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September 2019

Dear Friends,

“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” John 1:43-51

This past June, I was greatly blessed to be able to attend our church’s annual convention in Kingston, Minnesota. I am still somewhat in awe of the efforts of this small congregation to host such a large gathering. Despite the challenging task of organizing this event, the congregation of Kingston hosted our people with great enthusiasm and joy. Thanks be to God for their sacrifice and service in the Gospel.

For the theme of this year’s convention, the Kingston congregation had chosen “Come to the Table,” inspired by a song written by a Christian group called the Sidewalk Prophets, whereby we are invited to be partakers at the table of God’s bountiful grace. As I have reflected upon that theme, before and after the convention, my thoughts turn to a similar invitation given by Phillip to Nathaniel in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. “Come and see” are the words that Phillip uses in response to Nathaniel’s reluctance to meet Jesus. When Nathaniel does meet Jesus, his reluctance turns to amazement as this prophet seems to know everything about him. In response to Nathaniel’s wonder, Jesus replies “Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these”; and indeed, Nathaniel would see great things to follow. God invites us to “come and see” those great things as well, as He reveals them through His Word. As we continue in John’s Gospel, we come and see Jesus turn water into wine and cleanse the Temple of corrupt moneychangers. We come and see Jesus teach a Pharisee of the birth from above and give a Samaritan woman a drink from living waters. We also come and see Him feed five thousand people, walk on water and heal a man who was born blind. We come and see Jesus teach us about the Good Shepherd and raise Lazarus from the dead; we see Him wash the feet of the disciples and pray for them before His departure. Finally, we come and see Jesus arrested, beaten and sentenced to death on a cross, only to be raised from the dead on the third day. Indeed, God has done these “greater things” for you and for me; for the forgiveness of our sins, for our life and for our salvation. God not only invites us into His presence, but also actively draws us to the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.

As we begin a new semester at the seminary, we are preparing for that journey as both instructors and students of God’s Holy Scriptures. We invite you to join us on the journey as well. The classes at the seminary are open to everyone. God bless you on your journey.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:8-9

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas


In memory of Carol Gazvoda
from Ann Lepisto
Paul & Lorraine Tomasi

In memory of James Mickelsen
from Paul & Lorraine Tomasi

In memory of David Mickelsen
from Ann Lepisto
Paul & Lorraine Tomasi

In memory of Paul Milanowski
from Paul & Lorraine Tomasi

In memory of Gerald L. DeMotts
from Myra DeMotts

In memory of Rev. Waino Aili
from Marcus & Marlene Aili

In honor of Anne & Jeff Bodine’s
50th Anniversary
from James & Barbara Murdock


Recently we have had a kind donor come forward with a matching fund donation of $20,000.00. We are seeking additional donations above and beyond normal giving that would be matched dollar for dollar within this program. The program begins August 1 and runs through October 31, 2019. If you are able to contribute in this program, please earmark your contribution “matching funds” in the memo section of your check.

Your continued support of the seminary is deeply appreciated and enables us to continue to grow as a seminary and carry on the work of teaching and preparing our students for ministry. God bless your again for your generosity!


Daily classes offered in the fall begin, Wednesday, September 4, 2019:

New Testament Introduction (addition to schedule) - (2 credits) – An introductory study of the origin, authorship, purpose and reliability of the New Testament writings with special attention devoted to their literary design and individual and corporate unity.

Principles of Biblical Interpretation (3 credits) – A history and study of the hermeneutical techniques and their application to the scriptures, including the methods of Textual Analysis.

Homiletics (2 credits) – A study of the objectives, construction and delivery of sermons.

Liturgics & Hymnology (1 credit) – A study of the origin and meaning of orders of worship and the parts of the Christian worship service with an emphasis upon current application.

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

The Monday night class in Hancock and Thursday night class in Negaunee will be First and Second Thessalonians: Anticipating the Last Day with St. Paul. In Hancock at 7PM from September 9-December 16 and at 7PM at the Eastwood ALC (Negaunee) from August 29-October 3. This class is a study of St. Paul's correspondence with the Thessalonians in light of the eschatological discourses of Jesus with a focus on how Paul encourages the believers to hold fast in the faith as it was handed down to them in anticipation of the glorious future promised them in Jesus Christ.

Feel free to contact us by phone (906) 482-3337, email or check our on-line class schedule for updated information at


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