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November 2018

Dear Friends,

“Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 118:19-29

In the month of November, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. In many homes, it is a tradition for each family member to mention one thing for which they are thankful. The Holy Scriptures teach us that we are to live our lives in gratitude for all that God has done for us. In His first letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul tells us “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18 This means that we are to be thankful in good times and in bad. Remarkably, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, he did so while the nation was still in the throes of the Civil War. Lincoln encouraged the nation to give thanks, even though the nation’s future was still uncertain.

Because we are sinners, it is difficult for us to be thankful, especially during times of trouble. Even a Presidential proclamation cannot force us to be truly grateful. However, when God calls us to be thankful, He does so by revealing His great love for us in the Gospel. It is that revelation that kindles faith in our hearts and moves us to thankfulness and praise. In Psalm 118, we hear a phrase that is heard over and over again in the Old Teastament; “O give thanks to the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.” We give thanks to God, because He is good and because He is merciful to sinners.

In that same Psalm, the writer expresses how God has shown us His mercy. “I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” We praise God, because He has heard our cries for help and has given us salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. Even though mankind rejected Him, Jesus suffered, bled and died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. It is the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that is our hope, our cornerstone and the foundation of our faith. The hymn-writer says it so well, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” So “Give thanks to the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever!” Yours in Christ, Pastor Chuck Bylkas

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” II Corinthians 9:15


In memory of Robert E. Koskela
from Kenneth Heikka

In memory of Ernest Bylkas Jr.
from Judith Bylkas

In memory of Al Saari
from Janis Saari

In memory of Ross Wolfe
from Reuben & Anita Aho
Nancy Fenton
Ann Lepisto
Bob & Norma Sarver

YOU ARE INVITED to…. Winter Night of Music
at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MI, to benefit the seminary on Tuesday, November 27 at 7PM. Join us for an evening of Christmas caroling and special music. Refreshments will be served.


Have you ever have used to do your shopping? Now AmazonSmile offers the same products, same prices and same service and will also donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

Simply log use in by using this link….
which will bring you directly to in support of our organization.

The Thrivent Choice® program offers a way members can recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes some of its charitable outreach funds. As a benefit member, your ownership of Thrivent Financial products and services help make this support possible.

Remember….If you are an eligible member 16 and older you can recommend how to distribute Thrivent Financial charitable grant funds thought Choice Dollars®. Member eligibility and the Choice Dollars designated are based on:
• Holding a Thrivent Financial volunteer leadership position; or
• Having $750 or more in annual premiums of qualifying
insurance products; or
• Having $20,000 or more in contract value of qualifying products.
For more information about Choice Dollars, visit or call 800-847-4836 or contact your local Thrivent Financial representative.


Several years ago, the Seminary board of directors established the Inter-Lutheran Seminary Endowment Fund. Funds contributed to the endowment are not used for current day to day operations. Only the annual earnings of the endowment will be used for the seminary’s needs thereby ensuring the continued existence of this funding source. This is the preferred method used by many non-profit entities, especially ongoing religiously focused organizations such as seminaries.

While this is an excellent strategy, it has proven a challenge for us to actually meet the minimum funding requirements. Until now, the fund has existed but remained unfunded. By the Lord’s grace we have been blessed with a large contribution to fund the Inter-Lutheran Seminary Endowment Fund. We would love to build on this generous contribution to grow our endowment into a major source of ongoing seminary support.

Although the seminary still needs the financial ongoing regular contributions of our supporters, please consider the endowment fund for your planned giving needs. The seminary has chosen the InFaith Community Endowment Fund (the renamed Lutheran Brotherhood Foundation) to administer our endowment fund. They will provide experienced legal advice to help guide you with any contribution questions done through estate planning in addition to lump sum contributions, IRAs, property and securities. For more additional information, please contact Kirk Otto, Jr. at (715) 294-4343 or Cheryl Hendrickson at (906)482-3337.


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Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary
James Weidner, President
P.O. Box 449
Hancock, MI 49930
Phone: 906-482-3337
FAX: 906-482-0694