Oratorical Festival

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

The 2015 Festival will be held in the Saint Barbara Church Community Center after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday March 8, 2015. We are planning to make this years festival the biggest and best one yet!

This year the festival has been expanded, adding essays and poetry 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.

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.

New, this year, 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. The top finalist will advance to the Metropolis Festival.

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. The top finalist will advance to the Metropolis Festival.

Also new, this year, 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 betweeneight and thirty lines on one of the Junior Division topics. Prizes will be offered for the top three poems. The top finalist will advance to the Metropolis Festival.

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. The top finalist will advance to the Metropolis Festival.

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

All participants in the Saint Barbara Saint John Chrysostom 2015 Oratorical Festival must register not later than March 1, 2015. Final form essays and poems are due not later than March 1, 2015. Speech draft texts must also be submitted not later than March 1, 2015. This is a firm deadline!

2015 Junior Division Topics (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.

2015 Senior Division Topics (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.

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 2015.

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.

Good luck to everyone and may God continue to bless you all!

2015 Stewardship:


Parish Resource Guide:

Ministry Resource Guide 2014-2015: Part 1

Ministry Resource Guide 2014-2015: Part 2

Ministry Resource Guide 2014-2015: Part 3


Parish Publication:

2015 Winter Edition

2015 Internet Exclusive


Upcoming Events and Services

St. John Chrysostom District Oratorical

Annunciation Church 1230 Newfield Avenue Stamford CT 06905
Apr 25 10 am

Κυριακή των Μυροφόρων

Apr 26

Sunday of the Myrrh Bearers

Apr 26

Orthros

Apr 26 8:30 am

Sunday School

Apr 26 9:45 am

Divine Liturgy

Apr 26 9:45 am

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