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August 2020

Dear Friends,

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-36 KJV)

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine, The Crisis No. I (written 19 December 1776, published 23 December 1776)

Paine is correct, heaven does value freedom highly. Jesus’ words above show this to be the case. However, freedom can only be found in truth. Anything founded in untruth leads to sin and sin does lead to truth but bondage. The problems that plague our world today are not new, they are as old as sin. Sin deceives people and makes them exchange the truth for a lie. Where there is no truth there is no freedom. As He says, only Christ can make us free.
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:17-22 KJV)

The form of doctrine that Paul is referring to is the Word of God. By the Word of God we have been brought into the truth. Jesus is, “the way and the truth and the life.” By the blood of the Living Word we are released from sin and made free. Does heaven value freedom? Yes, it cost God the blood of His Son. What the world needs now is what it has always needed, the truth. In “these times that try men’s souls” we need truth, we need the Word of God and we need the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be anchored in it and proclaiming it to all who will listen. No virus, unrest or lie of any sort can ever shake that foundation. Thank you for supporting us in our work of sharing that gospel. God be praised for His faithfulness and truth!

God’s Peace,
Jay Weidner


In honor of Wesley Lampinen
From Kim & Sue-Ann Mickelson

In memory of Pastor Rod Johnson
From Derek & Gail Kalkes
Erik & Karen Kukkonen
Raymond & Marlene Hillman

In memory of Bill Bergstedt Sr.
Bob & Sandy Caviness

In memory of Ed & Aili Pakkala
From Dan & Anita Hoard

In memory of Marian Kilpela
From Bob & Sandy Caviness

In memory of Judy Maki
From Raymond & Marlene Hilmann

In memory of Bill Bergstedt Jr.
Bob & Sandy Caviness

In honor of Pastors/Teachers
Bruce Bergstedt, Ernest Bylkas III, Michael Carriere, Elmer Liimatta,
Arvo Onermaa, Jay Weidner & Elmer Yliniemi
From Derek & Gail Kalkes


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 gifts 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, which can be found in our course catalog (, 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 or email


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