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April 2018

Dear Friends,

Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: (Lk. 24:5b-6a KJV)

This Easter morning announcement speaks of the greatest event in the history of humankind. The tomb is empty, the Son is risen, Adam’s race is reborn. Death is vanquished and now life is without end, eternity is ours. The world now has consolation, hope is restored, life has triumphed over death.

You may recall that last March I wrote a newsletter article in tribute to Dr. Albert (Al) Saari, one of the three founders of this Seminary and a member of the faculty and board of trustees for many years. On March 14, 2018, after suffering many years with a long-term malady, our beloved mentor and friend passed into glory to dwell with His Lord forever. An event like this makes Easter all the more meaningful as we realize that those who die in Christ actually never die, they pass from this incomplete life to the life of perfection because the Christ removed the sting of death even as Jesus said to Martha;
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (Jn. 11:25-26 KJV)

All his life Dr. Al lived and labored in the light of that empty tomb, in the glory of the one who fled that tomb and rose in victory. His life was as a witness to the certainty of that grace and the promise of forgiveness through the shed blood of that perfect, spotless lamb sacrificed on Calvary to take away the sin of the world. We who had the honor of spending time with the man received a gift beyond price and continue to reap the benefit of that gift in our daily lives as we are engaged in following in the footsteps of our godly instructors and leaders, following their example of following our Lord Jesus Christ.

So it is we give thanks to God for Dr. Al, for allowing us to know him and learn from him. We pray God’s special blessing and consolation upon his family now bereft, asking that God may grant them His perfect peace. Moreover, in line with what Al and all the saints would want expressed, we say; “Soli Deo Gloria!” (To God be the Glory!)
God’s Peace,
Jay Weidner


My name is Karen St Peter and I am the Instructor of Deaconess Studies at the Seminary. Years ago the Lord laid upon my heart the longing to learn more about His Word and to minister to other women. I began taking classes at the Seminary in 2006. My first deaconess class was in the Fall of 2010 and I graduated with a Deaconess Certificate in October 2013. As women in Christ we have the wonderful opportunity to be mentors to one another. I want to encourage all women to study the Word and be available to those women God places in your life.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

The Deaconess program at the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary provides sound biblical educational opportunities for women. A deaconess is a woman who is a church-worker and is trained and dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Christ through acts of mercy and spiritual care. The role of a deaconess is to serve other women by engaging women in diverse settings and specialization, whether in a congregation, in an institution or on the mission field. The Deaconess serves congregations using her gift to bless and serve other women.

Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Upon fulfillment of the program requirements shown below, students receive a Deaconess Certificate endorsed by the faculty. Along with the Deaconess Certificate a student may also receive an additional degree outside the Seminary such as Nursing, Teaching, Counseling, etc. in order to focus on a specific calling.

You may also take the deaconess courses without acquiring a Deaconess Certificate. The courses of study include:

Orientation to Deaconess Studies. 3 credits
An overview of the issues of women’s ministry in the contemporary church.

Deaconess History. 2 credits
A study of the role of deaconesses through the history of the Christian Church.

Working as a Deaconess I. 2 credits
A course which explores the use of Deaconess skills involving both congregational and personal care as well as the employment of such skills in the current church setting.

Working as a Deaconess II. 2 credits
A second course which explores the use of Deaconess skills involving community outreach and involvement with the employment of such skills in the current church setting.

If you are interested in learning of the Deaconess program, please contact the Seminary at (906) 482-3337. Also, additional information is available in our on-line catalogue at


In memory of Theresa Weidner
From Linda Wirkkala

In memory of Gary Worrall
From the Rudak Family;
John, Karyn, Jack & Katia
Mark & Gail Johnson
Pastor Ernest Bylkas III & family

In memory of Jack Bergstedt
Joel & Lois Hendrickson

In memory of Jack Munter
From Joel & Lois Hendrickson
Ellie Puumala

In memory of Isabel Lienau
From Dr. Al & Janis Saari

In memory of Edward J. Puumala
From Ellie Puumala

In memory of Dr. Al Saari
From Pastor Ernest Bylkas III & family
Earl & Jean Eliason
Neal & Cheryl Hendrickson
Mark & Gail Johnson


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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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