Sonlight: Church News

Galesville Campus

Arcadia Campus

Welcome to

Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:7)

Take a closer look!  We offer: 

  • An honest message rooted in the ageless text of the Bible – God’s Word.
  • A helpful message that addresses our real life needs.
  • A caring ministry from a pastor who will know you by name and make house calls.
  • A genuine connection with people who are not perfect, but who are forgiven and grateful.
  • A unique opportunity to be a part of a growing Trempealeau County-wide congregation.
  • A world-wide ministry as a part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.


From Pastor Jon N. Cox

Hello! It is good to be able to greet all the visitors to the Bethel Lutheran Church website.  While we have this opportunity to "meet", it seems helpful to tell you a little about myself. 

Let me begin by directing you to the picture on the left.  This is a picture of my wife, Doreen, and I.  We have been married for 24 years.  How time flies!  God has certainly blessed us by giving us a life together.  In addition to our shared faith in Christ, God blessed us with five children who believe and confess that saving faith with us.  Our children range in age from 21 to 12. We have been in the area for almost three years now, living in the community of Galesville.  It is such a blessing to live in this area of the state; we love the scenery that God's has provided in the coulee region.

I grew up in the area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my mom and dad and four brothers.  God blessed me and enabled me to know the unconditional love of God through his Word and the example of my family. 

Having served as a pastor since 1992 in College Station, Texas and Fond du Lac, it is exciting now to be a servant among the people here at Bethel. I am always pleased to meet visitors and anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith, our congregation, and the WELS.  Feel free to call me at (608) 582-9998 or call either church office.  The number in Arcadia is (608) 323-3270; in Galesville it is (608) 582-4329.


We are one congregation with two locations.

In Arcadia, Sunday worship is at 8:30 a.m.,
followed by Bible study and Sunday school at 10:00 a.m.

In Galesville, our Sunday worship time is 10:30 a.m. 
Bible study and Sunday school happen before worship at 9:00 a.m.
We also offer a Thursday evening service at 6:00 p.m. in Galesville.

Faith Related Q and A

Synod, Ministerium, Unionism

What is the difference between a Synod and a Ministerium? What is meant by Unionism?


A ministerium is a group of ministers united for a common cause.  They only—and not their congregations—would belong to the ministerium.

A synod describes congregations, with its called workers and laity, joined together and committed to a common calling.

Unionism refers to joint worship and religious work of people who are not united in doctrine.

Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.


Two Natures of Christ

In order for my salvation to be sure and complete, I know that God himself had to die. A man alone dying would not save me. I thought that I had been taught that since Christ's human nature shares with his divine, and his divine nature with his human, that both natures of Christ died on the cross. Recently I was corrected by another WELS member telling me that only the human nature actually died, because "God cannot die." Would you please help clarify. Which Bible verses speak to this? Thank you for your help.


You are correct in noting that, in order for our salvation to be “sure and complete,” Jesus had to be more than a man when he offered his life on the cross.  Scripture says “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough” (Psalm 49:7-8). 

Jesus is the God-Man.  The angel Gabriel informed Mary that the child she would give birth to would be called “The Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32)  and “the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).  God and man in one person is a “mystery” (1 Timothy 3:16) to us, but we cling to that mystery in Spirit-worked faith.

You also understand correctly that there is a union of the two natures in Christ, and so it is accurate to speak of God dying on the cross.  In fact, church history is replete with individuals who denied that and whose errors led the Christian church to formulate responses from Scripture.

In Acts 20:28 the apostle Paul instructed the elders of the church in Ephesus to “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”  It was not the shed blood of a mere man that ransomed people, it was God’s “own blood.”  Similarly, in 1 John 1:7 the inspired writer comforts us with the message that “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  Again, it is not the blood of a mere man that cleanses us from all sin, but the blood of God’s Son.

Just an aside—it is Scripture alone that is the foundation of our faith, but it is interesting to see how our hymns reflect the truths of our faith.  In that regard, take a look at some of the hymns in the Lent and Good Friday section of Christian Worship.  Several hymns illustrate the truth of Scripture that God died in our behalf, to win our salvation.  The refrain of one such hymn points us to a God-pleasing response:  “Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, Dearest Jesus, unto thee.”  (Christian Worship 114)

(If you are interested in reading a short paper on the subject of your question, follow this link.  There is some technical language in the paper, but the overall content is clear.)

Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.

WELS Streaming Videos

» January 2015 - Year in review

WELS Connection stories represent what we do together as a synod with the Congregation Mission offerings you give to us. We highlight the faithful work being done in more than 1300 congregations and mission stations, where Christ’s love is freely proclaimed to precious souls. 2014 was a year of many blessings in WELS. Here's a look back at the year in review . . . and a peek at the year ahead.

Cast: WELS

Tags: WELS, Streams and review

» November 2014 - New Home Mission Start

New WELS congregations begin with people like you... who see an opportunity. Those needs are communicated to the district mission boards, and our synod. If approved, a new home mission takes flight.

Cast: WELS

Tags: WELS, Streams and missions

Forward in Christ

January 2015
Issue Date: 

With this new year, we're excited to share a few new series with you.

The first series is "Heart to heart: Parent conversations." Designed to have the feel of a conversation between parents, this new column will feature a diverse group of parents discussing a different topic each month.

This month's topic is how families are adjusting to life in the digital age.

read more