We are pleased to let you know that we have some great new media available on line:
2014 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
Here you will find 23 video clips, one for each speaker in grades 6-12.
you have never attended an Oratorical Festival, these speeches can be a
pleasant surprise and are the best way to encourage more children to
More information about the Oratorical Festival is available at the Church School website:
2014 Church School Graduation pictures
Here you will find photos for each classroom and for entire Church School.
On behalf of everyone we would like to thank our photographer, Craig Theros!
2003(!) Greek Independence Day Program
As special present to our current and past graduating seniors,
here is a trip down memory lane with video clips from the
2003 Greek Independence Day program
that was presented by our Greek School on March 23, 2003.
(It will also remind us that our Social Hall functioned as our Church that year.)
All the children in these videos are now in college and beyond!
See how many you can recognize!
Our 2013-14 Graduation Ceremony is on Sunday, June 15, 2014.
All students who attended Church School this past year should attend and receive their Certificates from Fr. Nick.
Fr. Nick will also recognize each one of the seniors who are graduating from Church School.
We will also line up on the solea and take photographs of each classroom and of the entire Church School. In case you have not seen them, here are the photographs from last year
(the link is also on the Church School website):
After the ceremony, students return to their classrooms and receive end-of-year gifts. These are books that have been specially selected for each Grade by our Church School in consultation with Fr. Nick to help them learn and grow in our Orthodox faith.
Thank you very much for your support throughout the year and for setting an example by bringing your children to Church School every Sunday.
We look forward to seeing everyone back again on September 7, 2014 (Registration Sunday and First day of Classes).
Happy Father's Day to all dads!
Saturday of Lazarus
Saturday of Lazarus is on April 12. As is our custom every year, all Church School students should attend the Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion. After the service we will have a hot meal in our Social Hall (many thanks to Mr. Avraam Piniatoglou) and we will help make palm crosses for the Divine Liturgy on Palm Sunday.
Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!
During Great Lent, Church School students collected money in special coin boxes to help support the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and its work all over the world, including the construction of churches and schools, outreach to orphans, healthcare, and sponsoring Orthodox missionaries.
This is a reminder that the OCMC coin boxes should be returned to Church School teachers this Sunday, April 27, 2014.
Our Church School needs to collect ALL coin boxes before we can send the money to OCMC where it is sorely needed.
Please make a note of it and place the coinboxes in your cars.
Thank you for supporting Orthodox Christian Missions!
Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!
The 2014 Church School exams for Grades 2-12 are available on the Church School website.
If you have not already done so, please download the exam for your child and print it.
The completed exams are due back on or before Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Completed exams should be submitted in the specially labeled white dropbox outside the main church office.
The purpose of the exams is to educate the children and to strengthen their knowledge about our faith. At the same time, the exams inform parents about what our students should know, provide feedback to the students and to the Church School teachers, and allow Fr. Nick to assess our students' progress and encourage each student individually.
Please use this opportunity to find out what you child is learning in Church School and to have a family discussion about the exam questions and answers.
Thank you very much for supporting our Church School mission.
Holy Wednesday is on April 16, 2014.
Holy Unction Service for Church School students is at 4 pm followed by Holy Week Retreat (5:45-6:30).
As is our tradition every Holy Wednesday, the Church School will participate in an earlier Unction Service at 4:00 PM and will have a retreat immediately afterwards.
Mr. Tony Mihalopoulos is organizing the retreat.
Teachers interested in assisting can contact Tony at email@example.com
For instruction the students will assemble according to youth group (Hope, Joy and Goya)
Snacks will be provided to the students before the start of the retreat.
On Saturday, April 12, 2014, we celebrate Saturday of Lazarus with the Divine Liturgy starting at 10:00 AM.
This is a very important feast day for Orthodox Christians that marks the start of events that lead to Holy Week.
Fr. Nick would like all Church School students to attend the Divine Liturgy tomorrow and receive Holy Communion.
As is our custom each year, the entire Church School will have a hot brunch in our Social Hall and then we will enjoy making the palm crosses that we receive on Palm Sunday.
For more information about upcoming events, please see the Church School calendar.
The first half of March was devoted to getting ready for our Parish St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival that was held on Sunday, March 16th. Each year the Oratorical Festival provides a great opportunity for our students to learn and speak about our Orthodox Faith. The topics for grades 7th through 12th grade were selected from a list provided by the Archdiocese. Topics for the younger grades (Preschool to 6th grade) were provided by the teachers. In addition, students in the Junior Division (7th through 9th grade) and the Senior Division (10th to 12th grade) had the unique opportunity to give a speech to their fellow students and to a panel of three judges who scored the speeches for content and delivery.
We would like to congratulate the students who stepped up and gave speeches at our Oratorical Festival and to recognize them in speaking order, below.
All speakers received Honorable Mention.
Runners-up are shown with (*). Finalists are shown with (**)
Speakers: Anastasia Papageorgiou, Sam Radwanski, Stephanie Cotitsas. Paper:
Sophia Gibson, Alexandra Chalogianis, Niko Hays, Chrysanthe Patselas*, Marina
Govatsos, Athina Res**, Gregorios Papaefthymiou, William Kiningham*, Emily
Roopas, Gabriel Necula. Paper:
Christopher Hays, Leah Abdallah.
Senior Division: Angelos Bairactaris, Frank Bairactaris,
Juliana Patselas, Grant Vlahopoulos*, Anastasia Gibson, Athena Chapekis**,
Jackie Stokes*, Socrates Papageorgiou, Stephen Philippou.
Congratulations to all students and to their parents and teachers for the hard work they put into the Oratorical Festival. They did a fantastic job and they are all winners!
We would also like to thank the judges for sharing their time and talents to make the Oratorical Festival possible: Professor George Vlachos, Coordinating Judge. Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan Dearborn, parishioner at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor and returning judge for our Festival. Anastasia Magoulias, daughter of Fr. Magoulias in Modesto, California and newly joined into Fr. Nick's family through his brother Damian. Ms. Magoulias is a graduate of San Louis Obispo in biochemistry, and has participated in and helped with many Oratorical Festivals. She attends St. Johns in Sterling Heights. Anna Pogoncheff is a graduate of the University of Michigan Dental School. She attended our church for many years while in school, and came to help with our Oratorical Festival from Holy Trinity in Lansing.
Many thanks also to all adult parishioners who provided their support: Artemis Alex, Pam Petropoulos, Stacey Garris, Mary Hays, Sophia Radwanski-Grias, Jennifer Patselas, Deno Prokos, Nick Chapekis, Jr., Theresa Chapekis, Tony Michalopoulos, Michael Kapetan, Katherine Phan and Photios Ioannou. Special thanks to Dr. Vicki Kiningham who once again organized every aspect of our parish Oratorical Festival. And many thanks to Reverand Father Nick Kotsis for his unwavering support of the Festival and its importance in the Church School Program.
We would also like to remember our late parishioner Mara Krause and her loving support of the Oratorical Festival through her work in the Parish Bookstore. May her memory be eternal.
The St. Nicholas parish-Level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival will take place at our Church on Sunday, March 16th, 2014.
All students in 6th - 12th grade students should be in the social hall, seated, by 9:00 AM]
Participation (All grades)
Participation in our Oratorical
Festival is a requirement for all Church School students. All students
must turn in their work this Sunday to be reviewed by Fr. Nick.
Preschool to 5th Grade
Younger students in P-3rd grade have been given smaller projects that are mostly completed in class.
Students in 4th-5th grade have been assigned a topic by their teachers on which they work partly in class and partly at home.
6th-12th Grades - Oral Presentations
The Oratorical Festival will start promptly at 9:00 AM in our social hall.
after another, students in grades 6th - 12th will then deliver their
prepared speeches to their fellow students and to a panel of three
judges who will score the speeches for content and delivery.
Jr. Division Speeches - minimum 3 minutes, maximum 4 minutes
Sr.Division Speeches - minimum 4 minutes, maximum 5 minutes
Timing begins after the speaker's initial greeting.
Please bring a copy of your speech to give to the Chairman (Vicki Kiningham).
All parents are encouraged to attend the oral speech presentations.
Parents who attended past Oratorical Festivals have found this to be a
very informative and rewarding experience and have typically attended in
subsequent years, too.
We strongly encourage all 6th - 12th grade students
to submit an essay and to present their essay as a speech to their peers
and the panel of judges. Please note that 6th grade students are
invited to speak as well, in order to prepare for next year.
At minimum, an essay must be submitted to Father Nick by this date as one of the requirements for an Honor Reward.
a reminder, the 2014 Junior Division Topics (7th -9th grade) and Senior
Division Topics (10th - 12th grade) can be found on our Church School
website. The topics are thought-provoking, and every student has something unique to contribute.
The website also includes the complete Oratorical Festival regulations as well as helpful resources.
Parish Oratorical Festival will start at 9:00 AM sharp and our goal is
to finish both Junior and Senior level speeches before coffee hour
We would like to recognize and thank Mrs. Garris and Mrs. Hays who will be hosting a Lenten Social Hour following the speeches.
If you should have any questions, please contact Rev. Fr. Nick, me or your child's Church School teacher.
We encourage all parents and students to do their very best!
On Sunday, March 9, 2014, we celebrate Sunday of
All Church School students will participate
in a special procession that brings icons back into the Church.
Church School students in Grades 1-12 will bring an icon from
home to carry during the procession.
Our Church School will supply our
younger students in Preschool and Kindergarten with paper icons
to prevent possible accidents. The Church School office has
extra paper icons for this purpose.
After Holy Communion our Church School students should go to
their classrooms as we do every Sunday.
Teachers will describe the procession and get the students ready. Students should hold icons up at chest level with both hands and with proper respect.
- Church School students will enter the church and start the
procession right after the passing of the tray. This means
that the procession of icons will take place after Holy
Communion and before the final dismissal at the end of the
- Directors will let each classroom know when to line up in the
corridor in preparation to enter the Church.
- Directors will also let the procession know when to enter the
Church depending on when Fr. Nick is ready.
- Fr. Nick would like the order of the procession this year
to be different from last year.
- Students and teachers will line up with the older children
in front. Younger students will follow.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Students should line up and walk *in
pairs*. Otherwise, the procession line becomes so long that
it does not fit inside the church. This can be a problem.
- Dani Nadra (if available) will be in front to lead the
procession. (Thanks Dani!)
- IMPORTANT: The final order of the procession will be: Dani
(in the front), Church School students, altar boys, Fr.
Nick (in the back).
- At the start of the procession our students will enter the
church from the narthex through the right door.
- They will walk towards the solea down the right
middle-aisle (on the social hall side).
- They will make a left turn right after the front pews and walk
in front of the solea
- They will make a left turn and walk back towards the
narthex through the middle-aisle on the parking lot side.
- They will make a left turn behind the pews and continue
walking to complete a great circle.
- Church School students will turn left and enter the right middle-aisle
(again) and continue walking so as to allow room behind them
for the altar boys to join the procession.
- The altar boys will exit through the left altar door and
join the procession *behind* the church school students.
- Fr. Nick will join the procession last.
- The whole procession will continue walking until Fr. Nick
is half-way down the middle-aisle (on the parking lot side)
where he will stop for the first petition.
- Fr. Nick will stop four times for petitions:
- (a) halfway down the middle-aisle (on the parking lot
- (b) in front of the center doors (from the narthex to
the church) (*),
- (c) halfway up the middle-aisle (on the social hall
side), and then
- (d) on the solea.
- (*) IMPORTANT: After we say the petitions at the second stop
(at the center doors from the narthex to the church) and
start walking again, *all* Church School students should
proceed *directly* onto the solea. Teachers should help
organize the students by height so they will face the
congregation and be ready for the fourth petitions on the
- Students will stay on the solea until the service is
At the end of the service Fr. Nick will direct the students
to return to their classrooms to resume classes.
There should be 30-40 minutes of class time available.