This past year, 6,620 volunteers shared 649,946 moments of service with neighbors in need. Thanks to everyone who offered healthy food, career guidance, clean clothing, compassionate understanding, and secure shelter. In each moment of service, we are fulfilling our calling to be Co-Creators of Paradise.
Everyone who prays, gives, and serves with FOCUS brings unique gifts and talents to the table. Through the thoughts and deeds of our fellowship, we have endless opportunities to take action toward the mission of FOCUS. Together we serve the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned by providing Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding, and Shelter.
What happens when we serve?
When we choose to follow Christ’s example of service – much more is happening than meets the eye. Every encounter is an opportunity to recognize ourselves and our neighbors as made in the image and likeness of Christ. Our humanity, shaped in the image of The Creator of all things visible and invisible, calls us to be a “co-creator with the Uncreated Maker” (Hopko).
Fr. Thomas Hopko continued on in his first volume of The Orthodox Faith,
“If God is so powerful and creative, having dominion over all creation, so human creatures, made in His image and according to His likeness, are also to exercise dominion in the world. If God exercises dominion and authority not by tyranny and oppression, but by loving kindness and service, so are His creatures to do likewise. If God Himself is love, mercy, compassion and care in all things, so must His creatures, made to be like Him, also be the same.”Fr. Thomas Hopko
When we take time to stop and listen to the story of a stranger, share a meal with someone who is hungry, or give to a beggar without expectation of return, we bring God’s “love, mercy, and compassion” to the world.
There will always be people who suffer in some way from lack of food, clothing, companionship, employment, or housing. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about how to end this suffering. God gave us the solution. He became man, and the Kingdom has broken into the world. We, as co-creators made in His image, must “transform all that exists into the Paradise of God.” How? Through offerings of love, kindness, and service to our community.
FOCUS North America exists to support the growth of Orthodox Christian service efforts by providing engagement opportunities that reveal Christ in our neighbor and serve community needs within our five ministry areas of Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding, and Shelter.
Join our mission of engaging in Christ’s call to serve today!