Welcome to Ray of Hope
Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Southern Tier Extension Chapel Page
Updated April 4, 2018
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 ethnicities, 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 or WELCOMING
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.
35 YEARS OF MINISTRY IN CENTRAL NEW YORK
We 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.
In 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 the exterior.
In 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.
In these two pictures taken in May of
2016 the special outdoor elevator is easily visible.
When you come into the building, use
the small door to the far right, seen here.
Exterior picture in 2003
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.
This is what the chapel looked like in
2003 when we first opened.
One 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.
Today, 2015 the chapel changes with
every season of the Church Year.
This 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.
This is a picture of what the
Tabernacle area looked like in 2003.
Here are some pictures of the
Tabernacle area today.Please come in
and use the kneelers and offer your prayers.
This is Christmas 2014
Notice 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
This is Advent, Week I in 2014
This 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).
This 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.
This picture is also from 2003
Here is what the Tabernacle Light of
Presence looks like in 2015
In 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.