Last Sunday, March 17, was St. Patrick's Day.  Rarely falling on Sunday, we enjoyed an opportunity to look into the life of this man and see what we can take away and apply to our own spiritual journey.  We wore our green for fun this Sunday.  More information CLICK HERE.
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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Artist: Richard Hook
"Head Of Christ"
Site updated
3/20/19
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)
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.
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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
Elmira's LGBTQIS2SS..... Social Group here at the church building.  Thursday March 21, 2019: "High Art" Come to our movie, munchie, and mingle meeting. More information - CLICK HERE  for details.


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.
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. 
PRAYER   IN   MOTION   CLICK HERE
+ 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.)

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.
Join us Tuesday March 26, 2019 for our Bible Enrichment Session - Come and see what we are learning.  You may start the study with us anytime, do come. This is the Bible Study for the LGBTQISA++ COMMUNITY.
It is our Holy Book.  God's Word is intended to bless us and help us celebrate who we aremore information CLICK HERE.
Nathan Greene's masterpiece, titled "The Blessed Hope."  It beautifully "captures the emotion and joy of the moment when Christ returns to redeem his children from all walks of life and take them home to heaven.  To order copies directly from the artist, Nathan Greene, click here.

Jesus is truly present everywhere. He is also present as he promised in the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation in John Chapter 6.  This Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation is what we receive in Holy Communion, the very real presence of Christ in the bread and the wine or grape juice.  Some of Sunday's Holy Communion is stored in the special locked cupboard called a tabernacle and is in the chapel for prayer and adoration of Christ truly present. The tabernacle is in the center of this picture behind the door marked with the P and X (the first two letters of Jesus' name in Greek Xpistos, Christos).  See the stained glass cross Robb Bacon left for us on the left side of the altar, see the embroidered "Last Supper" given to us by Beth Balzer, see the St. Francis statue given as a gift to Brother by Robb Bacon, and all the plants and flowers giving Christ the praise and glory.  You are invited to stop in to the chapel or just keep this moving picture going and enter into a prayer of visitation to Jesus.  Our Lord is present and He is waiting for you.  (YES the candle flames are actually moving in this picture, it is a GIF, a short video clip.)  Take time to meditate here or in person and give God thanks and praise for all the gifts we enjoy in Christ our Lord.
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, 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.


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.

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.

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To have firm principles with flexible application will provide opportunity for growth and evolution.
See the entire all City Ash Wednesdy Service we participated in on March 6, 2019.  To see the video of the worship service CLICK HERE.    
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.

From Pastor Benedict in response to the shootings in the Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand today, March 15, 2019.

 

Our hearts are hurting again this morning, this time for the Muslim Community in New Zealand and throughout the world at the news of the shootings in the Mosques that have taken so many lives of innocent families including children who were praying.  We extend our intention for peace, comfort, and strength at this time.  

 

The Pastoral Ministry, the Council, Members and Friends of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. the church of the LGBTQIS++ Community in Central New York State extend our support to the families of those who lost their lives, those who are injured, and all who have been terrorized by yet another massacre of innocent and peaceful people at prayer in their house of worship.  While we certainly are praying for all of the victims and their families we also call upon all peace loving people to realize we have to do more than pray.  Together as a global community we must join together to protect the rights of peaceful assembly of persons for the purpose of nonviolent religious exercises.  Together we must insist on the protection of places of religious assembly as sanctuary and safety for all who gather in these places.  Together we must stand and insist on the protection of Religious Freedom globally in every Country with the protection and non-interference of every government for every religion that works for peace, nonviolence, and goodwill for all.  We call upon all people to be involved in political action and do all we can to protect and advance liberty and justice for all. We call upon everyone to participate in this by being active in conversation, and to be active in voting. VOTE and promote liberty and justice for all.

 

 

Together we pray: God, please comfort the families of these martyrs of faith and peaceful humanity, as well as those in law enforcement who risked their lives to protect the innocent. Again, people have died because they love and worship you, God. They were murdered during their weekly worship. Over 49 people have died and many more have been injured. God, we ask you to comfort those who have suddenly been left behind today, those who will have someone missing from their home as of this afternoon. Comfort the 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.  Bless with your Peace, with your Love, with your strength upon all who are hurting.

 

We ask this blessing through Christ Jesus Our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

 

Signed,

Rev. Br. Shawn F. Benedict, Pastor

Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.

Forward this to anyone you know who would be blessed and comforted by reading it.

 

STATEMENT FROM RAY OF HOPE CHURCH AT THE TIME OF THE MURDERS IN THE MOSQUES IN NEW ZEALAND March 15, 2019
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We attended the "Funeral & Memorial Services" for the victims of Christchurch, New Zealand Mosque Shooting:

When: Sunday March 17, 2019 @1:15pm

Where: IAFL Islamic Center, 499 Hickory Grove Rd., Horseheads, NY

This service was open to all.  It was very moving and meaningful.  It was hosted and led by
M. Zaman Marwat, Ph. D. Imam IAFL Islamic Center
".....I know that justice is indivisible.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967.