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2014-10-09: 2015 Oratorical Festival Topics & Date (March 15)

posted Jan 25, 2015, 1:20 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated Apr 5, 2015, 8:47 PM ]
The topics for the 2015 St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival have been announced by our Archdiocese. They are copied below. These topics, along with more details about the Oratorical Festival, are also available on the Oratorical page of our Church School website.

Our St. Nicholas Parish St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Oratorical Festival Participation

All Church School students participate in our Parish Oratorical Festival.

However, the Oratorical Festival topics below are for students in 6th to 12th Grade.
(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 15, 2015.

As in previous years, Fr. Nick will review all Oratorical Festival work (Preschool through 12th Grade) and provide valuable feedback to all students.

Parents of 6th to 12th Grade Church School students are asked to please discuss the following topics with their children and help them choose a topic. It is very important. And it can be a lot of fun.

2015 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Topics

Junior Division (Grades 7–9)
  1. The theme of the 2014 Clergy-Laity Congress was “The Orthodox Christian family: A dwelling of Christ and a witness of His Gospel.” Discuss how today’s Orthodox Christian families can strive to live according to this ideal.
  2. St. Paul writes, “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5). Discuss the virtue of honesty in a time when cheating in school, sports, and other activities is reported more and more.
  3. Discuss the Orthodox Christian practice of fasting from certain foods and the spiritual discipline it teaches, especially in light of the Lord’s directive in Matthew 6:16–18.
  4. Malala Yousafzai is an inspirational example of fighting fearlessly for a noble cause in spite of threats against her life. Discuss a young saint or person from the Bible who illustrates such courage.
  5. Several leaders in the political and religious arena have been described as people with a prophetic gift. What really is a prophet? Discuss their actions in light of the Old Testament prophets and in comparison to other contemporary examples.
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
  1. The Lord said, “I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:36). What does this teach us about our attitudes toward those in jails and imprisoned?
  2. Psalm 50 (51) begins, “Have mercy on me, O Lord…” It is considered the psalm of repentance. Discuss how praying this psalm might affect our understanding of repentance, confession, and forgiveness.
  3. Women apostles, martyrs, and saints have spread the Gospel and advanced the Church from the beginning of Christianity. Discuss the significance of their roles and examples for all Christians today.
  4. The St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001, is soon to be rebuilt. Discuss the ways in which this tiny church building will now become a symbol of the universal themes of victory over evil; healing and hope; and being a beacon of Orthodox Christianity.
  5. Using the parable of the poor widow's offering to the Temple (Luke 21:1–4), discuss the Orthodox Christian attitude of offering to the Church’s ministries.
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 at the Church School 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!