Take cover folks, we are lining up in our favorite formation: the circular firing squad. Duck!!!
OK, it will be my pleasure to get the formation going.
1. With the regional assemblies, we have a chance to go in a correct direction, that is to make disciples of all nations for the glory of God. This will not happen as long as Constantinople continues to emphasize Her interpretation of Canon 28.
2. We have to figure out how to solve the existential crises of the ancient patriarchates. I do not think that it can be solved if Constantinople clings to either her role in the Eastern Roman Empire (ergo, Ecumenical Patriarchate) or in the Ottoman Empire (or, Greeks are exempt from the charge if ethno-philetism). We certainly cannot go forward if the worth of every local church, no matter how small, is not celebrated.
3. Regarding the ancient patriarchates, a future ecumenical council must choose between the two criteria for primacy or for positions of honor/seniority. One criterion was used by two of the true ecumenical councils, that is, proximity to political power? The second criterion that has been used was apostolic foundation. I suppose that a third, new criterion could be the number of adherents.
4. We have to decide whether we emphasize regions or national boundaries. Right now, folks are talking from both sides of their mouths. For example, clearly the inclusion of Finland, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine in the ROC was a matter of a national-boundary approach, with the Russian Empire's boundaries conflated with the concept of nation. However, since the fall of the Russian Empire, there is no reason for these nation states not to be fully autocephalous. Instead, they are under the "protection" of a foster-mother church, Constantinople, that is making the situation even more muddled than it needs to be by espousing a quasi-Papal claim of world-wide supremacy.
5. I believe that Constantinople's positions are driven by the exigencies of Her existential crisis and the inertia of her past. Understandable but not helpful, as is the impulse in the ROC to revert back to a state, imperial church.
6. I think that Constantinople and Moscow are the ones who are responsible for the irregularities and disagreements in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Autonomous churches that hide in their respective rassos are of no help either.
At least in the United States, I pray for the Bishop's Assembly to come up with a solution that will create one truly local church, with provisions made to help the ancient patriarchates with regular monetary support--perhaps tithes. Recognizing the strong attraction of ethnic ties, I hope that the local church that is created will have ministries to those who wish to hang onto their ethnicity, without however detracting from the primary mission that should be for the American Orthodox Church to be as large as the heterodox. That necessarily means that we will no longer have Russian, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, Antiochian churches as the normative faces of American Orthodoxy; they will be in the minority, overshadowed by the much more numerous churches that will simply be associated with their cities or neighborhoods.