St. Paul UCC, Old Blue Rock Road, Cincinnati holds Genocide Remembrance Service
On April 24, 2016, St. Paul United Church of Christ (UCC), Old Blue Rock Road, Cincinnati held their fifth annual Armenian Martyr’s Day Remembrance Service. The service is to commemorate the onset of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 1915.
For Rev. Michelle Torigian, pastor of St. Paul UCC, being a part of this worship service is something close to her heart. Torigian’s grandfather, Azad, survived the genocide around the age of six. “In his childhood, he was on the death march with his two aunts. Fortunately, they were able to escape. When I was in high school, my grandfather shared his story with me. The trauma of the events stayed with him throughout his entire life. After hearing his account, I wanted to continue to study and write about this part of my family’s history.”
Having a remembrance service unites the pastoral and prophetic. Torigian states, “We create a space to think of those who both died and survived the massacres. Likewise, by continuing to remember these acts of violence, we hope to create a world that ends all major atrocities.” Approximately 1.5 million Armenians died during these massacres.
“Many people in our society do not know about this genocide. By holding these services and talking about it in our faith communities, more individuals are hearing the stories of the Armenians’ survival,” she explained. “We are truly grateful that the UCC passed a resolution last year commemorating 100 years since the genocide.”
Since neither the Cincinnati nor the Dayton areas have an Armenian church, the people of St. Paul UCC wanted to extend hospitality to Armenians in the Southwest Ohio/Northern Kentucky area. Following the service, the church’s fellowship hall serves as a space for the area Armenians to catch up with one another and share family stories.
More from Global Ministries:
2016 Action Alert – On Armenian Martyrs’ Day, Urge Congress to do more to prevent genocide
2015 UCC General Synod Resolution – Commemorating 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide
2015 Disciples General Assembly Resolution – Commemorating 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide