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Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals

2016 Bible Bowl

The Gospel of John

Study Site and Practice Questions:

All questions will come from the Gospel of John as found in the Orthodox Study Bible.

Available from Ancient Faith Publishing ( and other fine bookstores.

2016 Oratorical Festival

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Audio from the 2015 Oratorical Festival

Scriptural Source - Joshua 24:15

"But if it does not please you to serve the Lord, choose gods for yourself today whom you will serve, whether the gods of your fathers that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, among whom you dwell in their land. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, because He is holy."

Comments on this topic:

The topic from Joshua refers to choices that we personally make. Here Joshua personally chooses ("As for me...") to serve the Lord, the Living God and to not serve the false gods of the past or the pagans surrounding him. Joshua recognizes what God has done for him and that God is Holy.

From Joshua's example, many of the Israelites follow him and serve the Lord. Joshua, like us, has free will to choose to serve God or to choose to not serve God. Joshua willingly chooses to serve the Living God, the Life giving God, our God, the one true and only God. You and I must also choose whom we will serve.

More importantly Joshua says, "As for me and my house..." not just himself but his entire family. Father Paul Nadim Tarazi writes of Joshua, "Likewise, they are to 'choose this day' the day in which Joshua and his house have chosen (Joshua 24:15). That is to say, the choice to serve the Lord is to be made expressly family by family, and the hearers know exactly what that means since they were just reminded (Joshua 22:20)..."*

* The Chrysostom Bible: Joshua, Paul Nadim Tarazi page 181

Oratorical Instructions

Share with your audience three or more of the following:

  • What does it mean to you to serve the Lord? How do you serve the Lord each day and each week?
  • Consider the closing chapters of the book of Joshua about Joshua remindeing others of God's salvation, telling them what God has done for them, and admonishing them not to trust other gods. Also consider how Joshua was steadfast in his decision to serve the one true God.
  • Joshua wrote that he and his house chose to serve the Lord and not the gods of those around him. What are the gods that you and your peers are tempted to serve?
  • What does the verse "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15) mean to you and how does this affect how you live?
  • As a person choosing to serve the Lord, what is it like for you as a teen growing up in North America?
  • What are the challenges and rewards for you to share with your peers outside the Church that you are an Orthodox Christian and that you believe in our Lord and Savious Jesus Christ?
  • Our logo depicts the pious family of Saint Basil the Great. This entire family served the Lord, starting with his father Basil the Elder and his mother Emmelia of Caesarea. Basil's parents were known for their piety. Emmelia's father was a Christian martyr. Basil's maternal grandmother Macrina raised Basil and his four siblings Macrina the younger, Naucratius, Peter of Sebaste and Gregory of Nyssa, all whom are recognized as saints by the Church. Saint Basil's family is one of those entire families celebrated by the Church. Our theme refers to each family choosing to serve the Lord. What influence has your family had on you in choosing to serve the Lord and what will you do in hopes of raising your own saintly family?
  • The message in the scroll held by Saint Basil in our 2016 Conference Logo states, "This is how you pray continually — not by offering prayer in words, but by joining yourself to God through your whole way of life, so that your life becomes one continuous and uninterrupted prayer." Share how this message further conveys the theme of this Oratorical Festival.
  • What are you doing in your life now to prepare yourself to establish and raise a family that will choose to serve the Lord?
  • What influence or effect has your priest or those around you, who believe in Jesus Christ and serve the Lord, had on you?
  • What influence have great people such as Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan Philip, Saint Raphael, your Parish Priest, Spiritual Father, Spiritual Mother, Father Alexander Schmemann, Father Thomas Hopko and others, who have led our spiritual family had on you and your family
  • We hear from the life of Saint Herman, an American saint, the following quote, "Let us promise ourselves that from this very minute we will try to love God more than anything and fulfill His Holy Will." As Saint Herman shows, our love of God is shown by properly serving Him and following His commandments. How can you as a teen and as a member of your family, live out the words of Saint Herman, showing love and service to God?

Recommended Reading

The Book of Joshua
As found in The Old Testament
(Especially Chapter 24)

The Chrysostom Bible: Joshua
by Paul Nadim Tarazi
OCABS Press, St Paul, Minnesota 2013
(Especially Chapter 16)

Available on Amazon:

Downloads and Resources

Diocesan Contacts

Updated 3-22-13
Before you begin working on your Creative Festival entries, please check the individual rules for your Diocese at the bottom of this page.

Fellowship of St. John the Divine
Bible Bowl Advisor

John Abud
c/o St. George Orthodox Church
PO Box 320164
West Roxbury, MA 02132
617-323-0323 ext. 3

Fellowship of St. John the Divine
Oratorical Coordinator

Julie Anne Abboud
87 Woods Road
Little Falls, NJ 07424
973-812-0444 h



Bible Bowl

Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and
Upstate New York

Bruna Salhany

Karla Samman

New York and Washington D.C. /
Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic

Laila Ellias

Please contact Michelle Khalaf at by June 1st to register your teams.

Toledo and the Midwest

Lorice Ratas

Julia Shaheen

Amanda Burgoyne

Worcester and New England

Rachael Reilly
51 Wheelock Street
Oxford, MA 01540

Brendan Ferguson
47 Cedrus Ave.
Roslindale, MA 02131

Miami and the Southeast

Anastasia Quattry
829 River Boat Circle
Orlando, FL 32828-9113

Courtney Gray
14601 Pointe East
Clermont, FL 34711

Wichita and Mid-America

Deadline for Bible Bowl Teams and Oratorical entries is May 31st.

Grace Tannous


Kh. Gigi Shadid
1814 Oakhurst Parkway
Sugar Land, TX  77479
(316) 204-7964

2014 DOWAMA Bible Bowl Registration Form (PDF)

Los Angeles and the West/Eagle River and the Northwest
Deadline Date: June 10th

Amanda Sahawneh

Robin Nicholas
323-665- 2845 h
213-200-7575 c
4237 Dundee Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90027

* Oratorical Submission Deadline is Two Weeks before each Parish Life Conference. Contact each diocesan coordinator for more details.

The Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festivals are hosted by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Topics developed and printed by the Department of Youth and Parish Ministry with the blessing of the Metropolitan.