Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America
The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) is an organization whose mission is to proclaim, share, and reveal the Orthodox Christian Faith through service, fellowship, and example. It has been recently proclaimed an official organization of the Orthodox Church in America.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius is the Spiritual Leader of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America.
The organization has two divisions, a senior division for ages eighteen and beyond, and a junior division for youth ages ten to seventeen.
In early twentieth century new immigrants were rarely welcomed in America, so many, for cultural and economic survival, banded together into ethnic fraternal societies. These brotherhoods of mutual aid helped build and support parish churches. They also came to serve as the social, cultural, linguistic, patriotic, and spiritual clubs.
In 1927, Fr. Vladimir Prislopsky and many laymen and clergy organized the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC) as a national organization uniting the Orthodox Christian clubs in faith, fellowship and service. The local clubs were known as "R" clubs, and Junior "R" clubs.
Throughout its history, the FROC served an important role in assisting in the work of the Church providing talent and resources in such areas as youth ministry, religious education, liturgical music and financial assistance for the seminaries, missionary work, and countless special projects. Through the organization's network of chapters coast-to-coast, a multitude of religious, educational, cultural, social and athletic activities were organized to provide an ideal way to meet others within the faith, beyond the boundaries of the local parish.
Even after the need for ethnic brotherhoods, the organization is popular because it adapted to the needs of Orthodox Christians in America today.
In 1994, the convention body of the FROC petitioned the Holy Synod of Bishops (OCA) to be officially recognized by the Orthodox Church in America. At the 1998 National Convention the organization was renamed the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America.