The Armenian Bar Association 23rd Annual National Meeting and Weekend took place on May 18-20, 2012, at the Glendale Hilton nestled in the picturesque foothills of Glendale, California. The hotel’s plush appointments and accommodations were the auspicious setting for a series of compelling, thought-provoking, and galvanizing presentations on legal and civil rights issues both in the United States and the Republic of Armenia.
A grand dinner banquet was held on Saturday, May 19th, which featured a Who’s Who of local and state jurists, lawyers and politicians. The keynote speaker at the gala banquet was Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti.
Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the banquet on May 19 and delivered the Invocation presented in its entirety:
For us as Christians, law comes from above. The root of law is God, who spoke to the prophets and enlightened the people with the law of love and divine wisdom.
The Armenian Bar Association is an organization where lawyers gather in a fellowship to take many important steps in the life of the community. One important step is to create a forum where lawyers have ample time to share with one another their wisdom of service in a very unique way.
Secondly, the Armenian Bar Association is a kind of forum which provides mentors to the young lawyers to pursue noble causes in their lives. The ABA is an organization which brings pride to the Armenian community in America.
Finally, the Armenian Bar Association is an advocate of justice and peace. It is an organization which brings forth the Law of Christ in the lives of society.
On this auspicious occasion of Armenian Bar Association’s 23rd Annual National meeting, I bring to all distinguished members of the association my prayers and good wishes in order that they may continue their diligent mission in applying justice and practicing law, but above all, instilling the vision of Armenia within the hearts of the young leaders of the community.
I especially would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Edvin Minassian Esq., a kind and dedicated servant of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the present president of the Armenian Bar Association. He has truly been a hard-working and passionate leader who has shined with his professionalism.
As he completes his term as ABA president with excellence, I convey to him my respect and heartfelt wishes.
Lawyers and judges are destined to bring God’s love into the lives of humankind. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu challenges leaders of the world “to be custodians of the human rights of those who have their human rights outraged.” I pray the Almighty God to bless you all, the Armenian Bar Association and the members of this organization to be custodians of the weak, the powerless, the exploited. To be a lawyer and judge in the eyes of God is certainly a unique stewardship to which you are called to respond with deep spirituality. The world would have been much different if all of us have taken our responsibilities with divine wisdom and becoming witnesses of God.
“O God, our Heavenly Father, in whom we “live and move and have our being,” give us grateful hearts for Thy innumerable blessings. Help us always to be aware that all things come of Thee and that we must one day give an account of our stewardship. Make us worthy in the coming of Thy Kingdom to hear you say, “Well don, thou good and faithful servant.”
Prayer is the most powerful tool which unites all in one body and makes us all partake in God’s work. Let these words be the prayer of your heart.
May God bless and protect you and your loved ones.”
“The mission of this organization, which I have had the honor of leading for the last two years, includes the rededication of our talents and expertise to our Homeland and its citizens. But, in fact, it is we—the volunteer lawyers and judges of the Armenian Bar Association—who are the real beneficiaries of our outreach efforts. Little compares to the satisfaction that comes from knowing that our programs have touched even a single life and have opened new possibilities for a better collective future,” stated Armenian Bar Association Chairperson Edvin Minassian.