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Students Speak on Christ and the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Metropolis of Atlanta Oratorical Festival

The 2023 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival for the Metropolis of Atlanta was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Charlotte, North Carolina from May 12 to 14, 2023. Nearly 30 dedicated, devout and eloquent students participated from across the Southeast, in hopes of advancing to the national festival in June. This year’s topics included the role of the saints, our relationship with Christ during times of suffering, and the crucial importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The Festival was hosted by Reverend Father Jonathan Resmini, Interim Dean of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and Sarah Vastis, Holy Trinity’s Youth Director.

As part of the Festival, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta invited Archons Dr. Terry Sarantou and Steve Trakas to give a presentation to over 100 students, parents and parishioners on the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On Saturday, May 13, Archons Sarantou and Trakas gave the students an overview of the work of the Archons, along with a capsule history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in an informative PowerPoint presentation. During their presentation, they asked questions of Oratorical Festival participants and tossed Archon baseball caps to students both for asking and for answering questions. The students enjoyed the presentation immensely and had the opportunity to learn a great deal about issues the Ecumenical Patriarch and our Church in general are facing.

After the success of their presentation at the Oratorical Festival, Archons Sarantou and Trakas were invited to present as Archons for two sessions at this year’s Metropolis of Atlanta Clergy/Laity Congress, which will be held in Tarpon Springs, FL on June 20–25.

The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is an acclaimed annual speech competition centered around faith, education and fellowship, in which Orthodox youth present speeches discussing the Greek Orthodox faith and the Church. It is open to Orthodox youth in junior or senior high school. The Metropolis of New Jersey will host the 39th Annual St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Nationals at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, New Jersey on the weekend of June 9 to 11, 2023. This year’s Archdiocesan Chairperson is once again Mrs. Katherine Orfanakos Demacopoulos, beloved wife of the historian of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archon Professor George E. Demacopoulos.

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