We are called to do the ridiculous while God provides the miraculous. Stop in for some "R & R" Revelation and Response and experience a real encounter with God. Pastor Benedict
This is our Baptismal Holy Water Font given in memory of John Sosadiaz, and The Candle Of Hope. Baptized into Christ we are confident to live eternally in the Community of God. Everyone is welcomed to Holy Baptism at Ray Of Hope Church.
"You are as welcome here as Christ Jesus himself."
Fr. Bartholomew J. O'Brien [born 5-30-1914 - Entered Heaven 11-7-2003].
He always displayed this welcome above his doorbell on a hand typed piece of paper. see Romans 15:7.
We are gay by God, for Christ's sake! It is all God's fault. God started this rainbow parade, God is leading it, and God will bring it all to completion. June 28, 2018 Stonewall 49 ~ Br. Shawn Benedict, Pastor
+ 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)
All content on the Ray Of Hope Church, Inc. web site is written for intelligent and interested nonspecialists. Academic and professional specialists are invited to contact us at email@example.com for information on how to visit our St. Benedict of Nursia Memorial Library where all of the material on this web site is sourced. Our library currrenty has over 6,000 holdings.
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.
(based upon the New American Bible - divine office version - 1970 with inclusive language added.)
Listen to the GIVE THEM HOPE speech by Harvey Milk CLICK HERE
Read an essay on who we are as the Church of Jesus Christ that was written by Pastor Benedict in 2017. Click Here.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities 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,
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
A spiritual home for those
who are "spiritual but not religious."
WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL Y
OU IS WE ARE
the Church by us, for us, 4 U!
The Church made by you
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
Bible enrichment sessions, and meetings
through SKYPE on the Internet.
WE ARE YOU!
We never held a vote to decide if we would be an INCLUSIVE church
WE ARE YOU!
We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church
WE ARE YOU!
We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or
RECONCILING CONGREGATION for
WE ARE 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.
God doesn't condemn LGBTQIS+ persons, only churches do that! The Bible does not condemn us, only churches do that! Christ doesn't condemn us, churches do that. There is a difference, unfortunately. Rev. Br. Shawn Benedict, 3/9/2019.
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)
Easter Sunday night, April 21, 2019. The chapel was nice and quiet and decorated to proclaim Christ risen and gloriously triumphant forever.
Our soul is waiting for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.
Our hearts find joy in the Lord. We trust in God's holy Name.
May your love, be upon us, O LORD, as we place all our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22
Come to our movie, munchie, and mingle meeting LGBTQISA++ Social Group .... Update. The group meetings will be suspended until the ban on group meetings is lifted in New York State. To read the text of the message sent to group participants Click Here.
Do you remember when in June, 2015 then President Obama signed a Proclamation LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2015? The words he expressed in that document are timeless. Be inspired and read them again: CLICK HERE.
All we can do is do our best and bless the rest! Pastor Benedict 10-30-19
All things are yours (you, the person reading this, the believer). . . the world, life, death, the present or the future. All of them belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:22b-23)
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, always praise the Lord, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in times of plenty and times of want, and with births and deaths. He is Lord of the living and the dead. (Colossians 3:17, Romans 14:9)
Where did the Coronavirus-2019 come from? How was it named? What do the letters in the name stand for? Is this something that just happened or has the World Health Organization known about this for long time? The answers to these questions are here on the World Health Organization's web site. It leaves one wondering why our Government was so late to the Scientific response. Click Here:Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it
World Health Organization Director General MEDIA BRIEFING on COVID-19 April 3, 2020 experts panel presentation. CLICK HERE.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
DID YOU LOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?? DO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? NEW YORK IS READY FOR YOU. NY State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services Announce Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers. The deadline for health insurance special enrollment has been extended through December 31, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, or by connecting with a free enrollment assister. Click Here.
Here is a picture to brighten you up. This is Aubree Lucas, daughter of Stephen Lucas, a dear friend of our Congregation. This is a beautiful moment as she prepares The Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation for her entire family as they share worship at home together. May God increase the understanding of the Blessed Sacrament for all of the members of this very good and holy family. May God richly reward the parents of these lovely children with grace where they need it the most.
To read about the 1033 Program and the militarization of local police departments 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.
NPR On Point does an interview with author Anna Feignenbaum who wrote the book Tear Gas From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today. Tear Gas is banned in warfare when on the offensive, but it is regularly used by law enforcement to move crowds during protests. Listen to this interview and see what you think is consistent with our Statement Of Purpose. To hear the interview and read the NPR article Click Here.
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.)
July 4 is the anniversary date of the July 4, 1966 signing into Law of the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into Law. This law "requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request." (Wikipedia. To continue this article Click Here.)
Thoughts from the Pastor of Ray Of Hope Church:Remember, there is one race on this planet,
the Human Race.There is one creation on
this planet, God's creation; an ongoing and ever increasing act of love.All people are equally and fully part of God's
creation.God does not show, design, or
imply any priority of one ethnicity or social status over any other. (Romans
2:11; Acts 10:34,35)In fact, we are
known to be "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16), "children of
God," in fact being "born of God." (John 1:13)There is, in fact, one God, Originator of all, "who is above all, and
through all, and in all." (Ephesians 4:6)Poetically, Scripture says God "fills all in all" and Christ is "all in
all" in these citations: Ephesians 1:23; 1Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 3:11.
This equality in God is realized and put into action in a
healthy society.As a Christian Church
we are called to openly live these principles by Scripture verses such as this
one: "Whatever you do in word or in deed,
do everythingin the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God through Christ." (Colossians 3:17)These verses taken together, and many other
verses in Scripture, are reflected in our social goal of "liberty and justice
for all" that we pledge as citizens of these United States of America.These Scripture verses are not chosen as if
they are proof texts to support the social goals of "liberty and justice for
all."Rather, these social goals reflect
the original truth of God revealed in Scripture that we are all equal and loved.
Therefore, it is with ease, with conviction, and without
any internal question that we, the Members and Friends of Ray Of Hope Church Of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. promote all of these principles and work for their
exercise within our society.We try to
provide tools for this work here in our web site.Visitors to our web site are invited to
examine the pages linked on the menus across the top and down the left side of
every page to find news and tools on the subject of "liberty and justice for
all."In these particular times visitors
are especially encouraged to visit our Pride pages and our two Black History
pages where current information is being added almost daily.Thank you for visiting our web site.May the presence of God be obvious to
you.May you experience the blessing of
God. Rev. Shawn F. Benedict.July 7, 2020.
* Message from Pastor Benedict: Scroll Window→
COVID-19 Update July 7, 2020 5:15 p.m. from Br. Benedict, Pastor. The Chapel is closed until further notice to the general public. Unfortunately, there has been a serious uptick in new cases and deaths due to COVID-19 on a national level. Also, there are new questions that the coronavirus may in fact be able to survive airborne for longer periods than originally thought and in smaller droplets called aerosols, or droplets smaller than 5 microns. There may be a very significant increase in opportunity to be infected in an indoor space that does not have professional ventilation, such as our chapel. To read further about this new information read this article from the New York Times: "239 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne." Click Here. Our Sunday worship, Tuesday Bible Enrichment, and all meetings will be available on Skype so we can continue our ministry and worship. For more information on how to view on Skype Click Here. Please continue to pray for our Scientists and world leaders that they will listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and resolve this unfortunate time and crisis. God bless you and your family.
A POINT OF INFORMATION FROM PASTOR BENEDICT. John Allen is a friend of mine who is in the entertainment business. Please take a moment to read this. COVID-19.
I don't know if the audience side really understands how dire the situation is for millions of hard-working professionals.
Broadway is closed until 2021. Cirque du Soleil is filing for bankruptcy, and cut 3500+ jobs. Feld Entertainment laid off 90% of its workforce permanently. Live Nation had to lay off a significant amount of employees. Cruise ship entertainers are out of work. Theme park productions have no idea when they will be recalled. There are no concerts, festivals or touring productions scheduled until 2021 and if they don't happen next year, they may never happen again. No Jazz Fest, no Coachella, no Bonnaroo, no EDC, no ROLLING STONES FINAL TOUR(S), and no SYMPHONIES....all gone. It's being predicted that 90% of independent music venues may close, the longer this continues. No more Whiskey-a-gogo, no more Tipitina's, no more Red Rocks, all gone. Entertainment Management, Publicity, Live events coordinator, Performing arts organizations of all kinds- choirs, theatres, orchestras, dance companies- all are trying to figure out on a daily basis how to keep going and employ anyone they can in the field.
More than 12,000,000 people work entertainment production in the US and produce revenue in the multi billions of dollars, we are not insignificant and this industry cannot reopen until mass gatherings can happen again. This doesn't include the additional layoff of venue management and bar staff, security and thousands of vendors. Also, we can't forget about the hundreds of thousands of performers and entertainers that make our careers possible, without them, there is no show.
So when you see your entertainment friends begging you to wear masks and stay home, understand that we are helplessly watching our industry crumble before our eyes because the country is doing so poorly at reducing the spread. This IS personal for us, our entire livelihood is dependent on social gathering and we will not accept being labeled "nonessential".
Music and art are critical to a cheerful, balanced society.
Everyone's career and the whole industry is indefinitely on hold. PLEASE wear your mask (over your mouth AND your nose) and wash your hands.
(Gratefully copied from a post by Leona Flowers and Mike Delia
I just heard an intervview with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Mrs. Pelosi said Science is the answer to prayer. Science is of God, God made Science, she said. I must say that is the best explanation I have ever heard. After all, what do Scientists do? Scientists "discover" what is already there. Scientists uncover what already exists in the eternal knowledge of the ever-creating God. There is no conflict between Science and God. 8-25-20, Rev. Br. Benedict, Pastor.
See Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc in the Gay Yellow Pages. Right Click on the page below to see the entire Gay Yellow Pages in a PDF format. To visit the Gay Yellow Pages web site Right Click Here.
12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through Christ.
Read Pastor Benedict's statment on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U. S. Capital. Right Click Here.
Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
JANUARY 20, 2021 PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Visit our Pride Page for the link to the full text. Right Click Here.
Everyone has access to the Holy Spirit, the gift of God to us. Below is a rendering of John chapter 16, verse 7 by the translators of the Amplified Bible that I find particularly enlightening. This verse gives many of the attributes of the Holy Spirit, in English, that are all packed and hidden in the original Greek Word parakletos. Each of the capitalized words in the verse below tells us how the Holy Spirit is ready to help us. All we have to do is ask with a short prayer like this: "Oh God, give me the awareness to know you are with me in all these ways through the Holy Spirit, Amen."
Here is the verse in the Amplified Bible
Jesus taught, saying: "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]." John 16:7
Did you realize the Holy Spirit is with you to bring you all those actions of God? If we understand the Real Presence of God is with us in Christ through the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit, we will experience more confidence, love of ourselves and our neighbors, and be able to feel better about our lived experience. You can have all this and more. Start with that simple prayer above.
Signed: Pastor Benedict, 3-6-21.
WHO SHOULD RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, THE EUCHARIST, AT RAY OF HOPE CHURCH? Read in the scroll box on our Sacraments Page (Right Click Here), or, to read in a PDF Right Click Here.
S U N D A Y W O R S H I P I N F O R M A T I O N
"Now has the grace of God appeared, bringing salvation to all...." (Titus 2:11)
Join us for worship on Sunday August 21, 2022 @ 10:30 a.m. in person and interactively here on the Internet using Skype.
Also, if you extend your speakers to an external source and sound system you may have the full range of sound fidelity with bass and high notes crystal clear. If you use an HDMI cord or a computer RGB cord out to your large screen TV or to a large computer monitor you will have full range of view too! I have also been told some newer equipment actually uses Bluetooth from the computer to the tv/screen even.
July 18, 2022. From Br. Benedict. Hello Friends and Members. We were off line from Sunday Morning November 21, 2021 through Monday July 18, 2022 due to a huge computer tecnology issue. It will take some time to redesign our website and update the information here. The good news is we are back!
The Gospel is certainly needed in these troubled times and especially to our LGBTQIAS... community. Ray Of Hope Church is the church made for you, and by you because we ARE YOU! Persons of all sexual orientations and all gender expressions are present in our congregation. There is a place for you too. We celebrate the truth that the LGBTQIAS2ss+ community is included in all of the promises of salvation to all. God has created, blessed, ordained and set into motion all sexual orientations and gender expressions. It is up to us to own, live and celebrate these wonderful gifts of God. Consider joining us for worship.
See in this picture our live Skype session during a Bible Enrichment on a Tuesday night. This is one way to practice social distancing and still worship with fellow believers. It is easy to participate in all of our worship events using Skype. Skype is free and works on any device Apple or PC or Android Phones, etc. For easy instructions on how to participate in all of our activities using Skype 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.
LGBTQSIA 2ss+ and millions of other people often secretly wonder every "Easter" how to get three days and three nights of Jesus in the grave from "Good Friday" at 3:00 p.m. to Sunday morning sunrise service. This question is exacerbated when we go from Friday 3:00 p.m. to the "Easter Vigil" which is celebrated at sunset on Saturday. There is no way to get from 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon to Saturday night at 7:45 p.m. and call it three days and three nights when Jesus was in the grave. Just ask the people who are responsible to change ALL of the church decorations from a stark and empty church on Friday afternoon to one that is full of white, gold, yellow cloth with hundreds of flowers, freshwater for baptisms, taper candles with wax catchers all placed, an "easter fire" ready with wood stacked outside, and so much more if they had THREE DAYS to get ready from Friday night to Saturday night! Twenty-four hours is NOT three days and three nights.
Is there an explanation for this? Yes. Was Jesus really crucified on Friday? This is very unlikely. There was a Sabbath in the equation so it had to be Friday didn't it? There were two Sabbaths and that is what causes the confusion.
Come to Bible Enrichment tonight, April 27, 2021, to hear an explanation for this confusion. It will help you be able to explain the obvious when someone else looks you in the face and says they can't believe the "easter story" because even "the three days thing" is off.
We will discuss the difference between a historical account and a celebration of that account.
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.
This is the FIRST rose from the Monastery here in 2021.
Romans 14:7,8,9: 7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (New Revised Standard Version)
(God's Word Translation):
Romans 14:7,8,9: 7 It's clear that we don't live to honor ourselves, and we don't die to honor ourselves. 8 If we live, we honor the Lord, and if we die, we honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this reason Christ died and came back to life so that he would be the Lord of both the living and the dead.
Refresh each page you visit on our web site by pressing the Function Key or the symbol in the browser address box. Thank you.
Visit our new PICTURES PAGE updated 7-22-22 CLICK HERE
Are you looking for some volunteer service hours? We need you! If you like to play in the clay and mud, we are adding cement between our building foundation stones. It's therapeutic, simple, fun and easy to do. Call 1-607-280-0374 for more information.