Newsletter                   Newsletter Archive for downloading

May 2018

Dear Friends,

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, …20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:10-31

I am rich.

If the writer of the Proverbs is to be believed (and he certainly is to be believed), I am rich beyond measure. First and foremost, I have been blessed to find a woman of great virtue to be my wife. I discovered another virtuous woman in my wife’s mother. That makes two. I also had two wonderful grandmothers who added great blessing to my life, which brings the number to four. I have also had three more virtuous women as sisters and a beautiful aunt who has faithfully served me as a godmother. Eight. Add to that, numerous other aunts, cousins, teachers and friends. The increasing number becomes too great to count. And then of course, there is my own mother whose value to me only increases with years. Are all of these women perfect? No. But they are women of great virtue that have been a blessing to me and to many others. Indeed, I have been most blessed, and I am rich.

The writer of Proverbs 31 is named King Lemuel, whose name means “dedicated to God.” Historically, it is not clear who this might be. However, it is possible that “Lemuel” was a pseudonym for either King Hezekiah or King Josiah. If so, then the responsibility of his mother was not only to raise a son, but also to help raise a king to serve God’s people. Therefore, it is most fitting that the writer of Proverbs 31 details the blessing of finding a woman whose “price is far above rubies.” Her calling would not only be to serve her son, but also her God.

The great discovery is not only in finding the virtuous woman, but also realizing how she became virtuous. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed”, indicates that virtue does not come by human will or effort, but by the hand of God. When I reflect upon how the heart of my father trusted in my mother (v.11), I ponder the work of my God. When I see my wife lovingly taking care of our children and looking “well to the ways of her household”(v.27), I am witness to the divine work of our heavenly Father, who loves His Creation so much, that He gave His own beloved Son to redeem it and make it new.

May God grant us grace to never take the holy calling of the virtuous woman for granted, but instead, be evermore thankful to Him and for them. They are just a few of the abundant blessings that God has given us through Christ our Lord. God bless you!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…7 In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…” Ephesians 1:3,7

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas

In memory of Walter Hendrickson
from Kenneth Heikka

In memory of Jack Bergstedt
Elaine Bergstedt

In memory of Dr. Al Saari
From Pastor Jesse & Judy Aho
Elaine Bergstedt
Loren & Gladys Bergstedt
Lorraine Besonen
Don & Pam Bielinski
Steve & Marilyn Dahlmeier
Audrey Krutzig
Tim & Merry Lienau
Frank & Jane Liupakka
Ida Lukkarila
Mary Lukkarila
Thomas Neadle
Kirk Jr. & Carol Otto
Richard & Renee Riemersma
Paul & Dorothy Suomala
Joyce Tibbs
Larry & Sharon Wahala
Noel & Kristine Walters
Pastor Jay & Kristine Weidner
Pastor Orval & Beth Wirkkala
Ross & Fayth Wolfe
Pastor Elmer & Miriam Yliniemi
Roger & Betty Young

In honor of Aunt Linda Wirkkala’s birthday
from Jon, Katriina, Ellie & Claire Hopper

The Spring semester will soon be over and plans for classes this fall are being made. If you are interested in learning more about taking classes either on line or in person, please contact the seminary by emailing or call (906) 482-3337.


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!




I wish to be removed from the Inter-Lutheran Seminary’s mailing list.

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