Shepherds United: Reclaiming Humanity’s Inherent Worth

Filed in Uncategorized Leave a comment

We are witnessing a societal assault upon the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage and the right to religious liberty. As Christian shepherds of the Fort Wayne area, we unite to reclaim human dignity.

Nowhere do we see this societal assault more clearly than in the tragedy of abortion. Since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand throughout the United States in 1973, more than 55 million innocent little children have had their lives taken from them. Tragically, many children are aborted for the sake of convenience and their bodies dismembered and discarded with medical waste. Children with Down syndrome or other disabilities are often the victims of abortion. Some children are targeted for abortion after their gender is discovered.

What does it say about our society that some children among us are tragically labeled as unwanted or that some pregnancies are spoken of as if they are a punishment? Too often children are valued not according to their inherent worth, but by how they will affect our lives and pocketbooks or whether they measure up to our standards of health and intelligence. Our land is further stained by the exploitation of human life through embryonic stem cell research. Truly, a great darkness has fallen over this land.

Even as the youngest are endangered, so also the culture of death shadows the elderly and infirm. Those who receive a difficult or terminal medical diagnosis are encouraged to end their own lives in a growing number of states that have legalized assisted suicide. As society attempts to cheapen our humanity and medical costs rise, euthanasia is becoming far too common and is a threat to all of us. As life is judged by its quality instead of its inherent worth, there’s nothing to protect us from cost-cutting measures that treat life as a mere commodity. The frailest among us stand in danger of being marginalized. We must stand against a culture of death that attempts to reduce the care given to the prematurely born, the disabled, the elderly or any other individual considered expendable by society.

In the midst of this societal decay, the institution of marriage is also at grave risk. God, who is the author of life, is also the author of marriage. From the beginning, God designed marriage to be a communion of lifelong love between a man and a woman. Marriage is more than negotiating a legal contract or establishing a business arrangement with which we may tinker. No government has the authority to alter its fundamental meaning. It is the foundation of the family, which is the basic cell of society. A society that denies the fundamental reality of God-ordained marriage cannot flourish or long endure.

Today, our societal situation is worsened by laws that take aim at our religious liberty. The healthcare mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services strikes at the heart of Christian conscience by limiting our free exercise of religion in the public sphere. Christian charities, schools and hospitals are required to choose between helping their neighbor and violating their conscience. Adoption agencies are forced to close because of their refusal to facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples.

So, as Christian shepherds of the Fort Wayne area, we unite in support of life, marriage and religious liberty. For all of our differences, we come together to celebrate the common dignity of our shared humanity. Together as pastors, priests and ministers, we exercise our right of free speech in defense of our God-given right to life. Together we say that every human being, from the moment of conception, deserves to be treated as a human person, endowed by our Creator with the right to life and religious liberty. Every unborn child is precious in the eyes of the One who became an embryonic child in the womb of Mary. Every suffering person is priceless in the eyes of the One who suffered and died for our sake.

We know that we live in a fallen world and that we are all in this together. We all suffer from the effects of sin, even as we are all sinners. But we also know that our heavenly Father heals the broken hearted and salvages difficult situations. Christ loves the mother who has had the abortion and all those who are struggling with sinful desires. Our society must be a place of forgiveness and reconciliation. Therefore, we come together in a spirit of gentleness and boldness, in firm resolve and humble recognition of our own faults and frailties. But even as we recognize our weakness, Christ calls us to be strong and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

These are momentous times. We call upon our fellow Christians in the City of Churches to stand with us and join us in defending these foundational principles. The blessings of our God-given liberty are at stake. We urge all good people to act in concert for the sake of life, marriage and religious liberty so that the legacy of our great land might be handed down to the generations that follow.

Rev. Peter Gregory
Associate Pastor
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Steve Jones
President
Missionary Church, Inc.

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend

Rev. Jason Freiburger
Father
Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Pastor John B. Lowe II
Pastor
New Life Christian Church and World Out Reach, Warsaw

Rev. Gary Sigler
Pastor
St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church, Columbia City

Rev. Andrew Budzinski
Parochial Vicar
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Derrick Sneyd    
Pastor
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Auburn

Rev. Msgr. Bernard Galic
Pastor
St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Yoder

Rev. Lourdino Fernandes
Pastor
St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Monroeville

Rev. Thomas Shoemaker
Pastor
St. Jude Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Bernie Zajdel, O.F.M.Conv.
Parochial Vicar
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Angola

Rev. Ron Rieder, O.F.M.Cap.
Pastor
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Huntington

Rev. Mark Gurtner
Pastor
Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Jan Klimczyk
Parochial Vicar
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne

Rev. George Gabet
Pastor
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Philip Schneider, O.F.M.Conv.
Administrator
St. Paul Catholic Chapel, Clear Lake

Rev. James Shafer  
Pastor
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne

Rev. Charles W. Howard
Board of Deacons Chairman & Associate Minister
Southern Heights Baptist Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Mark Kelly
Associate Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church, Leesburg

Dr. James Bushur
Assistant Professor of Historical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Carl Fickenscher
Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Daniel Gard
Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Charles Gieschen
Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Paul Grime
Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Gifford Grobien
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Arthur Just
Professor and Chairman of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Walter A. Maier III  
Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Cameron Mackenzie
Professor of Historical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. John Nordling
Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Prof. Richard Nuffer
Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Prof. John Pless
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Prof. Jeffrey Pulse
Pastor and Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary and Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Dr. Timothy Quill
Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Kantor Richard Resch
Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Prof. Robert Roethemeyer
Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Peter J. Scaer
Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. David P. Scaer
Chairman of Systematic Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. William Weinrich
Professor of Historical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dr. Dean O. Wenthe
Professor of Exegetical Theology
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. John Dreyer
Director of Admission
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. Richard Koehneke
Pastoral Assistant
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. George Lange
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. Robert Shonholz
Advancement Officer
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. Albert Wingfield
Vice President of Business Affairs
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. Andrew Yeager
Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, Garrett

Rev. Thomas Zimmerman
Dean of Students
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. David Misner
Executive Director
A Hope Center, Fort Wayne

Rev. Peter C. Cage
Senior Pastor
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Rick Hawks
Senior Pastor
The Chapel, Fort Wayne

Rev. Pat Ryan
Pastor
Northside Missionary Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Robbie Sondag
Associate Pastor
Fellowship Missionary Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Tom Swank
Pastor
Northpoint Missionary Church, Fort Wayne

Dr. Bill Hossler
President
Missionary Church, Inc.

Pastor Ron Hawkins
Lead Pastor
First Assembly, Fort Wayne

Darryl Sheggrud
Executive Director
Men’s Ministry Network

Pastor Dennis Sundell
Lead Pastor
Hope Church of Fort Wayne

Kelley Sewell
Youth Pastor
Grabill Missionary Church, Grabill

Rev. Michael S. Blodgett
Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, New Haven

Rev. Donald A. Sauls
Pastor
Peace Lutheran Church, Berne

Rev. Martin K. Moehring
Pastor
St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Decatur

Rev. Thomas R. Ahlersmeyer
Senior Pastor
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Phil Schamehorn
Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Ligonier

Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson
Executive Counselor for Outreach
Indiana District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. Daniel P. May
President
Indiana District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. Paul J. Spira
Pastor
Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Yared Halche
Pastor
St. Augustine Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Richard Fletcher
Senior Pastor
Lifeway Wesleyan Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Alyn Biddle
Benevolence Minister
Broadway Christian Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Wendell Brane
Pastor
Trinity Evangelical Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Bob Smith
Director
Fort Wayne School of Urban Ministries

Rev. Wm. Daniel O’Connor
Pastor
Faith Lutheran Church, Greenfield

Rev. Rodney L. Schmeltz
Pastor
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Grabill

Rev. Dr. John Stube
Pastor
Ascension Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Steven M. Ahlersmeyer
Senior Pastor
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Ronnie L. Patrick
Pastor
New Beginnings Church and World Outreach, Warsaw

Pastor Bob Yawberg
Pastor
Pastors in Prayer Ministry

Pastor Chris Steele
Senior Minister
Christ’s Church at Georgetown

Rev. Msgr. Robert Schulte
Vicar General of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend and Rector
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne

Rev. Msgr. John Suelzer
Pastor
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Peter Dee De
Parochial Vicar
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne

Rev. John Pfister
Pastor
St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntington

Rev. Msgr. John Kuzmich
Pastor
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Jacob Meyer
Parochial Vicar
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Fort Wayne

Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr.
President
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. Stan Temme
Pastor
Lake George Lutheran Chapel, Fremont

Rev. James Keller
Pastor
New Life Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Roy C Olsen, III
Pastor
Emmaus Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Douglas M. Christian
Pastor
St. John Lutheran Church (Flatrock), Monroeville

Rev. David F. Strable
Associate Pastor
New Life Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Thomas Eggold
Senior Pastor
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Michael H. Tamorria
Interim Pastor
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Auburn

Rev. Warren E. Messmann
Pastor Emeritus
Indiana District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. Joel DeSelm
Senior Pastor
Woodburn Missionary Church

Rev. Mark C. Sheafer
Director of Financial Aid
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. David Mary Engo
FFM  Minister General
Our Lady of the Angels Friary for the Franciscan Brothers Minor

Rev. Richard G. Maassel
Visitation Pastor & Pastor Emeritus
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Nathan A. Long, OAC
Abbot and Priest
St. Patrick’s-by-the-Rivers Anglican Community, Fort Wayne

Rev. David H. Petersen, Pastor
Pastor
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Michael N. Frese
Associate Pastor
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Stephen Cresse
Associate Pastor
Life Community Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Otha Aden
Pastor
Southern Heights Baptist Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Milton White
Associate Minister
True Love Baptist Church, Fort Wayne

Minister Mitchell Hilliard
Associate Minister
St. Johns Baptist Church

Rev. Duane Burris
Senior Pastor
Life Community Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Tim Johnson
Director of Pastoral Care
Central Region Office

Pastor Gary Hahn
Associate Pastor
Woodburn Missionary Church, Woodburn

Prof. Emeritus Walter A. Maier II
Professor Emeritus
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Pastor Jason Baeuerle
Senior Pastor
Broadway Christian Church, Fort
Wayne

Rev. Peter James Brock
Pastor
St. John Lutheran Church,  Decatur

Rev. Douglas Punke
Senior Pastor
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Doug Beutler
Pastor
LifeWater Community Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Mike Eavey
Pastor
Wesleyan Redeemer Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. David Meinzen
Chaplain
University of Saint Francis and Veterans Affairs Hospital

Rev. Wade Turner
Pastor
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Kyle D. Krueger
Sole Pastor
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Soest), Fort Wayne

Rev. David Koeneman    
Pastor
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Decatur

Rev. Shayne Jonker    
Pastor
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Roanoke

Rev. Timothy R. Puls (Ed.D.)
Director of Alumni and Church Relations
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Rev. S. S. Urberg    
Pastor Emeritus
Indiana District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Brege
Pastor
St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, Decatur

Rev. Dennis Borchers
Teacher
Concordia Lutheran High School, Fort Wayne

Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Gudel
Director of Campus Ministries and Adjunct Faculty
Concordia Lutheran High School and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

The Rev. Dr. Ronald D. Allen
Rector
Heartland Church, ADGL, ACNA, Fort Wayne

Pr Karl A Frincke
Intentional Interim Pastor

Rev. Ron Francis    
Pastor Emeritus & Spiritual Advisor
Fort Wayne Lutherans for Life

Rev. M. Joshua Osbun (LCMS)
Wyatt, IN

Rev. Dr. Paul Dancy
Senior Pastor
Praise Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. John H. Hamer
Pastor Emeritus
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Robert A. Land
Pastor
Trinity United Methodist Church, Huntington

Rev. Mark A. Neubacher    
Pastor
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Albert Bierlein    
Pastor Emeritus
Lutheran Life Villages, Fort Wayne

Pastor Russell Riley     
Pastor
Saturn Christian Church, Columbia City

Pastor Bill Campbell
Pastor
Life Bridge Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Jeffrey Geisler    
Senior Pastor
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Greg Comp    
Lead Minister
Markle Church of Christ, Markle

Rev. Dale M. Henderson
Pastor
St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. David Maki
Pastor
Southwest Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. David Mommens
Sole Pastor
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Columbia City

Rev. Jeff Springer    
Member
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Jimmie Ruffin      
Pastor
New Life Community Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Dean McCaleb
Pastor
Crossroads Church, Fort Wayne

Rev. Dr. Kent Maxwell
Retired pastor, seminary professor and mental health counselor
Member of College Park United Brethren Church, Huntington

Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing
Senior Pastor
St. Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne

Pastor Kent Scantlin
Associate Pastor
Northside Missionary Church, Fort Wayne

Dr. John M Backes
Senior Pastor
Bethel Assembly of God, Huntington

Joel Gregory
Senior Pastor
Living Faith Missionary Church, Yoder

Gary Aupperle
Pastor
Hope Missionary Church, Bluffton

TOP