Newsletter                   Newsletter Archive for downloading

June 2020

Dear Friends,

“ For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) 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: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:19-29

It is not uncommon to hear pastors repeat certain bible verses in the course of preaching a lifetime of sermons. It is not that other passages are less important, but rather there are some that resonate more strikingly with us as we read and meditate on God’s Word. I had the distinct privilege of serving with Pastor Rodney Johnson for over six years. He was not only a wise mentor for a young pastor fresh out of seminary, he was my brother and friend. Pastor Rod was like a second father to me, welcoming me not only into the Laurium church family but into his own family as well.

In the six years I spent listening to Pastor Rod’s preaching, the phrase I remember him quoting most vividly is found in this passage from the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Colossians: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” What a profound thought! Even though Jesus Christ died for us, rose again for us and ascended on high for us, our God is not a distant God. Christ dwells among us and is in us. We do not find our hope in any other place than in the person and the work of Christ Jesus, our Lord. As the hymn-writer Edward Mote aptly puts it, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness…” Even more, the Bible does not define hope like the world does. It is not weak or uncertain. Our hope is founded upon the most decisive act of human history: the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “On Christ the solid Rock, I stand…” Thanks be to God for faithful pastors like Pastor Rod who point us to Jesus Christ. May God be ever praised for this marvelous truth; “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

As always, thank you for remembering the seminary with your thoughts, prayers and gifts during these trying times. God bless you for your kindness!

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ….” Philippians 1:3-6

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chuck Bylkas


IIn memory of John Niemitalo, Sr.
from Kevin & Paula LaPrise

In memory of Gerald L. DeMotts
from Myra DeMotts & family

In memory of Jerry W. DeMotts
from Myra DeMotts & family

In memory of Gary Worrall
from Barbara Worrall

In memory of Dr. Robert Nominelli
from Joyce Tibbs

In memory of Audrey (Betty) Amala
from Joyce Tibbs

In memory of June Jenkins
from Janis Saari
Steve & Marilyn Dahlmeier
Ernest Bylkas III & family

In memory of Ross, Kent & Kris Wolfe
from Fayth Wolfe

In memory of Mr. & Mrs. W. E. Weidner
from Jeff & Ruby Weidner

In memory of Benard & Beatrice Bajari
from Jim & Mary Carol Behrends

n memory of Linda Weidner
from Jeff & Ruby Weidner

In memory of Theresa Weidner
from Jeff & Ruby Weidner

In memory of Judy Volkmar
from Jeff & Ruby Weidner

In memory of Rev. Rod Johnson
from Loren & Gladys Bergstedt
Jimmy & Barbara Maunu
Ernest Bylkas III & family
William Forsman

In memory of Mrs. Ruby McCarroll
from Ernest Bylkas III & family
William Forsman

In memory of Arlene Harden
from Ernest Bylkas III & family
William Forsman

In memory of Mark Harden
from Ernest Bylkas III & family
William Forsman

In memory of Robert Bonini
from Ernest Bylkas III & family
William Forsman


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!




I wish to be removed from the Inter-Lutheran Seminary’s mailing list.

Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary
James Weidner, President
P.O. Box 449
Hancock, MI 49930
Phone: 906-482-3337
FAX: 906-482-0694