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October 2022

Dear Friends,

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:1-11

During the time of the Reformation, Martin Luther sought to correct some of the abuses in the church by bringing it back under the authority of God’s Word. Luther understood that the problems within the church were a result of a departure from the teachings of the Holy Scripture. This is no less true in the church today. As the Body of Christ seeks to minister to the various concerns of a fallen world, our temptation is to listen to reason or emotion, rather than to the voice of God.

In the midst of our turmoil, God continues to cry out: “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live…” God’s Word gives life to all who hear in faith. It does so, because all of Scripture points us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ. It is the redemption by His blood that gives life and salvation for sinful mankind.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (v.11) As both a preacher and hearer of Gospel, this second promise gives great comfort to me. It means that God’s Word will bear fruit regardless of the skills or efforts of the preacher or the understanding of the hearer. God has the power to minister to us in this marvelous way through the power of His glorious Word. May God grant us grace to hearken unto the voice of the Good Shepherd, so that we may hear and live.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas


In honor of Earl B. Kaurala
From Heath & Sherry Anderson

In memory of Lillian Kinnunen
From Yvonne Saari

In memory of Aurora (Grace) Mixon
From Dale & Carolyn Questad


Beginning this Fall, we are pleased to welcome two new full-time students, Caleb Maunu and Michael Mattinen both pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.

Caleb Maunu spent his childhood in Oregon and Washington. He went to high school in Minnesota then to New Hampshire where he met his wife, Sheri, who was working as a schoolteacher. Caleb worked as a Project Manager at Hutter Construction in Rindge, New Hampshire before moving his family to Hancock to attend seminary. Caleb and Sheri have four children; Greta (8), Anders (6), Silas (4) and Freya (1).

Michael Mattinen resides in Cloquet, Minnesota and attends the Esko Apostolic Lutheran Church. His wife, Heidi teaches physical education part-time in Cloquet. Michael and Heidi have four children; Miles (7), Luke (5), Phoebe (2) and Mabel (8 weeks). Michael has been teaching 3rd and 4th grade for the last nine years. He resigned last spring knowing it was time for a change. Seminary had been in the back of his mind for several years, with every year that call seemed to get stronger and stronger. By the Holy Spirit, the right understanding of Scripture, especially the distinction of Law and Gospel, has brought him much peace. The Lord has now given him a desire to share this Word of Life that brings the peace that surpasses all understanding. So, he finally answered the call.

Scott Seppala, our full-time student who started in January 2021, is currently doing an internship at Zion Lutheran Church, Hancock, Michigan. Under Pastor Jesse Aho, Scott is looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience in church ministry. Scott will resume classes in Fall 2023.

Please continue to keep our students in prayer. We appreciate your continued support!


There will be a Board Meeting on Saturday, October 8, 2022
at 9AM in the seminary’s classroom building.

The Board of Directors of the
Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary
invite you to attend the
Annual Seminary Rally on
Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 3:30PM
at Zion Lutheran Church
400 Ingot Street
Hancock, Michigan

Dinner following service.


at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MI, to benefit the seminary on Tuesday, December 6 at 7PM. Join us for an evening of Christmas caroling and special music. Refreshments will be served.


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.

The Inter-Lutheran Seminary has established an Endowment Fund through Thrivent Charitable Impact & InvestingTM (formerly InFaith Community Foundation). All 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. To learn more about this organization, go to

We would love 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. For more additional information, please contact Kirk Otto, Jr. at (715) 821-8574 or Cheryl Hendrickson at
(906) 482-3337.

As always, the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary appreciates your continued support.

To make it more convenient for those that prefer online donations, we have just added a feature to our website to do just that through PayPal.

Simply go to our website ( and click on the HOW TO CONTRIBUTE page and then it is as simple as pressing the “DONATE” button. It will direct you to the seminary’s PayPal form to complete. There is also an option to offset the cost of our processing fees (1.99% + $.49) per transaction.


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!




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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