Coming up in November the Orthodox Church in America is gathering to, among other things, elect a new Metropolitan and First Hierarch. As I mentioned in this post around the time of Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation, intense prayer is needed in times of intense struggle.
I cannot fathom how the faithful must feel after so many years of internal issues but I am fairly sure they are ready for some peace. As such a large jurisdiction in the US there needs to be some solid direction, wise leadership, and loving advancement in their future workings. It not only impacts the OCA alone, but all other Orthodox when scandals hit the newstands. There is also I feel an air of instability or at least confusion. Witness the following during commemoration in the divine liturgy in Moscow recently when Patriarch Kyrill stumbled upon remembrance of the Firsts Hierarch of America ( around 6 mins 34 seconds in this video ).
Not only this but all areas of the diaspora are working solidly towards dealing with the issues of the dispersion from traditional Orthodox motherlands; a strong and respected leadership of the OCA is needed I think to reduce impediments to the process in the USA.
I think all Orthodox Christians should pray for this upcoming council, for interest the information can be found here including a well put together delegate handbook here. This handbook sets out well a process of prayer and preparation for the council delegates and has all the details.
Furthermore prayers have been published for use at OCA divine services leading up to the event:
Furthermore we pray You, O Lord our Almighty and Eternal God, Source of all wisdom and understanding, be with us as we prepare to gather in Council so that in our striving to serve and glorify You, we may be enlightened with right judgment and good purpose to the building up of Your Holy Church and to Your eternal glory, we pray You, hear us and have mercy…
Again we pray You, O Lord our God, giver of every good gift, look with favor upon Your Church and bless and guide our minds and hearts, and grant us by the grace of Your All-holy Spirit an increase in faith and understanding, so that in vigilance, fasting and prayer we are prepared for the holy work of this Electoral Council, we pray You, hear us and have mercy…
Furthermore we pray You, O Lord our God, send down Your Holy Spirit upon us and guide our minds and hearts so that, inspired by Your gifts of discernment and understanding, we may know and do Your holy will in the election of a Metropolitan for our Holy Church in North America, we pray You, hear us and have mercy…
Again we pray You, O Lord our God, in Your holy and providential care for us, call forth for us a Metropolitan of wisdom, understanding, and sanctity to cooperate in working with the Holy Synod, the pastors and faithful of our Holy Church, so that together we may be that light on the lampstand and the salt of the earth working together in loving service to Christ our God and thus to one another, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.
As mentioned before, we should all pray for this upcoming council, the preparation and the outcomes.