If I may speak briefly out of my own experience in coming to Orthodoxy. I was a Charismatic for around 21 years and spend a lot of time in my youth around AoG churches. So, I'm familiar with the faith background you are coming from.
The Dead: Strangely enough the groundwork for this was laid for my by Met. Kalistos Ware in his book The Orthodox Church which I read back in my 20s. One point he raised that I could not ever refute was the assertion that the Church is the Body of Christ, and that Church includes those present in the earth and those who have gone to be with the Lord. What body does not have communion with itself? Bodies with interrupted communion are grievously injured or paralyzed. St. Paul said that the Body is joined together in the Spirit by that which every joint supplieth. Those joints don't break when we pass away. Indeed we might even expect that those most deeply rooted in Christ in this life would have supplied a lot more in the joint/joining department than most. Since we are joined together in the Spirit, then it is reasonable that the way we access and invest in that joint communion is likewise in the Spirit. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, what does your body do? Your other fingers wrap around the injured thumb, your other hand gently explores the extent of the injury or shelters it even more. Every muscle in your body tenses to minimize jarring the injured thumb further. Your breathing quickens and your heart beats faster driving oxygen rich blood to the site of the injury to flush the wound, make a scab and begin healing. Now how does every other member of your body know to come to the aide of your banged up thumb? Is it not the head who sees and directs it all? It's no different in the Body of Christ. The whole body is joined together mystically by the Spirit and it is in the Spirit that the body moves to attend to the needs of it's members…and who directs all this help, both seen and unseen? Is it not the Head?
The truth that Met. Kalistos shared is simply this: Death does not have the power to sunder the body of Christ.
As for the saint's I was taught that the reason we are drawn to one particular saint's icon or another is that that saint has taken a personal interest in us. Once you have been Orthodox a few years, take a look at your icon shelf and the cloud of witnesses there and on your walls. To reflect upon the great and noble company who have chose to pray for your salvation and healing in Christ, to help you on your way in serving Him. It will stagger you, bring you to tears. There's St. Seraphim of Sarov, and maybe St. Issac of Nineveh, St. John the Wonderworker, and maybe St. Xenia or St. Elizabeth the New Mary, and in the midst of the the blessed Theotokos…and all their eyes are turned to you like the rays of the sun shining out from heaven. And who are you that the chiefest treasures of Heaven would love you and take an interest in you and pray for you and want to be in your own home. Do not doubt that you will weep that the Lord has loved you so much as to entrust you to the care of such choice bearers of the Kingdom.
As for gifts and all that, every good thing promised by the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement I have found fulfilled in the Orthodox faith, fulfilled in a fulness I never anticipated, and all done decently and in order, every gift and grace united to great holinessness…no name it and claim it salvation, no name it and claim it gifts…but there is salvation, and there are gifts. But in the Orthodox Church, those who prophesy don't have words that fall to the ground, they see hearts open to their depths, they ask and they receive…they are joyful, yet sober, they are poor but enrich many. They do not showboat…no TBN shows for them. They live in mountains and forests, and caves and secluded places lift up their hands in a life dedicated to following the path of unceasing prayer. If you read the lives of Elder Porphyrios, Elder Pasius, Mother Gavriella, Elder Cleopas, Fr. Arseny, St. Silouan, to name but a few it would astound you the things they did, some so much that you hardly believe they are true except for many of these the witness to those things still live. I've read that Fr. Justin Popovich (I think a saint now) and Elder Porphyrios would meet on occasion and neither spoke the other's language, so each conversed in his own, yet both understood each other perfectly. These are those who following the ancient invitation in Christ have become all fire. These are lives transfigured…often quite literally (and I mean literally). My point is not to set you chasing miracle workers like the next great circus act….rather to illustrate that what the Charismatic movement and the Pentecostal movement wanted to be but could not be because of their discontinuity with the Church and sometimes quite erroneous (though ignorantly so) teachings. I saw enough as a Charismatic to know that such things though hard to find were real. In Orthodoxy, I found the reality I thought had long ago vanished from the earth and was needed restoration. But the faith and power of the Apostles were never lost…our spiritual ancestors had just lost track of it over the centuries, and hungered for it, following many vain paths to try and satisfy that hunger.
In my experience, its all here, and its all accessible if you can walk the walk that gets you there, as God calls. All these wonderful things are to be found hidden deep in the heart of the Orthodox faith, but we don't make a big fuss about them (most of the time). We expect the Spirit to be in the Church. And we know from the teachings of the saints that it's not the big miracles and wonders that matter most in the Kingdom. The man who has conquered himself and keeps his tongue from evil is greater than one who has raised the dead. Indeed we know from the scriptures that at the last judgement we won't be facing a theological entrance exam…rather we will be asked of Christ if we fed Him, clothed Him, gave Him to drink, comforted Him and visited Him when in need. The pious Orthodox Christian wants to do these things, to have a life in which all is infused with prayer and done for Christ's sake, to judge ourselves and not our brother, and to confess Christ with all that we are and all that we do and stand as one with that innumerable company of Saints and Angels from all ages gathered around the Throne, the Assembly of the Firstborn. One of the best summations of this mindset I think comes from Elder Porphyrios, who on his deathbed and surrounded by his disciples was asked what he should say to Christ when ask if he should be sent to Heaven or Hell. The holy elder replied, "I shall say, 'Wherever Thy love places me O Lord, Wherever Thy love places me, only do not separate me from Thy love." This is the beating heart of beauty that ravished me with a single glance almost 20 year ago now. As a codicil to that, a spiritual son of his that lived far away was not aware when the elder had passed on and so about two months after elder Porphyrios was buried called his number on the telephone. The elder answered his question then told him he now lived with Christ in heaven and not to try and call him on the phone, rather he was to ask in prayer and the elder would help him. Yes…that last is an extremely difficult thing to believe, and yet it happened. My point? The grace, the truth, the depth of living faith and encounter in Christ and the Spirit we hoped for and stretched out our hands for…but could never quite grasp as Charismatics and Pentecostal is alive and well, and present until this very hour as it was in the days of the Holy Apostles. The Church still reproduces in kind from that day to this. This is the faith of the Apostles, the faith upon which the universe was established. The Church did not die and need to be reestablished, was not corrupted so that it needed to be reformed, diminished so that it need a restoration of what it had lost.
This is Orthodoxy, and while I am grateful for the path that led me here, I cannot imagine believing or worshiping any other way ever again. I'm Home.