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January 2020

Dear Friends,

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” Matthew 2:1-12

The visitation of the wise men, recorded here in the Gospel of Matthew has been historically celebrated in the Christian Church on January 6th as the Festival of the Epiphany. It marks the first time that Jesus Christ was made known to the Gentiles. What a marvelous journey that must have been for the wise men! God miraculously led them to the Christ-Child with the help of a star that moved before them in the sky. The season of Epiphany is marked by the theme of manifestation. In Christ, God makes Himself known not just to the nation of Israel, but to all people. While God may not lead us by a star today, He does lead us by the miracle of His Word. God’s Word is truly miraculous in that it has the power to work repentance and to kindle faith in the hearts of men. Just as the star did for the wise men, the Word of God leads us to Christ. For in Christ alone can we find forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. Because of His great love for us, God “…hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…” Colossians 1:13-14

As we begin the New Year, may God grant us grace to hearken unto His Word, so that we might hear, believe and live.

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Isaiah 60:1-3

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas


In memory of Irene Ruohonen
from Paul & Lorraine Tomasi

In memory of Edwin Puumala
from Luella J. Puumala

In memory of Dr. Robert Nominelli
from Raymond & Marlene Hilman
Paul Renne

In memory of Ross Wolfe
from Raymond & Marlene Hilman

In memory of Arnold Sunnarborg
from Jim & Mary Carol Behrends

In memory of David Johnson
from Leland D. Bendix

In memory of Jane Miller
from Leland D. Bendix

In memory of Adam Ostapenko
from Joan & Nick Ostapenko

In memory of Joyce Magner
from Joan & Nick Ostapenko

THANK YOU for supporting the Inter-Lutheran Seminary by making your Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile on behalf of seminary. $693.32 was donated to the seminary during 2019.

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….
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2020 Spring Semester Classes - Begin January 20, 2020

History of the Ancient Church (3 credits) – A historical analysis of the major people and events that shaped the Christian Church from the Apostolic Age to 600 AD.

Science & Christianity (2 credits) – A study of the relationships and differences in the methodology and epistemology of modern science and the Christian Faith.

Pastoral Epistles (1 credit ) – An investigation of the thought and doctrinal content of these epistles to answer questions concerning their Pauline authorship with an exegetical study of the books.

Genesis (2 credits) – A study of the origin, thought and doctinal content of the book of Genesis.

General Epistles & Hebrews (2 credits) – A study of the content of each of the letters emphasizing the uniqueness of thought in their respective authors.

See Academic Information - Class Schedule for dates and times.


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