Gotta agree with you, Cleveland! (Hi, by the way!)
I think that your metropolis and the Atlanta metropolis are the most progressive in this area. Being in the Chicago metropolis right now, I've actually been suprised, though, I must say, at how many parishes are convert friendly. Or, I guess I should say, English friendly. I am learning that there is a difference. I won't name any parishes in particular, but there are some that do a LOT of English, but are still super ethnic, in that, if you are a convert, they look at you like you're from another planet (unless, of course, you married a Greek. Then they understand). It saddens me that parishes are not more open to converts. It's almost as though the "cradle" Greek Orthodox can't understand why someone would voluntarily convert to Orthodoxy. Could it be because they don't have a real grasp of the jewel that is Orthodoxy? Maybe they don't understand their own faith, are bored with it, or what have you, such that they can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily convert. Sad...
I have Sunday School students who had never heard of OCMC and had no idea that there were Orthodox Christians in countries OTHER than the US, Greece, Russia, and other Eastern European countries. They were SHOCKED that people outside these countries would voluntarily convert! When I asked them why they were so shocked, they responded that they just didn't realize that someone would WANT to be Orthodox!!! Is this a commentary on the state of some Greek Orthodox parishes now?
Once, I remember going to a St. George/Bright Monday service, Matins, DL, bishop and all at an unnamed Greek parish in Chicago. Had to be 5 hours and nothing but Greek, until the priest (he knew me) told me "Christ is Risen!" in Arabic. After the service, in line for coffee, I was speaking to two parishoners (my Greek was better then). Once I said "dhen eimi ellen" I'm not Greek, the one asked me more about my background, the Arab Orthodox in Egypt, etc. For the other, I instantly vaporized. That pretty much epitomizes my experience with Greeks: either it makes no difference at all, or it makes all the difference in the world.
I was at a foot washing ceremony a few years back, at a Greek Church with a Greek bishop I won't name (but has a reputation as an ethnarch). The church was full, and I can swear on my life that I was the only non-Greek there. The parish, by the way, is not known as English friendly, at least I've never heard it so. Anyway, during the service the bishop would switch from time to time to English, and would chant LOUD when the chanters and congregation would not switch to English also. Afterward, the bishop (again, not known as a English lover) spoke to the congregation about these lovely services we have that no one knows about, and perhaps we hide because they are not in English and no one understands or sees them, so they can come to Orthodoxy, which is our mission, to bring Orthodoxy to the Americans. He said the same in both Greek and English. Odd.
At my old parish (OCA) I had the lovely experience that some parishoners told me that they started coming regular and the extra services too, and took it seriously after seeing me. The asked themselves, they said, "if someone wants this and comes when they don't have to, maybe I'm taking something for granted." At the same parish, there is a family that started coming and became active after grandma's funeral. She was Orthodox, but married someone under Rome, and the children became lapsed Catholics. When the funeral came, they were astounded, like they found something in her attic, they said. They converted, and as I said, are among the most active. Yes, these dry bones can live.