Mauck & Baker Blog

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New Parking Ordinance Helping Churches Written by Richard C. Baker The author of Ecclesiastes wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. So just as the Jews returning from Babylon after the Exile found their building project for a new temple mired in red tape and neighbors’ objections for many years (Ezra 4:4; Nehemiah 4:1-9), so too every pastor or church board looking to purchase, build, renovate or expand a church in Chicago knows,…
The Controversy Over Custody Modified excerpt from pages 96-99 of Jesus in the Courtroom by John W. Mauck When Bethany Christian Services’ announced their plans to compromise with the state of Michigan by not discriminating against LGBT couples who wanted to adopt and foster children through their organization, many Christians responded with conflicting views. Some expressed anger at the government’s infringement on religious liberty, while others decried BCS for “giving in.” But in this controversy…
Mission Trip Do’s and Dangers Written by Attorney Sorin A. Leahu If you work in ministry, you know that some of the most exciting times of the year involve mission trips and outings. These events, however, should not be rushed into without careful legal planning. Unfortunately, you can never fully remove the risk associated with these events, but you can plan accordingly should the unexpected happen. The basic starting point for any trip or event…
I am sure you might wonder why a man at the time having been in ministry for over 29 years, a candidate for pastorate at three different churches, and preaching across the country weekly killed his wife in a sudden unanticipated moment of passion. It is a haunting question I seek to answer daily. I cannot honestly say my life was a sinless life, which to a degree contributed to my fall from grace. I…
Mauck & Baker’s client, Christian Fellowship Centers of New York (CFC) received a favorable ruling in the nick of time. Over the past several months CFC has faced hostility from many members of the town as well as religious discrimination from Village of Canton officials who refused to permit the church to use its recently purchased building as a place of worship. CFC had been renting from various facilities in Canton in order to hold…
Written by public relations specialist, Tom Ciesielka In light of the media attention for the movie Unplanned, you might have noticed a trend that continues when issues of life and abortion are involved. Although this movie was able to get widespread attention, pro-life voices continue to be largely suppressed or negatively reviewed. Twitter even “accidentally” suspended the film’s social media account for a brief time for no apparent reason other than to limit their impact.
An excerpt from “The Church and the Jews” by Daniel Gruber At first the Christian Passover was celebrated at the same time as the Jewish; this simultaneous observance was preserving the Jewish ritual in the Christian festival, and strengthening the bonds between Christianity and Judaism. Until the date was changed. At the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. it was decided that all the churches should celebrate the Passover, or actually Easter, on the ecclesiastically…
If you’ve lived in a residence that is a part of a homeowners or condominium association, you’ve probably been briefed with the rules: Nothing can be displayed in the front yard, and nothing hung on the front door. Many HOAs or condo associations prohibit the posting of items on the exterior of one’s building, but can they prevent you from expressing your religion in this way? What are your rights? In the past, there have…
     If you’re a person of faith, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act is something you should know about. This law has been instrumental in protecting religious freedom. But the government’s failure to clarify certain aspects of this law have led to misinterpretation (whether intentional or not) by many municipalities. This is affecting the ability of many congregations to worship freely in their communities. To amend these issues, the land use aspects…