Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The LGBTQIS Pride Activities, and Social Events Center of Elmira NY
The only Church in Central New York founded and fostered by the GLBTQIS community for 37 years. October 31, 2019 - 36th Anniversary in our 37th year in Ministry.
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Artist: Richard Hook
"Head Of Christ"
Site updated
1/25/20
1:00 p.m.
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, heteroflexible, 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
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, January 28, 2020 for our Bible Enrichment Session -  We are continuing our study in the Book of  Ephesians.  This book is loaded with Bible Doctrines - unchangeable truths regarding all things.  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 are.  For more 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.

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, 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
To have firm principles with flexible application will provide opportunity for growth and evolution.
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.
".....I know that justice is indivisible.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967.
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.
Monday, May 6, 2019 Ray Of Hope Church participated in an event sponsored by the Elmira Downtown Churches.  The churches tolled our bells at 12:40 PM one toll for each century the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris has stood in honor of God.  To see the video of our participation CLICK HERE.
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 NEW Ray Of Hope Church Pride Pages Portal.  CLICK HERE.
The passing of Nora Jane Mc Dermott,  a Foundress of the Elmira Chapel of Ray Of Hope Church.  Jane was born March 12, 1937. She passed into Paradise October 1, 2019.  Visit our page dedicated to Jane where you can read the entire Obituary, see a video of the Graveside Service, see a video of the placing of her ashes into her mother's grave, and see a video of the entire Praise and Thanksgiving Worship Service held on October 11, 2019.  You may also print a copy of the entire worship bulletin of her service.   CLICK HERE.

Jane's Page updated
12/6/19
1:30 PM
New Pictures
Photo taken on 11-15-19 showing our new front doors.
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.
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

We celebrated all of the nights of Hanukkah 2019.  For more information click here.
Ray Of Hope Church celebrated Kwanzaa 2019.  For more information Click Here.
Dear Friends and Members of Ray Of Hope Church,

Charlotte J. Allen passed into Paradise the morning of December 23, 2019 around 5:00 AM at home with Cheryl at her side.  We are so thankful that Charlotte shared the last five years of her life in our worship community.  She taught us so much about love and acceptance and being family all together.  We will certainly miss Charlotte.  We are greatly comforted in knowing how much Charlotte loved the Blessed Sacrament and would do just about anything to be able to attend Sunday worship with us.  Charlotte loves (yes that is in the present tense) Ray Of Hope Church and she was often heard saying she wanted more people to attend worship with us.  Charlotte will be one of our strongest prayer warriors for sure.
The Service Of The Resurrection was celebrated Friday night, December 27, 2019.  You may watch the full service Click Here.  You may also read the full program. Click Here.
Please remember Charlotte's family in your prayers.  Remember to give God thanks and praise for the time we have had with Charlotte these last five years.
Christ's peace,
Br. Benedict, Pastor
to Read the full obituary Click Here.

Come to our movie, munchie, and mingle meeting LGBTQISA++ Social Group Thursday January 30 The movie is Making Love: This film is a 1982 American drama that tells the story of a married man coming to terms with his homosexuality and the love triangle that develops between him, his wife and another man.  This is a very important film in the queer cinema tradition in the USA.  This film played in movie theatres.  For more information 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
The Congregation held its Annual Meeting on January 19, 2020 at 1:30 p.m..  Read the documents here to see first hand what it costs to keep this LGBTQIS organization alive and healthy.  Ray Of Hope does not receive any grants or funds other than the direct donations people make to the organization.  In 2020 it could cost as much as $101,797.00 to remain active.  Click on the documents below to study our proposed budgets (one for the operation of our building and the other for the total corporation budget), the notes from our last Congregational Meeting (held in September, 2019) and the Agenda for this one.

2020 Announcement of the Annual Meeting #37.  Click Here.
2020 Annual Meeting Agenda January 2020 Click Here.
2020 proposed corporation budget Ray Of Hope Church Click Here.
2020 proposed building budget Ray Of Hope Church Click Here.
2020 Pastoral Reports for 2019 Click Here.
2020 Moderator Reports for 2019 Click Here.

2019 End of the Year Income and Expense Report (Showing all income and expenses in 2019)  Click Here.
2019 End of the Year Balance Sheet Click Here.
2019 September 15 Congregational Minutes Click Here.