Lawsuit Settled: Church’s Resale Ministry Stays Open

The Village of Antioch and Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church have settled a two year dispute concerning the church’s resale ministry. The ministry, which is operated in a converted storage building on the church’s 5.1-acre property, is run by volunteers and provides donated items to the public at little or no cost. The Village sought to close the ministry arguing that the building it operated in did not contain handicap accessible bathrooms and drinking fountains and because it was not properly zoned.

Mauck & Baker attorney Sorin A. Leahu, who represented the church, explained that the ministry was a permitted accessory use on the property under the Village’s zoning code. Mr. Leahu further explained that both the United States Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act permitted the church to continue its ministry. Accordingly, the Village agreed to recognize the ministry as a permitted use. While the church did not concede that it was required to install bathrooms and a drinking fountain, the church desired to be a peacemaker in the community and has chosen to install them in order to bring about a quick resolution to this matter.

The compromise between the church and the Village allows the church to continue to share the love of Christ and be a light to its community. After the suit was settled, Father Timothy Squier said, "The most important thing for Saint Ignatius is that we serve people who are in need. Our attorney’s work makes it clear that a church's ministry is vital to the larger community life of a village. We want to thank Mr. Leahu and Mauck & Baker for their commitment to supporting a small parish, for representing us and supporting Christ's work at Saint Ignatius."

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