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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Artist: Richard Hook (1914 - 1975)
"Head Of Christ"
seen here in our chapel over the Bible.
Read about the artist Click Here.

Announcing the formation of a PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE for 2018. For more information click here.





My House shall be a house of prayer for All People, says the Lord God. (Isaiah 56:7)
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)
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 right click here.
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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
"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 rayofhopechurch@aol.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.

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,

Transgender,

Questioning,

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."

WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL Y OU IS WE ARE

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  ARE  YOU!

We never held a vote to decide if we would be an INCLUSIVE church for you.

WE  ARE  YOU!

We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church for you.

WE  ARE  YOU!

We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or

RECONCILING  CONGREGATION for you.

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.

WE  ARE  YOU!

THIS is the church where YOU belong.

Ray Of Hope Church is the church

by us, for us, and made by You.

  * Scroll Window
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 the chapel was nice and quiet and decorated to proclaim Christ risen and gloriously triumphant forever.
Jesus protected women.
Empowered women.
Honored women publicaly.
Released the voice of women.
Confided in women.
Celebrated women by name.
Learned from women.
Respected women.
And spoke of women as
Examples to follow.
Our Turn.

Check out this great web site
Jesus Women
Click here.

Visit our Ray Of Hope Church Pride Pages Portal.  CLICK HERE.
Each Sunday we read from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt official list of Names during our worship service.  Visit the panels, with over 100,000 names on the Quilt virtually: https://www.aidsmemorial.org/interactive-aids-quilt To learn about this 49,000 +(2016 ) paneled wonder and icon, click here.  Special instructions on how to navigate the virtual Quilt: Right Click Here.
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

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.
       We Are Family !
We Are Family !
Ray Of Hope Church
of the LGBTQIAS2ss+ people
of Central NY State.
www.rayofhopechurch.com
The church by YOU and for You.
We ARE you!
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, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, Pansexual, Hetero-flexible.  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 and spirituality.  We are a spiritual home for those who are "spiritual but not religious."  WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU 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 serving the world with live interactive worship services, 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 for you. WE  ARE  YOU!  We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church for you. WE  ARE  YOU!  We are not a RECONCILING CHURCH or RECONCILING  CONGREGATION for you. 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.  WE  ARE  YOU!  THIS is the church where YOU belong.  Ray Of Hope Church is the church by us, for us, and made by You.


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 everything  in 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 on Racism from Pastor Benedict: Scroll Window
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.
Colossians 3:12-17

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.

BRIEFING ROOM
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.
The Rainbow Flag Is God's Gift To Our Community.
Read the sermon by Rev. Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor: 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.

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.
See many images of the RAINBOW FLAG: Right Click here and open in a New Tab.
"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.
Join us interactively on Skype: https://join.skype.com/q4QyQ4G4Risu   You do not need a Skype account to use the Skype meeting. Or, watch the session on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/       The materials for the session will be on our website at about 6:00 p.m. @ http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/BibleEnrichment.htm The session will run from 6:30 to 8:00 tonight
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.

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.
The LGBTQSIA2ss+ Community at Ray Of Hope Church, Elmira, NY experienced a EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE during the celebration of Epiphany, Sunday January 8, 2023.  In fact, we made this our theme: We need an epiphany.  We actually prayed in the Prayers of the People: "Oh God, thank you for guiding Ray Of Hope through 2022.  We ask for your blessing in this new year of 2023.  Give us a new epiphany and vision for this new year.  In thanksgiving, we pray to the Lord."

We were not prepared for what God had in store for us during the worship event.  During our worship service, we had a Eucharistic Miracle as a cross appeared on the host, the wafer, that was about to be received by Ian McLaughlin from his wife, Christina McLaughlin.   For more information RIGHT CLICK HERE.




For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
Dear Friends and Members,
The icon, "Virgin of Vladimir" has not been displayed for at least six months 2022 through March, 2023.  The original frame came apart one day and sent the whole print, frame, and glass crashing to the floor.  When trying to replace the frame we discovered the print is an unusual size.  The framed print of this icon was a gift to Ray Of Hope Church by the monks of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA.  The artwork has been displayed from the first day it was received at Ray Of Hope Church.  ***Continue reading this story: RIGHT CLICK HERE.***


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.

Prayer for our Congregation: (revised, 5/28/2023)
Lord Jesus Christ, we ask that your Holy Spirit continue to move in our Congregation in new and refreshing ways.  We open our hearts to be a dwelling place, a home, a temple of your Holy Spirit.  Empower us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used as servants of God, disciples of Christ, and witnesses of God's love and eternal plan.  Come, Holy Spirit, and impassion us with your Divine Love.  Stir and enkindle within us the flames of compassion, forgiveness, patience, empathy, Joy in believing, thanksgiving and praise, and love for God's holy Will.  Build an expectant faith within us with a view of a church full of possibilities and potential.  Guide our lives; we pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.






 
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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.)
Updated
10:21 p.m.
2/24/24

We stand on the truth that ALL PEOPLE HAVE RECEIVED SALVATION AS A FREE GIFT FROM GOD.  ALL PEOPLE ARE ETERNALLY SECURE IN GOD'S LOVE AND ARE BY MODERN TERMS, "SAVED."  ALL LGBTQSIA2ss+ persons of every sexual orientation and every gender expression are SAVED and are called to live out the fullness of who they are so that God may be praised.  Ray Of Hope Church officially took this position on September 18, 2011 and changed the By-laws to secure this position. (see the Statement of Faith)

Who May Receive the Holy Spirit?

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 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? Understanding the Real Presence of God is with us in Christ through the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit, we will experience more confidence, love ourselves and our neighbors, and 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, revised 5-20-23.
===================================================
S U N D A Y   W O R S H I P   I N F O R M A T I O N
PEOPLE ARE ALWYS WELCOME TO ATTEND FROM ANY FAITH TRADITION and those with NO Faith or  Religion. Free-thinkers and Atheists are always welcome here.  
"Now has the grace of God appeared, bringing salvation to all...."  (Titus 2:11)

Join us this SUNDAY, February 25, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live for the celebration of Lent Week Two of five weeks.  This is also the final Sunday in Black History Month.  We will address ways the Season of Lent can be helpful and meaningful to LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Christians in 2024.  Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Here is the Skype Link: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l You do not need an account on Skype to enter as a guest, click here for instructions on using Skype.  If you choose to watch from home consider inviting some friends to join you.  Extend your speakers out of your computer to your home stereo system or your large-screen television.  You may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast, and you do not need a Facebook account.  Here is our Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.  Our chapel is open and located at 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY.  For more contact information RIGHT CLICK HERE.  View our calendar and consider joining in with our fun! RIGHT CLICK HERE.

All Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. online presentations and accompanying bulletin programs are covered by our Onelicense Print Permission and Streaming License A-741278, our Christian Copyright License Incorporated License Number 706121, and  Christian Copyright License Incorporated Streaming Plus License 21787152.  Copyright credits and US Copyright Fair Use statements are found throughout the presented materials.  Every effort is being made to comply with all regulations.  Please contact us with questions, concerns, and suggestions to improve our copyright practices.  Thank you.


























    















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































***      Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Here is the Skype Link: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l
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Join us this SUNDAY, February 18, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live for the celebration of Lent Week one.  Ashes will be available for those who were unable to attend Ash Wednesday.  Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE.
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Join us this SUNDAY, February 11, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live for the celebration of The Transfiguration.  What do the Transfiguration of Christ and the mysterious visit of Moses and Elijah on top of a mountain tell us about our future?  You will be amazed to find out what this reveals about you.  This is also the second week of our celebration of Black History Month.  Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE
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SUNDAY, February 4, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live.  Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE.
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Dear Members and Friends,
Join us this SUNDAY, January 28, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live.  Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Issue: RIGHT CLICK HERE. On January 27, 2024 Prayers At Noon Together on International Holocaust Remembrance Day was presented.  Here is the Program: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  View the Facebook Live recording: RIGHT CLICK HERE.


Dear Members and Friends,
Join us this SUNDAY, January 21, 2024, for Worship at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live.  We will worship to celebrate and give God thanks and praise that our Congregation has arrived at the 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.    On this date, we also honor Syracuse Sister of St. Francis, Saint Mother Marianne Cope, "Beloved Mother of Outcasts."   Mother Marianne was born in Darmstadt, Germany, on January 23, 1838.  1862, she entered the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York.   In 1883, Mother Cope led a group of sisters to the Hawaiian Islands to care for the poor, especially those suffering from leprosy.   She died in Hawaii on August 9, 1918, while still active in ministry.    In honor of the 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting, we will debut the latest installment in our "Music For Worship" service parts, "The Gloria" words and music by Br. Benedict, which he started writing on July 25, 2017.   Also, on Sunday, during Worship, we will recognize Lisa Frost for twenty-five years of service on the Council as Treasurer.   On 1-21-24, after Sunday Worship, we will enjoy a share-a-dish dinner.  Chili is the main dish, so bring something to complement it.  Everyone is welcome to the dinner.  Finally, the Annual Meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. and is open for public observation.  For more information, see the "ANNOUNCEMENT"  highlighted in blue below.   Download the Order of Worship Bulletin: Right Click Here.  Download the Music Supplement: Right Click HereParticipate interactively from anywhere in the world using Skype which is free.  Here is the Skype Link: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l You do not need an account to enter as a guest, click here for instructions on using Skype.  If you choose to watch from home consider inviting some friends to join you.  Extend your speakers out of your computer to your home stereo system or your large-screen television.  You may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast, and you do not need a Facebook account.  Here is our Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.Our chapel is open and located at 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY.  For more contact information RIGHT CLICK HERE.

                        ANNOUNCEMENT                                               
Dear Members and Friends,

The Annual Congregational meeting of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. will be at 1:30 PM on Sunday, January 21 following our worship service and shared meal.  Attached is the invitation and schedule for the day, along with the meeting agenda and documents we will discuss during the meeting.  Please attend in person or online as we share a review of the past year and plan for the future of Ray Of Hope!

May the Lord Bless You Abundantly,
Lisa Frost
Council Treasurer
Ray Of Hope Church, Inc

January 11, 2024

Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. has re-opened its chapel to the public after a brief closure in observance of COVID-19 safety protocols.  Sunday Worship and Wednesday in-person Mass services at the chapel are now open to the public.   For more details RIGHT CLICK HERE.

Christ's Peace be with you all.

Veronica Floyd, Clerk of Ray Of Hope Church, Inc.
380 W. 1st St.
Elmira, NY 14901
www.rayofhopechurch.com

 









































































































































































































Dear Members and Friends,
Join us this SUNDAY, January 14, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. in-person or live on Skype and Facebook Live.  We will celebrate Civil Rights Sunday - The birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and The Baptism of the Lord, another Epiphany.  We will celebrate our full normal worship event.  Participate interacm.tively from anywhere in the world using Skype which is free.  Here is the Skype Link: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l You do not need an account to enter as a guest, click here for instructions on using Skype.  Download the UPDTED Order of Worship RIGHT CLICK HERE.  Download the Music Edition RIGHT CLICK HERE.     If you choose to watch from home consider inviting some friends to join you.  Extend your speakers out of your computer to your home stereo system or your large-screen television.  You may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast, and you do not need a Facebook account.  Here is our Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.Our chapel is open and located at 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY.  For more contact information RIGHT CLICK HERE.



Participate interactively from anywhere in the world using Skype which is free.  Here is the Skype Link: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l or, click on the Skype button in the  left side menu.  You do not need an account to enter as a guest, click here for instructions on using Skype.  You may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast. However, it is not interactive, you are watching but we cannot hear you if you want to talk to us or read a part of the worship right-click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/
 



LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Community held worship on Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. live on Skype and Facebook Live.  We celebrated The Epiphany,  the Visitation of the "the Three Kings"  "The Wisemen" or as I like to call them THE RELIGIOUS SPECIALISTS from the East. January 7 is also the anniversary of our Epiphany Eucharistic Miracle that happened in our chapel  on Epiphany, January 5, 2023, during Holy Communion.  See the picture here below. 
Download the January 7, 2024 Order of Worship with sermon notes and a pastoral summary of the year 2023; RIGHT CLICK HERE.
Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. live on Skype and Facebook Live.  We celebrated The Epiphany,  the Visitation of the "the Three Kings"  "The Wisemen" or as I like to call them THE RELIGIOUS SPECIALISTS from the East. January 7 is also the anniversary of our Epiphany Eucharistic Miracle that happened in our chapel  on Epiphany, January 5, 2023, during Holy Communion.  See the picture here below. 
Download the January 7, 2024 Order of Worship with sermon notes and a pastoral summary of the year 2023; RIGHT CLICK HERE.


Join us this SUNDAY, December 31, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. live on Skype and on Facebook Live.  We will celebrate The Holy Name of Jesus, the Feast of the Presentation of the Child in the Temple.  We will celebrate our full normal worship event, it will just be all on line. Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.   Download the Music Supplement: RIGHT CLICK HERE.   Invite some friends to join you at home.  Extend your speakers out of your computer into your home stereo system or into your large-screen television.



We also webcast the service using Facebook Live.  Visit, like, and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.   OR, COME TO THE CHAPEL IN PERSON.   Our chapel is located at 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY 14901.  For more information see our Contact Page.   See our very busy calendar and schedule to come and join our fun.  RIGHT CLICK HERE.

Join us for Worship, Sunday, December 24, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m. for CHRISTMAS SERVICE SUNDAY DECEMBER 24 The LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Community of Elmira, NY and now all across the world is meeting for CHRISTMAS WORSHIP.  Download the Order of Worship Right Click Here.  Download the Music Supplement Right Click Here.


Join us for Worship, Sunday, December 17, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m. for the Fourth Sunday of Advent - Love is the theme.  Holy and Reverend Mother's Day In The Winter. Mary, the wife of Joseph was a very special young woman.  Mary gives us the example of the perfect "yes" to God.  Mary's Maternal Aunt, Anna also showed great courage and dedication.  We will look at Holy Women of the Bible as time permits and on this  Sunday we turn toward a three Sunday Season of the Nativity.  The Order of Worship Download RIGHT CLICK HERE. Music  RIGHT CLICK HERE.  


December 10, 2023 Gaudete Sunday Download the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE. Download the Music Supplement: RIGHT CLICK HERE.

LGBTQSIANE2ss+ worship was held Sunday, December 3, 2023.  Download the Order of Worship and Bulletin: RIGHT CLICK HERE
Extend your speakers to an external source sound system to enjoy 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 the full range of view too! I have also been told some newer equipment actually uses Bluetooth from the computer to the TV/screen.
December 7, Worship was held.  Download the Order of Worship and Bulletin: RIGHT CLICK HERE
Extend your speakers to an external source sound system to enjoy 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 the full range of view too! I have also been told some newer equipment actually uses Bluetooth from the computer to the TV/screen. Worship was held, Sunday, November 26, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m. for the First Sunday of Advent - WORLD PEACE is the theme.  Download the Order of Worship and Bulletin: RIGHT CLICK HERE.


The LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Community held worship on Sunday, November 19, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m. for the Feast of Christ the King, the final Sunday of the Church Year, in person and interactively here on the Internet using Skype.  Download the Bulletin with announcements, readings and the Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  The Facebook Live Webcast will be posted today, hopefully.


The LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Community held worship, Sunday, November 12, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m.  Download the Order of Worship: Right Click HereYou may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast. However, it is not interactive, you are watching but we cannot hear you if you want to talk to us or read a part of the worship right-click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/


Worship was held on Sunday, October 22, 2023, @ 10:30 a.m. in person and here on the Internet using Skype.  This was the third Sunday of the war between Hamas and Israel.  Special readings were chosen for the day.  We continued with our education on the background of the Palestinian People, the residents of The Gaza Strip, the residents of The West Bank, and the residents of the State of Israel.  There are many hyperlinks in this bulletin.  Download an Updated and Corrected Order of Worship: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  This is the direct link to this video: https://fb.watch/nYVQj8B-Te/  Thank you.

Visit, follow, and like our Facebook page, right-click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.










See other recorded worship events and read the programs: 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.

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.   Visit the Bible Enrichment page RIGHT CLICK HERE
 
IT IS TIME TO TAKE BACK THE NARRATIVE AND TAKE ACTION.
View past worship service recordings: RIGHT CLICK HERE.

All online presentations are covered by our Onelicense Print Permission and Streaming License A-741278, our Christian Copyright License Incorporated License Number 706121, and Christian Copyright License Incorporated Streaming Plus License 21787152.

SEE OUR CALENDAR: RIGHT CLICK HERE.
Visit, follow, and like our Facebook page, right-click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.     
Visit and follow us on our new TikTok Page: Right Click Here.    Here is the link if you need to copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.tiktok.com/@rayofhopechurchlgbtqsia?_t=8UgoVv5ekqg&_r=1 Thank you, Heather and Michael for making this project possible and producing our videos.

News Release: A Change In A Practice:  October 29. 2022.

Dear Members and Friends,

On October 28, 2022 at the monthly meeting of the Ray Of Hope Church Council, we decided to stop passing the collection plate during worship.  With this change, we aim to make first-time visitors and everyone more comfortable.

Instead, we will use the wall-mounted donation box next to the door to receive donations and offerings.  Donation envelopes are available on the hospitality table by the door.  Drop your offering/donation into the box before, during, or after the worship event.  Additionally, the electronic links in the bulletin, on Facebook, and on our website are always available.  We will pray a prayer of thanksgiving and sing the Doxology at the offering time during the worship event.

Those who regularly attend Ray Of Hope understand the church's responsibility of being able to meet our financial obligations, and we trust each person to use the available ways of contributing to the Treasury of Ray Of Hope Church.  Finally, the Council understands this idea as one more step towards modernizing our practices.

Blessings,
Br. Shawn

The Gospel is certainly needed in these troubled times and especially to our LGBTQSIAN2ss+... 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. 



Download the Music for the day: RIGHT CLICK HERE.  You do not need a Skype account to use Skype, click here for instructions on using Skype.    The Skype link is here: https://join.skype.com/qt6Y1PQvj04l.  You may also watch the Facebook Live Webcast. However, it is not interactive, you are watching but we cannot hear you if you want to talk to us or read a part of the worship right-click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtqsia2ssByYou/.










For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
The 40th Anniversary of the founding of Ray Of Hope Church of the LGBTQSIANE2ss+ Community of Central New York State, in Elmira, NY was celebrated on Sunday, October 29, 2023.  The Congregation was started on October 31, 1983 on HALLOWEEN, or the EVE of the FEAST OF ALL SAINTS, ALL HALLOWS EVE.   It is also the anniversary of the REFORMATION! 
"I call on the leaders of all three Abrahamic Religions to summon all parties involved in this war to put humanitarian preservation above all religious Doctrine, Dogma, Teaching, and Practices that some are using to justify war."
(Rev. Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor. Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.  October 15, 2023.)
"Scientific Discovery, Academic Knowledge, the Holy Scriptures, and Spirituality are Universal and Unified."  (Br. Benedict 8-5-23)

Roses from
Annie and Gary Davis
WE ARE FAMILY
12-23-23
in our remodeled Tabernacle
booth with the
Blessed Sacrament
Exposed in a monstrance.