2018 Kwanzaa Celebration - first year
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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2019 Kwanzaa Celebration - second year
Site updated
3:19 p.m.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities Right Click Here.   You may also watch all these events on our Facebook page.  To link to our Facebook page Right Click Here.
2019 Kwanzaa night 1 December 26 To read the service in PDF click here.  To see the Facebook Live Video of the first night Click Here.
December 27, 2019  Night 2.  There was no service in 2019 due to a funeral.
December 28 Night 3  in PDF click here.  See the service for night 2 and 3 that was presented on 12/28/19 Click Here.
2018 December 29 Night 4  in PDF click here.  Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/shawn.benedict.77/videos/10218041332846050/
2018 December 30 Night 5  in PDF click here.  Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/shawn.benedict.77/videos/10218050167226904/
2018 December 31 Night 6  in PDF click here.  Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/shawn.benedict.77/videos/10218059104490330/
Dr. Elwood Lee Robinson, Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University from Durham, NC posted the following to his Facebook page on Sunday Morning, December 30, 2018.  He was writing about his experience with us in the Ray Of Hope Church Kwanzaa experience of 2018.  He was at Veronica's house and live with us on Skype.  This is his post:

One special event that I participated in this week was the third night of Kwanzaa ceremony at my sister-in-law's house.  Kwanzaa offers another level of spiritual experssion.  When the Kwanzaa table is set, the candleholder, known as the kinara, holds seven candles.  Three red candles, three green candles, and one black candle at the center comprise the kinara.  These symbols represent the African liberation flag.  Each candle represents one of the seven principles and is lit on the day that prinicple is celebrated.  This night we celebrated Ujima and discussed how this prinicple was important for enhancing and strengthening our communities.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purplse), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).

It is from this African-American cultural ethos, combined with the transforming words of Paul's Letter to the Romans, that we find the authentic epression of love and peace in this holiday season.  It is during this month that we celebrate Kwanzaa, Christmas, and Hanukkah that we are reminded of what is important to live a blessed life.  Faith, hope, and love are the three gifts that will be ours throughout all eternity.  And agape love is the ultimate gift.  God in His goodness gives us the privilege of possessing these gifts today, and we look forward to having them remain with us forever.

Peace and Blessings.
Amen and Amen!  Thank you so much, Elwood for sharing your post with us!
2018 January 1 Night 7  in PDF click here.  Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/shawn.benedict.77/videos/10218070844543824/
Ray Of Hope Church held our third year of celebrating Kwanzaa December 27, 2020 and we ended on January 1, 2021, with the exception of December 31.  We celebrated seven principles in five services.  All five worship services are available for you to read and the video recordings here on our web site.  
2018 December 27,  Night 2  in PDF click here
2018 December 28 Night 3  in PDF click here.  Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/shawn.benedict.77/videos/10218033608012934/
2019 December 29 Night 4  in PDF click here.  See the service for night 4.  Click Here.
2019 December 30 Night 5  in PDF click here. To see the service Click Here.
2019 January 1 Night 6 & 7  in PDF click here.  Here is the video.  Click Here.
2020 Kwanzaa Celebration - third year

2020 December 29 Tuesday Kwanzaa day 4 Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)..  Download the order of worship: Right Click Here.  Watch the video of the service: Right Click Here.
2020 Dec. 30 Wednesday Kwanzaa day 5 Nia (Purpose) and 6 Kuumba (Creativity)8:45 p.m.  Download the Order of Service: Right Click Here.   Watch the recorded service Right Click Here.   Visit our Facebook Page: Right Click Here.
2020 Dec. 31 No Kwanzaa

2020 Dec. 27 Sunday Kwanzaa principle 1 Umoja (Unity) and 2 Kujichagulia (Self determination) 8:45 p.m.  Download the service: Right Click Here. Watch the video of the worship event here: Right Click Here.
2020 Dec. 28 Monday Kwanzaa day 3 Ujima (Collective work &responsibility) 8:45 p.m.  Download the program: Right Click Here.  Watch the ten minutes service from our Facebook page: Right Click Here.  Visit. like, and follow or Facebook page: Right Click Here.
Founder of Kwanzaa from Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maulana_Karenga
Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga,[1][2][3] previously known as Ron Karenga, (born Ronald McKinley Everett, July 14, 1941) is an American professor of Africana studies, activist and author, best known as the creator of the pan-African and the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. . . .  Modelling the holiday after the African "first fruit" traditions, Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. The rituals of the holiday promote African traditions including the "seven principles of African Heritage".

2020 January 1 Friday Kwanzaa day 7 Imani (Faith). Download the Order of Service: Right Click Here.  See the recording of the service: Right Click Here.  Visit our Facebook page.  Right Click Here.
There are many symbols of Kwanzaa.
The Kwanzaa candelabra is called a kinara.
The straw mat that the kinara is placed on is a mkeka.
Ears of corn are also placed on the mat, one to represent each child in the household. They are called the vibunzi (or muhindi).
A fruit basket is placed on the mkeka, and is called the mazao.
The unity cup is also placed on the mkeka, and is called the kikombe cha umoja.
The seven candles that are placed in the kinara are called the Mishumaa Saba.
Finally, all the gifts are called the zawadi and are traditionally given on Imani - the last day of Kwanzaa."

These are the seven principles of Kwanzaa:
1st Umoja (oo-MO-jah) Unity
2nd Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) Self Determination
3rd Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) Collective Work and Responsibility
4th Ujamaa (oo-jah-Mah-ah) Cooperative Economics
5th Nia (NEE-ah) Purpose
6th Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity
7th Imani (ee-MAN-nee) Faith
See TWO excellent videos of Aliyjia and Rashaad cashing in their 2020 year-long Ujamaa - cooperative economics project.  Their family all helped by collect the change all year long, working cooperatively!  Working together the children raised $101.97 to give to a charity of their choice.  This year they gave to Ray Of Hope Church.  We are very grateful and thankful.  The links to the videos are under the pictures below.
Part ONE of two Right Click Here.
Part TWO of two Right Click Here.