Perhaps, but I'm far from being "white", or maybe they just forget. I mean, these are little things. Maybe I notice them too much right now because of where I am.
Of course it is not an expectation of what Orthodoxy is. But that is the problem why Orthodoxy is slow to spread to other people. Even in the Philippines, Orthodox only really started 10 years ago because the parish started moving away from being too Greek and became more welcoming to the locals. And then finally they started having local clergy which made it a bigger draw. I believe Orthodoxy there will grow, they are in the right direction.
It can take, as I'm sure you know, quite some time to get your life settled after coming to a new country. A great many immigrants, particularly if they are escaping threatening or traumatic situations in their homeland, will see the church as an oasis of familiarity and comfort in a foreign land and cling to it as a result. This does not absolve anyone, of course, from reaching out to others who are not of the expected cultural background, but it does explain why they can be rather slow to do so. For instance, here in Albuquerque at our little Coptic church we have only within the past 3 or 4 months been successfully negotiating to get a building in which we can hold services (we've tried several times in the past, but never gotten very far due to a lack of funds). The community has been having liturgy for 16 years now, but always in a private home, which understandably limits our evangelistic opportunities (it doesn't look like a church, so people don't know to go there, and we don't have a website/information cards/etc). There are only about 40 of us in total, and I'm the only fluent English-speaker. I'm also really new to the faith, so my responsibilities are limited, in consideration of that fact. We would all love to do large-scale evangelism (Lord knows there are enough other kinds of churches here, so people are very hungry for God), but all of these things require time to be dealt with. Again, it's not an excuse, it's a challenge. I'm always looking for an opportunity to invite people to come to our liturgies, but have not had much success since I am also a transplant to this area, so I don't really know many people outside of church in the first place.
That is right. Like I said, monasteries are places of spirituality. Ethnicity really isn't important there. But in parishes, it is the lay people who make up the identity of the parish, that is why it normally ends up ethnic.
Indeed. Ukrainians don't magically become non-Ukrainian (nor Egyptians non-Egyptian, Romanians non-Romanian, etc.) every time a non-Ukrainian walks through the door. It is a natural function of the makeup of the parish.
It is the tendency of Orthodox parishes in North America. Mainly because the parishes here are established by immigrants.
Well, yeah...they can't very well be started by non-immigrants who haven't heard of Orthodoxy!
That's the whole issue...
Although with RC parishes, you can easily find another one (provided you are in a big city) that isn't ethnic.
I don't believe that's actually so. In my RC days, when I went to an Anglo parish, I was very aware that I was in an Anglo parish (or an Anglo mass v. Hispanic mass, etc). I think this is all a matter of perspective, but having been to Anglo, Hispanic, and Ukranian (well, Ruthenian) parishes in my time in the RCC, I felt that they all had their own cultures, even if they didn't always perfectly correspond to different ethnicities (e.g., there were Africans at the Anglo-Latin parish I went to in Oregon, for instance). It seems that there is still an assumption in your reply that it is possible to have a non-ethnic parish. I do not think that is true. I think it is better to say that it is possible to have a parish that matches the demographics of the wider community, which may be rather diluted in the sense of being nth generation something white (they've forgotten by now) and W.A.S.P.y (yes, also among Catholics), or may be Hispanic, or may be Haitian, or may be just about anything. But that doesn't make one "not ethnic", and the rest "ethnic". Baloney sandwich and Ovaltine white people are not the standard by which all other Catholicisms or Orthodoxies will be judged. The majority of the Catholic Church is decidedly brown/black and funny talkin'. Y a la chingada con lo demas.
(Not so sure about the EO cos I'm not one, but I think that also holds for the OO, as its largest particular church is in East Africa.)
Not the same with Orthodoxy. In the other city I lived here, there was a nearby Greek Orthodox parish. Then 10-15 minutes away there is a Serbian Orthodox parish. About 20 mins in the other direction is a Russian parish.
And you could've gone to any of them.
Really, I don't mean to downplay your struggle, because I'm an extreme minority in my own church too, it's just...well, I'm not going to wait around for a church that looks and talks like me. If it took 16 years to just get a church building, how many more will it be before we're all speaking English over the Agape meal? It is better to work with whatever there is, and let time take its course in nativizing the church (the young children, aged 3 to 11, of the parishioners, do not speak much or any Arabic). If people need to realize that you're having trouble with their expectation that you "suck it up" to be a part of their parish, then maybe you need to talk to those people to explain why that's a taller order than they probably realize. Remember, they haven't had to conform to expectations of what the Ukrainian Church is or should be. For them, it's natural that the ethnicity and the church go together, because they always have throughout their history. For everything else, the faith (the important thing) is Orthodox. That is why we put up with being cultural outsiders. I'd rather learn new Arabic over the Agape meal than learn new (wrong) doctrine in the liturgy.
Already did. Just figuring out how to make the jump
May God bless you and be with you in your journey.