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Proof of Registration for SEARCH 2024 Written Composition Competition
This ticket confirms your registration for the SEARCH 2024 Written Composition Competition, subject to eligibility as per the competition's rules.
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We will refer to each contestant in both the essay and knowledge competitions below as “teams” in recognition of the fact that students excel best when they have solid support both from their family and their educators. Further to this, all financial awards will be presented as two cheques: one to the student and one to his or her learning institution.

1) Written Composition Rules

Choose to write on either of the following. The award for the best written composition of each will be presented to the winner at the “Toasting Ted” event on September 25, 2024.

  1. Deadline to register online is July 10, 2024 (Ted Byfield’s birthday). 
  2. Each essay must draw from historical examples found in the Bible and the history book series “The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years.” 
  3. The essay should be no more than 1000 words in length and must be submitted to SEARCH by August 11, 2024 for evaluation. 
  4. Team essays will be reviewed by a panel of five judges: Dr. Joseph Woodard, Dr. Benjamin Garstad, Dr. Kyril Holden, Nigel Hannaford and Terry O’Neill. 
  5. All facts presented should be properly sourced and cited in an accompanying bibliography. (Bibliography is not to be included in the composition word count).
  6. Teams that submit two composition entries are eligible to win only one.
  7. The winning team for each topic will be announced on September 11, 2025 just prior to the knowledge competition for each topic below and will both be presented at the “Toasting Ted” event with an honorary award and CAD$6000.

Topic 1: Democracy and Debt

The December 9, 1951 edition of The Daily Oklahoman published a column by Elmer T. Peterson that stated: “Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: ‘A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.’ “

Your assignment is to draw from history (see Rule 1a above) to provide examples where societies have demonstrated similar inability to sustain enduring governance. Then you are to propose a path forward for society today that will protect itself from future similar misfortune.

Topic 2: Canada’s Church Burnings

On June 30, 2021 an online article in the Western Standard documented the St. Jean Baptiste, a century-old Catholic church in Morinville, Alberta, being completely engulfed in flames. By February 12, 2024 True North News reported that “100 Christian churches in Canada have been vandalized, burned down or desecrated since the announcement of the apparent discovery of graves found near a residential school in Kamloops, BC.” Rebel News has recently produced a crowd-funded documentary entitled “Church Under Fire: Canada’s War on Christianity.” 

Your assignment is to use examples of persecution in history to demonstrate a societal pattern and how such situations played out in the past and then present a comprehensive path forward to address this problem today.

2) Knowledge Competition Rules

On September 11, 2024 at 7pm SEARCH will host via Zoom and Google Forms an online history competition. 

  1. Deadline to register online is August 10, 2024.
  2. 60 questions will be presented in 60-second increments to all team participants via Zoom over the course of one hour.
  3. All 60 questions will be drawn from the history book series “The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years.” — five questions from each of the twelve volumes.
  4. Answers will be in the form of a five-response “multiple-multiple choice” format, meaning the answer can be all five, none of the five, or any possible combination of the five responses.
  5. Answers will be submitted via Google Forms. Answers submitted after the 60 second window has elapsed for a question will be ineligible.
  6. Winners of the essay competition are eligible to participate in the knowledge competition, but are ineligible to win it. 
  7. The top three winning teams will be announced on September 13, 2025 and will be presented at the “Toasting Ted” event with the following honorary awards: CAD$6000 for first place, CAD$4000 for second place and CAD$3000 for third place.

3) Rules Common to Both Events

  1. Register online at the Student Engagement section of  TheChristians.com/Learning web page.
  2. Entrants must be at least 13 years of age and no older than 22 years of age at the time of the “Toasting Ted” event (September 25, 2024).
  3. Entrants must reside in the country of Canada.
  4. SEARCH will provide hotel accommodations (one suite with two double beds) for the winning student and a guardian and two tickets to attend the  “Toasting Ted” event for the evening of September 25, 2024, but travel expenses to and from the event in Edmonton will not be covered by SEARCH.
  5. SEARCH may disqualify a contestant if found to have engaged in plagiarism or if deemed to have competed in an unfair manner during the online knowledge competition.
  6. This activity is subject to the possibility of nullification in the event of some unforeseen circumstance, such as natural disaster or other reason preventing the event.

The two written composition award winners and the three top knowledge contest winners will also be asked at the “Toasting Ted” event to participate in a round-table discussion with the event’s speakers Preston Manning, Premier Danielle Smith, Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Leader of Canada’s Loyal Opposition Pierre Poilievre before the entire assembly to discuss important issues of the day.

Depending on demand within their school, administrators are encouraged to lend the school copies of ‘The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years’ over the summer. However, if more than one student 

expresses interest in participating in this competition at a school then we leave it to the administrators’ discretion as to how to proceed. Parents who wish to secure their own family copy of “The Christians” history book series are encouraged to enter “24ToastingTedStudentDiscount” when ordering the full set at https://TheChristians.com

May God guide your path! 

Vince Byfield
Executive Director, SEARCH.

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