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2013-10-06: 2014 Oratorical Festival Topics

posted Jan 24, 2015, 5:46 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan
The topics for the 2014 St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival have been selected and announced by our Archdiocese. They are copied below.

Our St. Nicholas parish-level St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 16, 2014.

More details about the Oratorical Festival are available on the Oratorical page of our Church School website.

Oratorical Festival Participation

All Church School students participate in our parish-level Oratorical Festival.

However, the Oratorical Festival topics below are for students in 6th to 12th Grade, only.
Students in Preschool to 5th Grade are given other special assignments by their teachers.

Students in 10th to 12th Grade write an essay on one of the Senior Division topics.

Students in 6th to 9th Grade write an essay on one of the Junior Division topics.
(Officially, the Junior Division includes 7th through 9th Grades. However, Fr. Nick would like our 6th Graders to participate and get prepared for next year.)

All 6th to 12th Grade students are also encouraged to deliver their speeches before the panel of judges on Sunday, March 16, 2014..

Fr. Nick reviews all Oratorical Festival assignments and essays (Preschool through 12th Grade) and provides valuable feedback.

We ask all parents to please discuss the following topics with your 6th to 12th Grade Church School students and help them choose a topic. It is very important. And it can be a lot of fun.

2014 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Topics

Junior Division (Grades (6)7–9)
  1. St. Paul writes, “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NRSV). What are some times in your life in which you have experienced the truthfulness of St. Paul’s statements?
  2. The Artoklasia service concludes with the hymn "Plousioi eptohefsan", “Rich men turned poor and went hungry; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 33/34, verse 11, from the Orthodox Study Bible, SAAS). Discuss the meaning of this hymn for our contemporary world.
  3. “I am an Orthodox Christian living in the 21st century.” What does this phrase mean to you?
  4. Select one of the Gospel readings of the Sundays of the Pentecostarion, between Pascha and the Feast of All Saints, and discuss its connection to you and your life.
  5. Why are the martyrs of the Church characterized as great athletes?
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
  1. When you participate in a sacrament, you are called “the servant of God” (doulos tou Theou). What does it mean to be a servant of God today?
  2. Discuss a time when you experienced the presence of God, whether in church, in nature, or in other circumstances.
  3. Jesus said, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3, NRSV). Discuss the relevance of this teaching for Christians today.
  4. Fifty years after some of the landmark events of the American Civil Rights movement, racism and discrimination persist in American life. How should an Orthodox Christian respond?
  5. Some people support, others criticize the public declarations of faith of celebrities, athletes, and actors, such as Tim Tebow, Jonathan Jackson, and Troy Polamalu. How do their acts affect your attitude toward being open about your faith?
Oratorical Festival Resources:

Our Church School Library contains many books and other resources that were specially selected to help our students prepare and write their speeches for each year's St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. The Library is continuously updated with new books and material that relate directly to the Oratorical Festival topics.

A list of all available material in the Church School Library is available on the Library page of our website.
The Church School Library is housed in the bookcase next to the door that connects the Conference Room to the Church Office. Check it out!
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