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October 2020

Dear Friends,

“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
II Kings 6:15-17

For the servant of Elisha the prophet, the situation is hopeless. He and Elisha are doomed. The Syrian army have come to take Elisha captive and have surrounded the city. Since the servant sees no way out, he cries out to Elisha “Alas, my master! how shall we do?”
At one time or another, we have all probably been overwhelmed by the circumstances that were against us. My family recently suffered a housefire due to a lightning strike. As I watched the firefighters endeavor to extinguish the fire, I found myself becoming increasingly upset by the loss of property, the prospect of being out of our home for home for weeks, if not months and the thought of the arduous cleanup that awaited us. It was overwhelming. What were we going to do?

Like the servant of Elisha, there was much that I could not see. At first, I did not see the hidden blessings of the God who has always promised to take care of His children. I did not see the “…horses and chariots of fire” that surrounded us. God quickly opened my eyes to see the blessings of firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel that risked their health and lives to help us. I began to see the many family members, friends and neighbors that came, offering assistance. In the days that followed, I witnessed the power of the body of Christ as brothers and sisters in Christ offered financial gifts, cards of encouragement and prayers for me and my family. We were never alone. God was always with us.

This is the reality of God’s care for His people. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”, the Apostle Paul tells us. When we engage in the battles of this earthly life, we can take comfort in God’s “horses and chariots of fire” that surround us. Whether we are assailed by temptations, cares of this life or the burden of our sin, they are no match for our heavenly Father who loves us. Through His Cross, Jesus Christ has conquered our sin, death and the devil. As a result, we stand forgiven, abounding in hope and “…more than conquerors though Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37 May God open our eyes that we may see.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas

P.S. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on large gatherings, we have cancelled the fall Seminary Rally which usually takes place in October. Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times. We appreciate your fellowship in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God Bless your kindness.


In memory of Carl Kulla
From Ted & Sue Matson

In memory of Judy Maki
From Edwin Jr. & Kathleen Bergstedt

In memory of Edward Puumala
From James & Laurene Mattinen

In memory of Pauline Easterling
From Pastor Ernest Bylkas III & family

In memory of June Jenkins
From Pastor Ernest Bylkas III & family


In these ever so changing times, we continue to teach the Word of God in a different but effective way doing online classes via Zoom. The Monday night class at 7PM on the Prison Epistles has started but it’s not too late to join in. There is no fee and all you need is the Zoom application to participate. Contact the seminary if you are interested in being part of this study. Call 906-482-3337 or email


We are pleased to announce that we had a kind and generous donor come forward with a new 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 October 1 and runs through December 31, 2020. If you are able to contribute to 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 you again for your generosity!


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