2014 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival - Parish Level - Summary


Date: March 16, 2014

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Place: Started early and finished in Social Hall

Total No. of Speakers: 22

Results: Please see below. (1) Finalists, (2) Runner up, All students received Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to all students who participated in our parish Oratorical Festival and delivered speeches!

They are all winners!


[Legend: Speaker Order No., Speaker Name, Topic No.]

6th Grade: (3 students, in preparation for next year):

1. Anastasia Papageorgiou - Topic #3

2. Sam Radwanski - Topic #4

3. Stephanie Cotitsas - Topic #5

Paper: Emily Karamihas

7th-9th Grade: 7 students delivered speeches:

1. Sophia Gibson - Topic #1

2. Alexandra Chalogianis - Topic #5

3. Christopher Hays - Topic #1

4. Chrysanthe Patselas - Topic #2 (2)

5. Marina Govatsos - Topic #2

6. Athena Res - Topic #2 (1)

7. Gregorios Papaefthymiou - Topic #4

8. William Kiningham - Topic #4 (2)

9. Emily Roopas - Topic #1

10. Gabriel Necula - Topic #3

Paper: Christopher Hays, Leah Abdallah.


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?


[Legend: Speaker Order No., Speaker Name, Topic No.]

10th-12th Grades: 9 students delivered speeches:

1. Angelo G. Bairactaris - Topic #5

2. Frank G. Bairactaris - Topic #5

3. Juliana Patselas - Topic #1

4. Grant Vlahopoulos - Topic #4 (2)

5. Tasia Gibson - Topic #4

6. Athena Chapekis - Topic #4 (1)

7. Jackie Stokes - Topic #2 (2)

8. Kyp Papageorgiou - Topic #1

9. Stephen Philippou - Topic #4


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?