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 39 years. October 31, 2022 - 39th Anniversary now in our 40th year in Ministry.
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See our new Facebook live videos taken during our worship events by going to our Worship page by clicking in the main navigation bar or click here.
Updated 4-4-20  4:08 p.m.  HOLY WEEK 2020 all ON LINE.  We are celebrating every worship service of Holy Week.  Thank God for our years of experience with live and interactive worship services on line as this will be the only way we will present our services this year.  To see the schedule for signing on for each of the Holy Week services CLICK HERE

Together we continue to pray for a resolution to this health crisis here and all over the world.  We hope you will rely on the real and true presence of God, in Christ, and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit during these difficult times.  On Sunday, March 29, 2020 we had very encouraging readings during worship.  Here are four verses from our second reading you will find very strengthening.  Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:9, 10, 11  9 "But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, God who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through God's Spirit that dwells in you."  With these verses we have the assurance that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are in us and that we are secure with the real presence of God with us and in us.  We are secure today, tomorrow, and forever as Christ assures us we are eternally and intimately united to God in the love of God.  COVID-19 continues to unsettle every country in the world.  Scientists and medical professionals all need our prayers and support as do their families.  We extend our prayers and encouragement to the families of those who have died after being sick with this virus.  We extend our prayers for many people who are passing and are alone when they die due to the exposure preventative policies at many institutions.  As persons who are sick begin to realize they are indeed dying we pray they would be truly aware of the presence of God and know they are not alone.  We also pray that knowing God is with them will help them not be overcome with fear.  We hear of family members not being at the bedside of relatives as they are promoted to Paradise.  We hope families in grieving will rely on God's presence with them.  We can also be encouraging to employers who are in the very difficult position of deciding what to do with the employment of those who depend on them for work.  We can also be encouraging to those who have lost their employment during these very trying times.  God is with us, there is no doubt about that, the challenge may be how well we are able to be with each other and support each other.  Ray Of Hope Church has been comfortable with on line platforms for years.  We are here for you and anyone who needs a spiritual community at this time.  Invite your friends and relatives to join us on line as we continue our services in this safe format of the Skype platform.   Another idea while we are staying indoors during this COVID-19 prevention plan is to visit our scrolling prayers page.  Many people think they do not know how to pray other then asking prayers.  Here, with our web site anyone can learn to pray in five seconds and enjoy hours of guided prayer, meditation, and actively praising God. 

For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
Visit our NEW Ray Of Hope Church Pride Pages Portal.  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.

This painting is titled "Shield Of Faith" by artist Judy Cooley.  What stands out for us is the knight is a female.  This is unusual even by today's standards.  This painting is very fitting because very often in the story of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. it has been women who have led the way and sustained this Congregation.  This is especially true as it was in fact six heterosexual women who established the Elmira Chapel of Ray Of Hope Church.  The Scripture verses that go with this artwork are Ephesians 6:11-17: 11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. 13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. 14 So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, 15 and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

To order a copy of this painting and see other works by Judy Cooley Right Click Here.

This was one of the favorite Bible verses of one of the Elmira Chapel Foundresses Betty Lou LeHew Goodrich.
+    Martha  Cummings
    born 5/18/1928
    Member, 1997   
    Entered Paradise 2/15/2014
Hosted the congregation in her home.
Elmira Extension and Chapel Foundress
Served as Treasurer.
+   Betty Lou LeHew Goodrich 
    born 1/31/1923
    Member, 1997
    Entered Paradise 4/26/2010
Hosted the congregation in her home.
Elmira Extension and Chapel Foundress

+   Jane  Mc Dermott
    born 3/12/1937
    Member, 1997
    Entered Paradise 10/1/2019
Hosted the congregation in her home.
Elmira Extension and Chapel Foundress.
Served as Council Clerk.

+    Margaret E. Walker
    born 2/26/1981
    Member, 1997   
    Entered Paradise 9/4/2006
Hosted the congregation in her home.
Elmira Extension and Chapel Foundress

The Elmira Chapel  Foundresses pictures are hung above and become part of the  Credence Table /Altar dedicated to  the Incarnation of the Eternal Word and His Blessed Mother Mary.  Also to the right is an icon in honor of Syracuse native, Saint Marianne Cope, Order of St. Francis, Beloved Mother of Outcasts (1838 - 1918).  The icon was a gift from Larry Kelly of Elmira, NY.

Lisa Cummings Frost
    born 7/17/1957
    Member, 1997
Elmira Extension and Chapel Foundress
Currently serving as Council Treasurer

Foundresses, Founders, and Friends of the Congregation who shook the ground and moved mountains to establish and support Ray Of Hope Church.
Site updated
10:50 p.m.
Here we see Betty, Martha, and Peg at the Central New York Pride Festival in Syracuse, New York.
The passing of Nora Jane Mc Dermott,  a Foundress of the Elmira Chapel of Ray Of Hope Church.  Jane was born March 12, 1937. She was promoted to Glory and passed into Paradise October 1, 2019.  Visit our page dedicated to Jane where you can read the entire Obituary, see a video of the Graveside Service, see a video of the placing of her ashes into her mother's grave, and see a video of the entire Praise and Thanksgiving Worship Service held on October 11, 2019.  You may also print a copy of the entire worship bulletin of her service.   CLICK HERE.

Jane's Page updated
1:30 PM
Dear Friends and Members of Ray Of Hope Church,

Charlotte J. Allen was promoted to Glory and passed into Paradise the morning of December 23, 2019 around 5:00 AM at home with Cheryl at her side.  We are so thankful that Charlotte shared the last five years of her life in our worship community.  She taught us so much about love and acceptance and being family all together.  We will certainly miss Charlotte.  We are greatly comforted in knowing how much Charlotte loved the Blessed Sacrament and would do just about anything to be able to attend Sunday worship with us.  Charlotte loves (yes that is in the present tense) Ray Of Hope Church and she was often heard saying she wanted more people to attend worship with us.  Charlotte will be one of our strongest prayer warriors for sure.
The Service Of The Resurrection was celebrated Friday night, December 27, 2019.  You may watch the full service Click Here.  You may also read the full program. Click Here.
Please remember Charlotte's family in your prayers.  Remember to give God thanks and praise for the time we have had with Charlotte these last five years.
Christ's peace,
Br. Benedict, Pastor
to Read the full obituary Click Here.

In this picture we see two saints, two women of faith who are now in Paradise.  Seated is Julia Smith, the grandmother, and standing is Lillie Queen Floyd, the mother of our Current Moderator Veronica Floyd.  Veronica is pictured here on the right.  Veronica dedicates her financial support of Ray Of Hope Church saying this; "In memory of my maternal grandmother Julia Smith and mother Lillie Queen Floyd who started me on my faith journey and made sure I knew God was always with me.  I know they continue to pray for me now that they are in their Heavenly home just as fervently as they did while here in their earthly home."  1-16-2021