2019 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Topics
Junior Division (Grades 7–9)
1. Martyrs of the Church and some of the early monastics are both described as
“athletes.” What does it mean to be an athlete for Christ?
2. On January 30th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Three Hierarchs: St.
Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom. Select
one of these Church Fathers and discuss his contribution to the Church.
3. Discuss the significance of water in the Church – Baptism, Theophany, holy
water, etc. – and what this suggests about our responsibility for the natural
4. Discus the new commandment of John 13:34: “Love one another, even as I
have loved you…” What does it mean to love one another as Christ loved us?
5. In 1 Timothy 6:10, St. Paul writes, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds
of evil.” How should Orthodox Christians relate to money and wealth?
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
1. Many of the Church’s services employ objects from the natural world (such as
wheat, wine, oil, or water) in order to confer a blessing upon the faithful. Why
does the Church do this, and what does this suggest about our responsibility for
the natural world?
2. From ancient Greece to the present, politicians have aligned themselves with
religious concepts and constituencies. How is an Orthodox Christian to discern
whether today’s politicians do this out of genuine piety or in order to manipulate
3. The hymns of the Church contain the whole of its theology. Pick one hymn from
the Lenten or Holy Week period and describe how it speaks to you personally.
4. Describe how science and technology should always be at the service of
humanity and, ultimately, of God, in harmony with His purposes.
1. In view of St. Paul’s exhortation in Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ
dwell in you richly in all wisdom,” discuss the importance of being biblically
Download the 2019 Tips and Resources. More info at http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/religioused/sjcof
2018 Oratorical Festival Presentations
Oratorical Festival presentation from the sixth-grader Alexie.
2017 Oratorical Festival Presentations
Oratorical Festival presentation about Saint Herman of Alaska and his presence in the life of a fifth-grade boy.
Oratorical Festival Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
Topic #4: The Lord commanded us not to create idols (Exodus 20:4), yet people continue to do so. Discuss the kinds of idols people make or worship today and the response that an Orthodox Christian should have when confronted by them.