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Michelle Davies/The Journal Gazette
Area pastors, priests and ministers from a variety of denominations gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Allen County Courthouse to announce a newly formed coalition called Shepherds United.

Local clergy forms social-issues coalition

In the City of Churches, some local Christian clergymen believe society is going astray.

On Wednesday, 123 of them announced they'd formed a new coalition to assert their values by speaking out on hot-button social issues, including abortion, preserving traditional marriage and challenges to religious freedom.

The group, Shepherds United, was announced at a noon news conference attended by about 70 members of the cloth in the rotunda of the Allen County Courthouse.

The event was led by the Rev. David Misner, executive director of A Hope Center, Fort Wayne, which promotes alternatives to abortion.

Clergy who read portions of a Shepherd's United position paper signed by coalition members included the Rev. Peter Gregory, associate pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne; Msgr. Robert Schulte, vicar general of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and rector of Fort Wayne's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; and the Rev. Peter Scaer, professor of theology of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Condordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne.

More than two-thirds of the document's signers are from the seminary or Missouri Synod churches or from the diocese. The Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, diocesan bishop, signed, as did the Rev. Daniel P. May, president of the Missouri Synod's Indiana district, and Dr. Bill Hossler, president of the Missionary Church Inc.