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SCOBA gives FOCUS North America a “warm endorsement” for this “welcomed initiative”


For more information contact:
Fr. Justin Mathews,
Executive Director & CEO

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SCOBA gives FOCUS North America

a “warm endorsement” for this “welcomed initiative”



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 11, 2009 – Kansas City, MO

FOCUS North America made a successful 20-minute presentation on Thursday June 25th, 2009 to the STANDING CONFERENCE OF THE CANONICAL ORTHODOX BISHOPS IN THE AMERICAS (SCOBA) at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral during its Spring 2009 session.

During this important meeting, although not granted immediate agency status as requested, a resolution was passed by all the Hierarchs in support of FOCUS North America stating: “SCOBA gives FOCUS North America a warm endorsement for this welcomed initiative.”

“As FOCUS North America seeks to grow the direct ministries we are operating and the Pan-Orthodox philanthropic ministries that we propose to engage in on behalf of the whole Church, we are grateful for the warm reception of the Hierarchs and the prayerful guidance of the Study and Planning Commission of SCOBA,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director.

“The Board of Directors, staff and many partners of FOCUS North America who have labored for years on behalf of the ‘least of these’ here at home are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to have presented its exciting operations and plans to the esteemed Hierarchs of SCOBA,” said Mr. Charles Ajalat, Chairman of FOCUS North America.

After the meeting all of the Hierarchs and others present enjoyed watching the new FOCUS North America video highlighting its domestic mission and ministries to reach the poor in North America.

FOCUS North America is an Orthodox domestic social action agency formed to serve the poor and needy on behalf of the Church in North America, to support existing Orthodox ministries doing so effectively, and to help welcoming parishes initiate new social action ministries in their own communities. For more information and to watch the FOCUS North America video please visit to



FOCUS North America is excited to announce its first Radio on Demand Program




Jacob Lee
Communications & Web/ Social Media Coordinator
FOCUS North America
Phone: 949-328-0122
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FOCUS North America is excited to announce its first Radio on Demand Program (Podcast), The FOCUS North America Podcast on the Orthodox Christian Network.

Kansas City, MO – June 16th, 2009 - The Focus North America Podcast will feature engaging commentary and timely updates on Orthodox Christian social action volunteers, agencies and ministries of the Orthodox Church reaching out to the poor and needy here at home.

We are excited to have this opportunity to partner with OCN and the great work they are doing in sharing the Orthodox faith.  Every dollar given to FOCUS North America and every podcast listened to and shared with a friend helps to provide vital Food, Occupations, Clothing, Understanding and Shelter for the truly needy in North America,” said FOCUS’ Executive Director, Fr. Justin Mathews.  Fr. Mathews continued, “The podcast will feature how FOCUS North America is uniting the faithful in serving our neighbors in need as the Lord commanded us to do in Matthew 25.”

Rev. Dr. Christopher Metropulos, the Executive Director of the SCOBA Agency, OCN said, “Serving the poor and needy in North America should be a priority for every Orthodox Christian. We are proud to partner with FOCUS North America and support their dynamic and growing ministry on behalf of the whole Church.”

The new podcast titled “FOCUS North America" will be available on OCN’s newly enhanced and upgraded web site   Each episode will be Fr. Justin Mathews with co-host Jacob Lee, the host of the popular “Generation Orthodox” and “Journey’s to Orthodoxy” podcasts. The podcast will be enhanced by regular contributions from Nick Kasemeotes and many others.

FOCUS North America is committed to serving those in need in North America by providing aid through its programs and partners, supporting existing Orthodox agencies, ministries and professionals, and supplying parishes with what they need in order to initiate new social action ministries in their own communities.

To learn more about FOCUS North America and to watch a video highlighting the work of FOCUS North America visit:

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For more information, contact:
Rev. Fr. Justin Mathews
Executive Director, CEO
FOCUS North America
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


FOCUS North America established to support and build up domestic Orthodox social action ministries.

KANSAS CITY—April 7, 2009—In early 2009, FOCUS North America (Fellowship of Orthodox
Christians United to Serve) launched as a network of Orthodox Christian social action ministries that
express Christ’s love in North America for those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick or in
prison (Matt. 25:35-5). In its first 60 days of operation, FOCUS North America has partnered with
dozens of Orthodox agencies and parish initiatives and awarded more than $30,000 in grants.

FOCUS grew out of the need for an Orthodox Christian effort to address the persistent and pervasive
needs of the suffering, impoverished or vulnerable in North America. It is a staggering reality that over
40 million people live below the poverty line and the unemployed rate exceeds 11 million people in North
America and is increasing. While there are a variety of Orthodox Christian agencies within all
jurisdictions effectively engaged in addressing these needs, a coordinated effort with national support and
encouragement could be much more effective.

In January 2009, an historic meeting of twenty leaders, staff, academics and patrons of leading Orthodox
Christian domestic social action agencies, with members representing a variety of Orthodox jurisdictions
in North America, was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Marilee Ajalat and the Orthodox Vision
Foundation. That meeting was the catalyst for the creation of FOCUS North America and the refining of
its vision, which is to make a significant and sustainable impact through Orthodox Christian social action
initiatives in the lives of suffering, impoverished or vulnerable persons of any age, race, creed or color in
North America, especially in, but not limited to, ministries providing immediate relief in the areas of
Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding and Shelter.

FOCUS is compelled by Christ’s mandate to serve those in need through:

  • Education in faith communities of the Scriptural mandate, historical precedence and urgency forliving out the Christian faith and witness through personal involvement in social service
  • Support of existing social action agencies through training, coordination and funding from significant private and public sources
  • Initiating the creation, and nurturing the healthy growth and funding, of new locally-based social outreaches and their leaders
  • Collaboration with individuals who want to support social ministry through volunteerism or funding of these initiatives

Orthodox agencies and parishes with social service initiatives or plans for future projects are encouraged
to become part of the FOCUS North America network. For more information about FOCUS North
America, go to or contact Fr. Justin Mathews at 816.399.0909 or via
email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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