Finally, Some Good News

byzantine-tx-thumbYours’ Truly has often been taken to task for not reporting good news on the Orthodox front. Invariably I reply that “I would if there was any to report.”

Though there’s a grain of truth to my riposte, I must admit that more often than not I say it in a flippant manner. For too long I’ve taken the tack that because the official publications and websites of institutional Orthodoxy put out tedious propaganda, our job was to hold their feet to the fire. I still stand by that but truth be told, when one takes such a position, it’s easy to overlook good things.

It is for this reason that I am grateful to other Orthodox bloggers (in this case Byzantine Texas) for pointing out some of the good things. Please take the time to read this news release from GOARCH (yes, GOARCH) about this new initiative by FOCUS.

Source: Byzantine, TX

(GOARCH) – Despite the best efforts of many policy experts and lawmakers to bring universal healthcare coverage to all Americans, 16% of the population – 45 million people – still do not have health insurance, a number that is higher in 2014 than it was in 2008, according to a recent Gallup poll. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has exacerbated many of the reasons that people do not have coverage and 2% of the American workforce, more than 3 million people, have lost their employer-sponsored coverage due to loopholes and other consequences of the Act, making the net benefit of the Act debatable.

But this blog post is not written to discuss why the ACA is, or is not, succeeding. Rather, it is written to show how Orthodox Christians are responding to a problem in the United States that has been pervasive for decades and will continue with no clear end in sight.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOCUS North America recently opened the first comprehensive Orthodox health care facility in America. The FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center targets uninsured individuals and provides them with access to quality physical and mental health care as well as pharmaceutical and laboratory services. In addition, The FOCUS health center is a place where skilled Orthodox medical practitioners can put their talents to good use for the glory of God and in service to those in need right here in America.

FOCUS North America is an Orthodox Christian faith-based nonprofit organization that provides sustainable jobs and permanent housing solutions for the homeless and working poor families across America. FOCUS has operations and activities in 50 cities in the US and Canada.

Why did FOCUS extend its services into healthcare? Because it’s not much good to give someone a job or a place to live if they are not healthy enough to maintain them. It is very difficult to sustainably transition a person or a family from homelessness, poverty and dependency to a life of self-sufficiency without providing for their health. Offering free comprehensive healthcare and health-related services is a natural fit with FOCUS’ work to transform the lives of the homeless and working poor in America…


  1. Wizard of Smart says

    FOCUS really is the best! However, Despite all this great news and the success of FOCUS, why has the episcopal assembly after years of meeting not approved FOCUS as an official organization of the EA. What is the reason for the lengthy hold up?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Probably because it is under Met. Savas committee which is the least active of them all.

  2. Pere LaChaise says

    The EA is obviously not about making a positive difference by bolstering ministries. Besides short-shrifting FOCUS, the EA has allocated only a puny amount of cash to OCF campus work. I think these ministries just don’t have enough bling associated with them to merit the expenditure. There is nothing inherently Byzantine about either.

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    This post is in context with spiritual health care. Seemly, because we do not live by bread alone.
    The first day of creation the Light and the Darkness was separated, These are the morning and evening sacrifices which Daniel mentions are taken away in the end time.. They are symbolized in the Garden of Eden as the Tree of knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of Life. It was forbidden for Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge, because cursing life is part of it’s function. As the Christ cursed the fig tree which bore no fruit, and will curse those at the Last Judgement who were workers of iniquity. We are commanded to bless and curse not our enemies. The reference to the Light and Darkness continues with Noah, who sends out the Raven and the Dove, as God renews the earth and humanity from un-redeemable corruption. These 2 appear again as the Pillar of Fire and the Cloud/Ark , which is celebrated in the feast of tabernacles by the Jews. This was recognized by St Peter at the Transfiguration on the Mount, who sought to build booths for all 3, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Christ.
    Elijah must come first, and the Christ said, Elijah has already come , but they did not know him. The Lord was speaking of John the Baptist.. The spiritual power of the Good in the tree of knowledge resides in the heart of St. John and Elijah and is the same power. This is how St John was Elijah.
    St John’s head was put on a platter, and his power, the Restrainer was removed. The full power and hour of darkness was released unhindered to attack Jesus Christ.. Before this, none had fulfilled the Royal Law given to Moses, all had fallen short and sinned, and all were condemned to reap the wages of sin, spiritually and physically, death.He who sins against one part of the Royal Law, sins against the whole Law.The Christ did no sin, blameless against the Royal Law and the Justice of God required the Only Holy One not to allow His Holy One to see corruption. Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, and as The Only Holy One is not a respecter of persons, ( normal humanity) of which Jesus Christ is fully One.All mankind will be resurrected at the Last Judgement, the evil humans and those with a contrite and humble heart, who God will not despise.
    The abomination of desolation in our future spoken of by Danial and the Christ is a final release of the power and hour of darkness, after the Restrainer is removed. This these 2 prophets are spoken of in the Revelation, they were Transfigured on the Mount from Judaism to Christianity and appear in Christianity as authentic Apostolic Authority and the Holy Fire , received annually on Pascha .These powers reside in the hearts of men, but most men do not know then as they did not know St John the Baptist. The anti-Christ kills those who hearts have the Holy Powers, they Ascend to heaven and return with Jesus Christ.
    The Victorious Lord Returns with the Stone not made with human Hands. As He is Worthy, to enter into time. where fallen creation is captured and restore the Perfection of the Tree of Life, in full manifestation of the Command of God Life Eternal. The Christ redeems those who have made them selves redeemable by obedience to the Vision, and the Gift of Eternal Life is given, to those who have died physically but still maintained spiritual life. even as a grain of mustard seed, and brought forth spiritual fruit, some 30, man to his physical nature, some, 60, man to man, and 100 fold, God to man.
    The Only Holy One has always retained 7000( indefinite number and indefinite time), men who have not bent their knee to Baal. These were those who will not taste death who stood before the Christ when He Ascended into Heaven. The Abomination of Desolation reoccurs in the time, times and the half-time. The Last occurrence is in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Holy Place, where it ought not to be.It must be obvious to you, I intend to let the reader understand. I am a minor prophet, not of Elijah’s calling.a lesser calling in which I am content as it is God’s Will.

  4. Michael Kinsey says

    It is also interesting that the Vatican has assumed control over the site considered the upper room where the Last Supper was celebrated and where the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost. This was done by agreement with the nation of Israel. It has been said on the internet. that Freemason catholic clerics’ celebrate their mass weekly since the take over. It won’t work against the 2 prophets, the Holy Powers reside in their hearts.

  5. If it’s not an “extremely mostest very importantest historical occurrence of the month,” involving the Pope, Patriarch Bartholomew, and probably “monotheistic prayers,” why would the “Assembly of Bishops” fund it, or even publicize it? Not in the interest of the political goals! It is an organ of, by, and for the EP anyway! Gotta get those Canon 28 ducks in a row!
    …. And the Catholics are not alone in including Freemasons within their ranks of clergy ….