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November 2017

Dear Friends,

When I was in elementary school there were some standard things that were required as we came into the thanksgiving season. First was the drawing of a turkey using your hand as a template to trace around which the teacher always hung somewhere either in the classroom or the hall outside it. Eventually that work of art would make its way home for parents to admire. A true, modern thanksgiving tradition. Second was to write an essay on what you were thankful for. That usually included my family, home and other sundry items as they came to mind. This literary gem also inevitably made it home to the same fate of the turkey drawing. Last month we had a wonderful 50th Anniversary celebration of this seminary. It was great to have so many of the former students and staff there to share the memories of the past years and recall those who could not be there as well as those who have passed to their eternal home.

Now as we once again come to Thanksgiving it is time to recall what we are thankful for. I am very thankful to God for this seminary. Not just the fact that it has given me a job for the past 32 years but for so many of the blessings I have received through it. First, I had the opportunity to meet some of the most marvelous Christian people on the face of this earth who organized, supported and attended this institution. Each of them had a profound effect on my training and development creating an incredible debt that I could never repay. Second, through this seminary and its people I came to be associated with our church federation that I have come to treasure and respect, from which I have been so powerfully ministered to and been privileged to minister to in return. Third, I witnessed such a deep love for the Word of God in so many people that the need for imitation of that dedication became obvious, the cultivation of which is its own reward. Fourth, it provided the means for me to always be a student as teaching a subject always requires learning and relearning to be able to impart one’s understandings to others so that they may be engaged in the same process. This list could continue for a while but suffice it to say I am deeply grateful to God for the bounty He has provided for my life in this seminary.

Finally, I am very thankful for all of you and your continued support of this seminary. You have been given the opportunity to bless it for years with your kindness and generosity and you have been faithful beyond our greatest expectations. Thanks be to God for you.

(I promise not to send you one of my terrible, hand turkey drawings.) Blessings on you all!

God’s Peace,
Jay Weidner


In memory of Dr. Uuras Saarnivaara
From Pastor Paul & Anja Marin

In memory of Pastor Kenneth Hendrickson
From Pastor Paul & Anja Marin

In memory of Betty Bergstedt
From Pastor Bruce & Wendy Bergstedt

In memory of Kirk & Milly Otto
From Kirk Jr. & Carol Otto

In memory of Nancy Helmes
From Alvar Helmes

In memory of Mary Lou Mickelsen
From Jim Mickelsen

In memory of Lil & Vern Maunu
From Linda M. Tapio

In memory of Ruth Sunnarborg
From Arnold Sunnarborg

In memory of John Grussendorf
From Luella J. Puumala

In memory of Dolly Johnson
From Ken Seaton

In memory of Pastor Wayne Juntunen
From Pastor Ernest Bylkas & family
Gordie & Holly Rintala

In memory of Jeanne Kulju
From Pastor Ernest Bylkas III & family
Verna Ann Hendrickson
Luella J. Puumala

In memory of Dr. Jack Bergstedt
From Pastor Bruce & Wendy Bergstedt
Harley & Donna Hendrickson
Dr. Alan & Dorothy Johns
Mary Helen Juntunen
James & Elma Keskitalo
Harvey & Sharon Niska
Luella J. Puumala
Neil & Deb Sunnarborg

SAVE THE DATE....Winter Night of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MI, to benefit the seminary on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7PM.
Join us for an evening of Christmas caroling and special music. Refreshments will be served.

There are several ways to support the Seminary.


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.


If you are receiving this newsletter in error or would prefer to be taken off the mailing list, please complete the form below and mail to: P.O. Box 449, Hancock, MI 49930.
Or call 906-482-3337 or email: Thank you!




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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