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.
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Sermon for June 18, 1999
Gay Pride Service


1 Samuel 18:1-4; 2 Samuel 1:17-18, 23-27
Pride Service, 1999, (Year A)




1Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
2 Samuel 1:17-18
17Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son, 18and he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written in the Book of Jasher:
2 Samuel 1: 23-27
23 “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives, And in their death they were not divided; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions. 24 “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury; Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. 25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places. 26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, Surpassing the love of women. 27 “How the mighty have fallen, And the weapons of war perished!”

This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.

PSALM 150

1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! 2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! 3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

Ruth 1:1-18
 1Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband. 6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread. 7Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.” 11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!” 14Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.” 18When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her. .

Matt. 10:7-15, 22-23, 32-33, 40-42
7And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, £raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. 11“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12And when you go into a household, greet it. 13If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
22And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
32“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.




Brother Benedict, Sermon 179

Pride Service, 1999





1 Samuel 18:1-4; 2 Samuel 1:17-18, 23-27
PSALM 150
Ruth 1:1-16
Matt. 10:7-15, 22-23, 32-33, 40-42

We come here tonight to give praise and thanks to God almighty for loving us so well. Our movement of Gay and Lesbian Christian Churches is thirty years old this year. I am forty years old and when I reflect back thirty years ago, I remember a lot of things happening in our country. I remember hearing the high school students were walking out of classes and having sit in demonstrations during the school day. I remember hearing about rights for black Americans, demonstrations around racism, and hearing racial slurs all around me. I remember many demonstrations around the Vietnam war. I remember seeing and hearing nothing but war and racism news on the news and in the papers. Ten years later I learned that there was another demonstration that happened the same year in Greenwich Village, NYC. I am speaking, of course of the Stonewall riots. From a little bar on Christopher Street began our organized call for equal rights. Have we improved over these thirty years? Yes, I think so. It is impressive to me how much easier teens have it than even I did. I am astounded at the number of teens that are able to openly date members of their same gender, openly wear pride jewelry and pride shirts, go into any mall and buy a teen gay magazine. Further, to realize we have churches where everyone is welcome to worship God because we are rolling out the carpet to all people is a total holy joy. We are so fortunate to have found the scholarship of those who have done the long and hard research that unequivocally proves the Bible does not condemn persons who have a sexual orientation other than Heterosexual. We are so fortunate to have the access to Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic translations that confirm these findings. We are so fortunate to have more access than any previous generation in the Church to records that show the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. So, tonight is the time to stop and say "thank you, Jesus, praise and bless you O God." Tomorrow, we shall march in the parade and have a table at the festival where we can give witness to the marvelous work of God in our lives. We hope you will attend the parade and festival tomorrow to assist us in proclaiming the living Gospel of Jesus Christ at the festival. Let us continue in our worship with open hearts and expectant faiths. We invite you to enjoy this night and bask in the spirit of thanksgiving and the love of God. Let us continue.

TOTUS TUUS! Totally Yours, Lord Jesus Christ.


May Almighty God bless all of us, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


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