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June 2019

Dear Friends,

Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thess. 4:18 KJV)

The end is near! That message used to be displayed frequently when I was younger. Sometimes it was written on a billboard or other times seen on sandwich boards carried through the streets by itinerant preachers. Unfortunately, it became an object of derision in many circles because the end failed to materialize as had been promised and people began to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the words.

There is perhaps no more misunderstood or misinterpreted subject in the Bible than that of the End Times. Many well-meaning people and many hucksters have tried to solve the strange mystery of the end of the world usually with fanciful understandings more akin to science fiction than anything in the Bible. Entire landscapes of futuristic nonsense have been created by stitching together bits and pieces of Scripture removed from context to form apocalyptic dramas that are no more the Word of God than a person cutting individual words from multiple Biblical texts, pasting them together and then saying; “Thus saith the Lord.” Many centuries ago in the second century St. Irenaeus of Lugdunum (now Lyon) wrote of this tactic as it was employed by the gnostic heretics of his time to deceive people into following their teachings as though they came from Scripture. They taught that only the truly enlightened person could rightly understand the Scripture and the truly enlightened persons were those who agreed with them. Irenaeus described how many had been led astray by this foolishness and implored people to return to the clear Word of God as it had been handed down.

We face much the same dilemma today when approaching the subject of the end. Sorting through the countless attempts through time to reconstruct and set a date for God’s closure of existence as we know it is a task that is as daunting as it is useless. The Scripture speaks for itself, and when simply read as written presents a very clear picture of the nature of the end and its meaning in the life of the followers of Jesus Christ. It isn’t mysterious or cloaked in esoteric language that only the spiritually enlightened can understand but rather is manifestly direct and simple if read or heard and taken at face value within its literary and historical context.

Last Fall I had the opportunity to teach the book of Revelation and to emphasize the majesty of that book as it was given, a revelation of Jesus Christ to John to give comfort and encouragement to the faithful in Christ, so that they would remain firm and steadfast in face of the persecution of the Roman Empire knowing that their triumph was assured in Christ for eternity even though they might be physically brought to death. This Fall I’m teaching a course on two other books that are consistent with that message; First and Second Thessalonians. These books have been roundly misinterpreted by people who lift certain portions from their context and place them in scenarios akin to the Gnostics. However, studied together with Jesus’ discourses, from which St. Paul’s thoughts originate, the letters teach a message from the Lord of consolation, hope and encouragement. Like the Revelation, a message of comfort as above in 1 Thessalonians 4:18. This course will be offered on Monday nights in Hancock MI and on Thursday nights (in shorter form) in Negaunee MI and will also be available by live stream on-line. If you’re interested, please join us. God’s richest blessings on you and thank you for your continued support!

God’s Peace,
Jay Weidner

Donations Received…

In memory of Edward Puumala
from Ellie Puumala

In memory of Jana Piles
from Ellie Puumala

In memory of Bonnie Johnson
from Ellie Puumala

In memory of Dr. Al Saari
from Arnold Sunnarborg

In memory of James Mickelsen
from Roger & Myrtle Larson
Kathy Samuli
Arnold Sunnarborg

In memory of David Mickelsen
from Arnold Sunnarborg

In memory of Ross Wolfe
from Arnold Sunnarborg

In memory of Ron Liimatainen
from Arnold Sunnarborg


The Seminary’s sanctuary recently suffered an unfortunate situation when the upstairs sink’s water supply line split in the middle of the night and flooded the upstairs and downstairs. There is a tremendous about of water damage and destruction. Please keep the seminary in your prayers that our insurance would cover all necessary repairs in a timely manner for the upcoming fall class.


Class planning for the fall semester has begun. Tentatively, daily classes will include Principles of Biblical Interpretation and Deaconess History. Pastor Jay will teach 1 and 2 Thessalonians: Anticipating the Last Day with St. Paul, on Monday night at 7PM from September 9-December 16 and at 7PM at the Eastwood ALC (Negaunee) from August 29-Oct 3. This class is a study of St. Paul's correspondence with the Thessalonians in light of the eschatological discourses of Jesus with a focus on how Paul encourages the believers to hold fast in the faith as it was handed down to them in anticipation of the glorious future promised them in Jesus Christ.

Online capability for Hancock classes is limited to 10 people, so email or call to register as soon as possible. Visit for a complete list of classes to be annouced in the near future. With the support of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, God enables us to continue training students for the ministry of His Word. Thank you for your part in helping us accomplish this mission.


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.

THANK YOU - $253.70 was donated to the seminary during 2018 as a result of your purchases!!

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.

In 2018, the Inter-Lutheran Seminary received $2,470 in Choice Dollars and WE THANK YOU FOR THAT!


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