On October 30 I attended the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Santa Fe to hear Antioch Bishop Basil speak, not knowing what to expect other than he is highly thought of by Fr. John Hennies and Hiermonk John Anderson of our local OCA St. Dimitri parish. Bishop Basil is a member of the Orthodox Episcopal Assembly, which has governance responsibility for all aspects of the Orthodox Church in North America. I had come to the meeting at the invitation of Hiermonk John, who sat at the main table at the church forum.
And I came under the impression that the governing state of affairs in the international Orthodox Church was in a state of chaos. I left with the very opposite opinion. Rarely have I heard anyone speak so clearly and precisely about ecclesiastical matters of any kind from any ecclesiastical persuasion. During the question and answer part of his presentation I raised my hand to make a comment and ask a question: "It seems to me that I'm hearing you say that the Orthodox Church overall is governed by an 'organic' spiritual process. Is this what you are saying?" Bishop Basil surprised me by saying "Yes! That is the word: 'organic'." Rather than the top down process like the church I grew up in, here was the opposite: bottom up!
I left the church inspired and excited, with a new confidence in the overall Orthodox institution.