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December 2019

Dear Friends,

Imagine getting your newspaper or opening your favorite news app and being greeted by the headline:


We would, no doubt, be shocked and as Christian people more than a little pleased. Yet indeed that is the message we celebrate every year in this month. Imagine Joseph receiving the message from the angel of the Lord:

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matt. 1:20-25 KJV)

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who 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: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Col. 1:12-22 KJV) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Col. 2:9-10 KJV)

Imagine that! Amazingly we don’t have to imagine it because it’s true. God has sent our Savior born in Bethlehem, God with us. Jesus has delivered us from our sins in the shedding of His precious blood, reconciled us to the Father, raised us to eternal life and made us complete in Him. He is the real meaning of Christmas.

God’s Peace and a Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Jay Weidner


In memory of Luuk & Rebekka Wahala
from Larry & Sharon Wahala

In memory of Dr. Albert Saari
from the Saari family
Rev. Ernest Bylkas III, Joy & family

In memory of Dr. Uuras Saarvinaara
from the Saari family

In memory of Pastor Kenneth Hendrickson
from the Saari family

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 Reuben & Anita Aho
Loren & Gladys Bergstedt
Rev. Ernest Bylkas III, Joy & family
Steve & Marilyn Dahlmeier
Mark & Gail Johnson
Steve & Karla Raasio
Paul & Lorraine Tomasi
Barbara Worrall
Rev. Elmer & Miriam Yliniemi

In memory of Kathleen Forsman
From Rev. Ernest Bylkas III, Joy & family

In memory of Ernest Bylkas, Jr.
from Rev. Ernest Bylkas III, Joy & family

~From the students and staff ~
of the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary

YOU ARE INVITED…. to Winter Night of Music
at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MI, to benefit the seminary on Tuesday, December 3rd 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.


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!




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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