God as per John 5:24.  Salvation is best known through the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and through rebirth by the Holy Spirit." (Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. By - Laws September, 2011 Lines 1141 - 1148)


At Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. we have the answers, God's answers to all of life's problems, in the past, the present, and the future in the Holy Scriptures.  If we did not have the answers then we would be a fraudulent hoax passing as a "religion." 


Many professional religious leaders can be heard today backing away from the solid truths of Sacred Scripture.  When they do this they end up with a lukewarm church that spirals downward to the logical conclusion. 


The Holy Scriptures give Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi, Trans, Questioning, persons of all colors and expression of humanity God's answers to all relevant issues and questions.  At Ray Of Hope Church we do our very best to explore those questions and answers together.  If you are feeling lukewarm or cold about your "faith" or your "spirituality" then perhaps it is time to turn up the heat and get warmed up by the light of the Truths of the Holy Scriptures.  Come and enjoy the Living and Life-giving Word Of God with us, start today!  Sometimes we just know there is more to life than aimlessly wandering through until we die.  God (not a old MAN in the sky, not female either, but the Living creating life energy known wherever there is life, all through the Universe) has a plan and is delighted to reveal much of it for our understanding and enjoyment in Sacred Scriptures.  We love the Word Of God at Ray Of Hope Church and we are delighted to share that love with you.


 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. 


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.

          (This rendition is based upon the 1970 divine office version of the New American Bible with inclusive language added.)





God knows all of God's works from the beginning to all time. (Acts 15:17b-18)
From the beginning I revealed the end. From long ago I told you things that had not yet happened, saying, "My plan will stand, and I'll do everything I intended to do." (Isaiah 46:10 God's Word Trans.)
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities 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)

Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.  The only name associated with this ministry is the "Name above all names."  (see Philippians 2:9-11)
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The Golden Rule and the Platinum Rule

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31)  We often rattle off this Bible verse.  It is known as the Golden Rule.  In the business world Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO, Likeable Local has a development of this thought that I like.  He wrote; "So I came up with the 'Platinum Rule': Do unto others as they would want done to them."  What does the other person(s) need from me for the best outcome, that is what I want to learn to understand and do.  ~Br. Benedict  To read Dave Kerpen's own explanation of this Click Here.
The love between two women is sanctified in the Book of Ruth where we learn about Ruth and Naomi.
The love between two men is sanctified in the Book of 1 and 2 Samuel where we learn about David and Jonathan.
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)

Read a short article explaining that the original King James Version of 1611 did in fact contain all of the books designated as Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical by some traditions.  This shows there should be no distinction between a so-called "Catholic" and a so-called "Protestant" Bible based upon the presence of the absence of these books.  To read this article Click Here.
For MINISTRY GIFTS from the book The Making Of A Leader by Frank Damazio (12/1/1988 edition) Click Here.  To order a copy of this book Click Here.
I have promised to keep your Word, O Lord. (Psalm 119:57b)

Jesus opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45)  "This is my favorive verse in the Bible." Lisa B. Frost. 
What Jesus did for those listening to Him that day, He will do for anyone who asks.  The Scriptures are ours to understand, to love, and to put into action.  Pastor Benedict

The Rapture...WHAT?  Is that really in the Bible?  Read our study notes Right Click Here.  See the bulletin for 32nd Sunday Year A where this reading comes up. Right Click Here.

The Scofield Reference Bible III with the New King James Version (NKJV) translation is the "textbook" we are using in our Bible Enrichment Sessions.  By using the same book we are able to call out page numbers and this makes it more welcoming for those who have not studied the Bible previously.  The NKJV also has very important footnotes at key verses where anti-gay language was added through the years on top of original words in the original languages of the Holy Scriptures.  Ray Of Hope Church does not endorse any certain "translation" of the Bible.  Every rendition of the Bible that is on the market is "translated" through filters and requirements imposed by those who commission the work.  However, the Doctrinal Summary notes in the Scofield, III are very useful.  Available on Amazon in hardcover:  Right Click Here.   Available on Amazon in leather bound:  Right Click Here.  Available at Christian Book Distributors in hardcover: Right Click Here.  Available at Christian Book Distributors in leather bound: Right Click Here.
For more information on this website on the Scofield Bible Right Click Here.
11:19 a.m.
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.)
Read the Doctrine and understanding of what it means that Jesus is the Only Begotton Son of God. Right Click Here.
See the December 22, 2020 Bible Enrichment Session where we discussed the introductory paragraphs of our Statement of Faith.  We explain people of all faith expressions and those with no faith at all are welcome at Ray Of Hope Church.  We honor the concept of being "free thinkers."  To see the video Right Click Here.
One proof that Jesus was who he said he was is the mathematical calculations written in the Bible that identify the exact days we call Palm Sunday and the Crucifixion of Jesus as they were prophesied in the Book of Daniel.  Daniel saw in a vision the empires of the world up to the time of the Messiah.  Daniel gave this prophecy in his telling King Nebuchadnezzar the  king's dreams and giving the detailed interpretations.  Daniel did this in the 6th Century B.C..  It all would begin with a prophecy for an event that would happen centuries later in 445 B.C..  If ever you were looking for scientific proof that Jesus is the Christ, here it is.  Get your calculator out, or pencil and pad and do the math for yourself and see that hidden in every Bible in the world is the mathematical proof the Jesus stepped into "Holy Week" on "Palm Sunday" on a date predicted centuries before he was born. To see the proof CLICK HERE

Read the bulletin for Palm Sunday with all the readings, prayers and announcements for the week: BULLETIN CLICK HERE.  Sunday April 14, 2019 Palm Sunday 10:30 AM
RESOURCE:  Latin Vulgate Bible with the English Douay-Rheims translation side by side.  This is a free resource:  http://www.latinvulgate.com/
Quotation from the web site kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/       You may read the text of the Apocrypha and the entire KJV on this site.

The apocrypha is a selection of books which were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testament (it also contained maps and geneologies). The apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these books were called deuterocanonical books by some entities, such as the Catholic church.

Many claim the apocrypha should never have been included in the first place, raising doubt about its validity and believing it was not God-inspired (for instance, a reference about magic seems inconsistent with the rest of the Bible: Tobit chapter 6, verses 5-8). Others believe it is valid and that it should never have been removed- that it was considered part of the Bible for nearly 2,000 years before it was recently removed a little more than 100 years ago.

Continue reading this article here: kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/
For a somewhat entertaining and pithy timeline of English Bible development Right Click Here.
"Blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and live it out."
See Luke 11:28; Romans 2:13; James 1:22-25.

DEFINITIONS EVERYONE NEED UNDERSTAND: Doctrine; Dogma; Teaching; Practice.  These four essential definitions are necessary to answer the questions of why SOME churches condemn people to Hell over questions of sexuality and gender expression.  BEFORE you get into a discussion on the Bible and SEXUALITY and GENDER be sure to have a solid working definition of these four words.  This definition paper is my own. I have been developing it since 1980.  Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor.  To read these definitions Right Click Here.
Flowers in our Monastery garden.
Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. teaches the same Christian faith of ancient ecumenical consensus.   St. Vincent of Lerins, a fifth-century monk and theologian, described it as  "what has been believed always, everywhere, and by all."  For more information visit our Statement Of Faith page: Right 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,



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."


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 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.






 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 by You.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Pseudepigrapha are falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past.[1] Some of these works may have originated among Jewish Hellenizers, others may have Christian authorship in character and origin.[2]"   READ THE FULL ARTICLE RIGHT CLICK HERE.

We are proud to be known as the "WOKE" Church of Elmira and Central NY.  Popularized by African-American young men, the definition of "woke" is: having or being marked by an active awareness of systemic injustices and prejudices, a liberal progressive orthodoxy, especially promoting inclusive policies or ideologies that welcome and embrace ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities.  Awake and aware.  Source: Dictionary.com  In Theological terms: Awakened by the Holy Spirit, alive in Christ, supporting persons of all Religions and faiths and those with no faith or religion.   (11-19-22 11:17 a.m.)
See the December 22, 2020 Bible Enrichment Session where we discussed the introductory paragraphs of our Statement of Faith.  We explain people of all faith expressions and those with no faith at all are welcome at Ray Of Hope Church.  We honor the concept of being "free thinkers."  To see the video Right Click Here.
Download the PDF of 3-28-23 Questions for the Introduction To Holy Week 2023:  Right Click Here.
Download the PDF of the explanation of the prophecy of the Book of Daniel: CLICK HERE.
Download the PDF of the John Nelson Darby Summary of Palm Sunday.  RIGHT CLICK HERE.
See the chart "Understanding God's Plan for the Ages" from the book "Charting The End Times"© 2001 by Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice Published by Harvest House Publications Eugene, Oregaon 97402.  Chart design by Jeff Lane, Scott Johnson, and Kelly Robinson. Click on the chart to see it in full screen mode. SEE THE CHART Right CLICK HERE.   Order the chart RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Order the book RIGHT CLICK HERE.
7-25-23 Bible Enrichment.    THE WORD SODOMITE is in the King James Bible six times!  We can answer and prove it was added to English Bibles and has no connection to the original languages of Hebrew or Greek behind it.  In this video, we explore these verses and use online resources to see behind the "translation" scam.  We must use existing scholarship to refute the false claims that "homosexuality" has been condemned in the Bible for thousands of years.   See the video, RIGHT CLICK HERE.
"Scientific Discovery, Academic Knowledge, the Holy Scriptures, and Spirituality are Universal and Unified."
(Br. Benedict 8-5-23)
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8-8-23 Bible Enrichment: Homosexuality and the Bible.  Continuing our study, moving to the Christian Testament.  In this video we use our website materials.  We also examine many "translations" of 1 Corinthians 6:9 and discuss how and why there are so many variations on just this verse alone.   See the video, RIGHT CLICK HERE.
8-15-23 Bible Enrichment: Homosexuality and the Bible. Continuing our study, TEMPLE PROSTITUTION and the word sodomite.  In this video, we continue using our website materials. The video shows each step of how to find the resources on our website.  We also examine many "translations"  and discuss how and why there are so many variations.   See the video, RIGHT CLICK HERE.