Starting this year...
1. Extra Camp Scholarship money will be awarded to top 3 finishers in each category!
2. In order to receive the $100 summer camp scholarship offered by St. Nicholas Cathedral, 4-12th Graders must participate in the Oratorical Festival.
Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions
Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
Senior Division for student in grades 10–12
The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year
All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. Currently, the top three speakers of each division receive college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded $500
Junior Division (Grades 7–9)
- 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.
- 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?
- “Lord have mercy” is the most repeated phrase in the Divine Liturgy. What does it mean to truly have mercy?
- “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.
- 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)
- Discuss how the separation of church and state benefits us as Orthodox Christians in the United States.
- In his enthronement address, Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “We are all deacons.” Discuss the importance of being a deacon – a servant – in the Church.
- Discuss the significance of Constantinople in Church history and the struggles Orthodox Christians in Constantinople face today.
- 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?
- “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?