Oratorical Festival

Welcome to the Saint Barbara Parish Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Webpage!

The 2020 Festival will be held in the Saint Barbara Church Community Center after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday February 23, 2020. We are planning to make this years festival the biggest and best one yet!

This year the festival will feature essays and poetry in addition to the public speaking competition.

As in the past, we will have three divisions of speeches:

Elementary Division - This division is non-competitive (i.e. no judging) and open to all Saint Barbara Sunday School students. All participants will receive a gift and a certificate.

Students may choose any topic of faith (Jesus, Prayer, Icons, etc.) and speak for 60-90 seconds. Students or groups of students may sing a song or re-enact a Parable or Bible story! Be creative!

Junior Division - Open to Grade 7-9 students of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and deliver a three to four minute speech on one of the Junior Division topics. Cash prizes will be offered for the top three speeches. Division finalists will advance to the District Festival at Saint Barbara on Saturday April 6, 2019.  

Senior Division - Open to Grade 10-12 students (and alumni) of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and deliver a four to five minute speech on one of the Senior Division topics. Cash prizes will be offered for the top three speeches. Division finalists will advance to the District Festival at Saint Barbara on Saturday April 6, 2019.  

We will have two divisions of essay:

Junior Division - Open to Grade 7-9 students of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and submit a 300-400 word essay on one of the Junior Division topics. Prizes will be offered for the top three essays. 

Senior Division - Open to Grade 10-12 students (and alumni) of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and submit a 500-600 word essay on one of the Senior Division topics. Prizes will be offered for the top three poems. 

Also, we will have two divisions of poetry:

Junior Division - Open to Grade 7-9 students of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and submit a poem in any form (sonnet, open verse, etc.) of between eight and thirty lines on one of the Junior Division topics. Prizes will be offered for the top three poems. 

Senior Division - Open to Grade 10-12 students (and alumni) of the Saint Barbara Sunday school. Students will write and submit a poem in any form (sonnet, open verse, etc.) of between eight and thirty lines on one of the Senior Division topics. Prizes will be offered for the top three poems. 

A student may only participate in one category of the Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival: Speech, Essay or Poetry.

All participants in the Saint Barbara Saint John Chrysostom 2019 Oratorical Festival must register not later than February 15, 2020. Final form essays and poems are due not later than March 9, 2019. Speech draft texts must also be submitted not later than February 15, 2020. This is a firm deadline!

 

2020 SJCOF Topics

Junior Division (Grades 7–9)

1. The Orthodox Church honors the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos. Discuss the role she plays in the Church and as a role model for all Christians.

2. Christ and many Church Fathers often criticized the wealthy. Do Christians need to live a life of poverty? Is it a sin to live a comfortable life?

3. “Lord have mercy” is the most repeated phrase in the Divine Liturgy. What does it mean to truly have mercy?

4. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). Discuss the importance of reading Scripture in your life.

5. The theme of the upcoming 2020 Clergy–Laity Congress is “the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Discuss the way St. Paul defines love in this important chapter of the Bible.

Senior Division (Grades 10–12)

  1.  Discuss how the separation of church and state benefits us as Orthodox Christians in the United States.
  2. In his enthronement address, Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “We are all deacons.” Discuss the importance of being a deacon – a servant – in the Church
  3. Discuss the significance of Constantinople in Church history and the struggles Orthodox Christians in Constantinople face today.
  4. How have modern-day saints from the past 100 years, from St. Nektarios to St. Paisios and others, helped Orthodox Christians live their lives today? 
  5. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). How might Orthodox Christians put this command into practice?
  6.  

Please Note:  Everyone who is interested is encouraged to visit the Archdiocesan website for topics, speaker tips, and to view the official festival rules, which have been updated for 2019.

The website is  http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/religioused/sjcof

Keep watching this webpage for more information as the festival date draws near. Feel free to contact Saint Barbara Parish festival co-chairman Steven Yates at syates59@hotmail.com or 860-304-6007.

May God continue to bless you all!

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