Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, just won a landmark case before the Supreme Court. The Kansas City Star has an article about the congregation, how it hated the limelight and is now trying to get back to normal.
Sure enough, the church website says absolutely nothing about the case. The “news” section is all about Vacation Bible School, a new social ministry, and new programs at the learning center. Not even anything about the new surfacing of the playground. There are congregations and pastors that would milk the publicity for all it is worth–how the church has made history, how God has vindicated their cause, etc., etc.
So congratulations to Trinity Lutheran, not only for winning their case but for the spirit in which it did so.
From Rick Montgomery, Columbia’s Trinity Lutheran back to ‘being a little church’ | The Kansas City Star:
The website of Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia last week promoted Vacation Bible Study and the Sunday afternoon practices of the hand bell choir.Strikingly, no mention was made of what many are calling a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision June 26 on a discrimination case brought by Trinity Lutheran, a low-profile congregation of about 250 active members.
Five years ago, they just wanted to soften the church’s preschool playground with recycled rubber provided by a tax-funded program. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources denied their application on grounds that the state was barred from aiding religious groups. The high court ruled 7-2 on Trinity Lutheran’s side.
What the congregation didn’t seek was national publicity, and Trinity Lutheran fielded lots of it. The attention resulted in some heckling phone calls and hate mail from people opposed to the church’s challenge of a longstanding Missouri doctrine that prevented religious groups from receiving public aid.
“All along they wanted to keep a low-key perspective and just continue being a little church,” said Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based legal-action group that assists religious organizations. The case that came to be known as Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, Stanley said, “was not an overarching thing that consumed this church.”
Photograph from http://www.trinity-lcms.org/home