Download contest flyer (PDF) 
Santa Barbara, CA, August 9, 2011 — On May 31, the Antiochian Archdiocese's Department of Missions and Evangelism  announced a contest to write the best 30-second or less explanation of what the Orthodox Church is, essentially an Orthodox “elevator speech”. Entries were submitted according to specific criteria, and the due date was June 20, 2011.
The Department is delighted to announce the winner of the contest, Valerie Ann Zrake of New York City! Valerie won with the following entry:
Orthodox Christianity is the authentic and original Christian Faith founded by Jesus Christ. As an Orthodox Christian you can experience heaven on earth through the Divine Liturgy which is mystical, spiritual, and beautiful, with it's incense, icons, and sacred music. You can transcend time and space while you meditate upon the words and teachings of Jesus Christ. It's the most pure form of Christianity – nothing artificial added. It's the real deal.
Valerie will receive $100 worth of Conciliar Press publications. Read all the winning entries of the top ten finalists here. 
In the business world an “elevator speech” is a very brief explanation of what one does for a living or what one's company does or stands for. It is a speech, or pitch, useful when one has only a few seconds of someone else's time and attention – such as an elevator ride. An Orthodox elevator speech could be ideal for Orthodox Christians who find themselves asked what they believe or what the Orthodox Church is, but have only a few seconds to respond. An Orthodox elevator speech should be succinct, theologically accurate, and attention grabbing. It can be personalized as well. The point is to capture and communicate in a nutshell what being an Orthodox Christian means to the speaker.