Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2018 was the 35th Anniversary in our 36th year in Ministry.
  |  Home  About  |  Faith  |  Purpose  |  Sexuality  |  Location  |  Worship  |  Contact  |  Resources  |  Staff  |  Ministry  | Organization

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,



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.


the Church by us, for us, 4 U!

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

We are not an OPEN AND AFFIRMING church for you.




 church where you can attend as long as you blend in quietly and discretely.


THIS is the church where YOU belong.

Ray Of Hope Church is the church

by us, for us, and made by You.

Artist: Richard Hook
"Head Of Christ"
Help us keep this web site on line for those who need this ministry by making your tax deductable donation here using the web secure "donate" yellow button through PayPal.  Thank you and God bless you.
When the Paypal Purchase Details page appears
type DONATION into the Description box.
Type in the amount you wish to donate in the
Price per item box without using the $ sign.
Press Continue.
this will take you to your PayPal sign in page.

Pay with Debit of Credit Card.
This takes you directly to the SECURE PayPal Guest Checkout where you can use any credit or debit card and not have to sign up for PayPal.

We completely rely on your generous donations.  Thank you very much.

Site updated
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)
Are you gay, lesbian, hetro-flexible, bi, trans, asexual, a straight ally, gay adjacent, pansexual, or any other orientation or gender expression that is not considered "tradtional heterosexual" and someone said you aren't saved?  GOD SAYS YOU ARE SAVED! Click here for the proof you are safe and secure in God.
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)
Visit our chapel and take some time for prayer.  Here is a Facebook Live video showing you how to come in: CLICK HEREOr take a short tour of the chapel here:  CLICK HERE  Use your back arrow to return to our web site.  
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.
Website Hit Counters
Free Hit Counters
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.
Ray Of Hope Church supports and endorses Elmira's LGBTQIS2SS..... Social Group here at the church building.   Join us for another movie, munchie, and mingle meeting. Movie:  Miracles from Heaven.  More information - CLICK HERE  SPECIAL MOVIE NIGHT THURSDAY November 29, 2018
Each Sunday we read from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt official list of Names during our worship service.  To learn about this 49,000 (2016 ) paneled wonder and icon, click here.
For easy instructions on how to use Skype to participate in our activities click here.
  * Scroll Window
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.
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.  Jun2 28, 2018 Stonewall 49 ~ Br. Shawn Benedict, Pastor
Visit our new scrolling prayers.  Learn to pray in five seconds and enjoy hours of guided prayer, meditation, and actively praising God.  Updated 8-14-18.  Thank you, Stephen Lucas for helping with this project.
+ 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:
(based upon the New American Bible - divine office version  - 1970 with inclusive language added.)

Saint Matthew Shepard, pray for us.
(born. 12/1/1976 - Entered Heaven 10/12/1998)
Martyr of the Christian Faith - Episcopalian -
victim of hatred of young gay men.

Saint Harvey Milk,
pray for us.
(born 5/22/1930 - Entered Heaven 11/27/1978)
Martyr of God, Jewish, giving his life for liberty and justice for all.

Saint Brandon Teena,
pray for us.
(born 12/12/1972 - Entered Heaven
12/31/1993) Martyr - former Roman Catholic - victim of hatred for transgender people.
October 31 update:
Last evening Tuesday, October 30, we participated in a community memorial  for the eleven victims murdered in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The memorial was at 7:00 p.m. in the Congregation Kol Ami synagogue, which is at 1008 West Water Street, Elmira, NY 14905. Here is the text of the prayer I was honored to lead at the service:  "How abundant are Your works, Adoni; with wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions."  Avinu Sh'bashamayim, Master of the Universe, Have mercy on all who suffer from terrorism and wars, in Israel and the world over.  Protect all of Your creatures against violence; weaken the hands of villains, and lead them to the path of goodness and complete repentance.   Prevent natural disasters: earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, raging fires and tornadoes.  Have compassion on all the displaced, homeless, and starving people in Your world.  Have mercy on your creations.  Comfort the mourners, and heal the injured.  Open our hearts to all human beings in all four corners of the earth.  Eradicate evil from among all the inhabitants of Your world.  A is written:  "You allowed people to subjugate us; we went through fire and water and You brought us out to a place of abundance." (Psalms 66:12)  This prayer was provided by Rabbi Steinitz.

Please continue to remember the grieving and frightened.

From Pastor Benedict in the hour of the shooting in the Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA today, October 27, 2018. My heart is hurting for the Jewish Community today. My mind is telling me to be involved in political action and do all I can to protect and advance liberty and justice for all. I can do this by being constantly active in conversation, and by being active in voting. VOTE please VOTE for liberty and justice for all. God, please comfort the families of these martyrs of faith, as well as those in law enforcement who risked their lives to protect the innocent. These people have died because they love and worship you, God. They were murdered during their weekly worship. Eleven people have died and many more have been injured. God, we ask you to comfort those who have suddenly been left behind tonight, those who will have someone missing from their home as of this afternoon. Comfort those family and friends of those voices that will not be heard again, whose arms will not hold again, whose hands will not touch again, who were taken from the Earth today while they were at worship. Oh God, help us learn how to respect each other and realize we are all equal members of your Creation. Any hate crime is a hateful assault on you, God. Forgive our hate that is all self-centered. Teach us to live in respect and sacred Love. Lord, hear our prayer.  Shalom aleichem on all who are hurting.


To read the current worship bulletin, complete with all announcements and scheduled events, simply click here.  Join us for worship this Sunday, November 18 for the last Sunday of the church year, the Feast of Christ the King.  To read more information about this worship event click here.
Join us Tuesday, November 20, 2018 for our Bible Enrichment Session - Revelation: The Book!  You may start the study with us anytime, do come. Bible Study for the LGBTQISA++ COMMUNITY.
It is our Holy Book.  God's Word intended to bless us.
more information CLICK HERE.
On November 14, 1985 the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation formed, now known simply as GLAAD, to be a media monitoring organization that watches how GLBTQIS++++ issues are reported in the media and make responses as needed.  This week GLAAD is announcing Trans Awareness Week, November 12-19 with the Transgender Day of Remembrance being next Tuesday, November 20.  Quoting from their web site: the purpose of these events is "to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and address the issues the community faces."   Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), is "an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in actis of antitransgender violence."  There is a lot of information and ways to participate on their web site.  Certainly Ray Of Hope Church stands in solidarity with persons of all gender expressions as we have from the very first meeting of our church in 1983.  To see the web site, simply click here.
November 11, 1018  marked the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. 

As I stated in worship Sunday November 11, the vision of liberty and justice for all is a Christian, a God vision.  God is all about freedom, justice, and liberty for all.  God is all about freedom from anything that holds us back or distracts us from living to give God thanks and praise.  We all have experienced the powers of governments limiting the rights of people to be themselves and be able to celebrate the full spectrum of who they are in every way.  We have all experienced churches trying to hold people back and especially that particularly violent extreme of when churches and governments work together to supress people and attempt to prevent them from giving God thanks and praise and living out their full selves with all of the varieties of sexual orientations and gender expressions.  Every war our country has been involved in and will be involved in has been and will always about religion, all of them.  Religious Freedom is equal to the freedom of the human person to express everything about who they are created to be and to have a living relationship with their Creator and the People of the Creator.

The bloodshed of humans by humans has been the most awful part of the human story.  So, we thank God today for the women, men, the transpersons and anyone who does not fit into these categories who have served our Country, and served the greater global coalitions in the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.  We particularly thank God for our GLBTQIS+++ friends and family members who have served.

Scriptures tell us there will be no end to wars until Jesus Christ rules as King of Kings, and Lord of Lord's in His Millennial Kingdom, the one we have been praying for all our lives when we say "Thy Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven."  However, in pursuit of liberty and justice for all we understand that sometimes we have to fight with all our might to hold back evil and protect the vulnerable.  So we support our military and we call on our government to keep the use of our military for honest and noble reasons only.

May God bless all who have served, all who are serving, and all who will serve.

Br. Shawn Benedict, Pastor