I think will be trust. After everything in the American Orthodox Church settles down trust will be the last to recover.
Many, perhaps, think the whole thing is about power, and it is in some way. Yet as the issues of who is in charge of what begin to settle the sheep will still be scattered because an enemy has struck the shepherds. After all, who can you talk to now? In the shifting alliances is there any safe place where your challenges won’t be ammunition for someone’s next move, your confessions a source of power to those who hear them, or your thoughts of the moment the fodder for www speculation even before they are completely developed? The titles may one day be all sorted out but the relationships may never be. Everyone will feel like they have to play the game and and no one will know for sure when its over.
If you’re a cleric that world is the new normal for the forseeable future. The damage is already done. Serving God in the Church is going to be a tense business, one eye on those you are called to serve, the other keeping track of the shadows as you try to guess the next move. Honesty, struggle, contemplation, its all gone for now, and so, for that matter will be creativity, risk taking, and the kinds of envisioning that look towards the future. Keep your head low. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Keep the money coming in and the people from complaining. Above all, watch your back. It’s not the gates of hell but it can sure feel like it sometimes.
Still I have no plans to give up. Orthodoxy is too precious to be deserted for the sake of a single era and certainly not for some uncomfortable years. I wish it was better. I wish it was, well, “orthodox”, but for now the better that drew me to the Faith will have to wait a while until reality starts catching up. This, too, is the faith of the Church.
For now no one is quite sure how to walk through this. No one is sure who to trust. We’re going to be hobbled for a while, wasting precious time while things that should not have been broken are fixed. Its our penance and if we are truly humble we should try our best to not leave it to be borne by our children.