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)

Bethel Lutheran welcomes all who are visiting our site to find more information about the Financial Peace University course that we are offering.

Mr. Dave Ramsey is not personally affiliated with our congregation or Lutheran Church. However, Mr. Tim Smieja, a member of our congregation, is one of those at Bethel who have taken Mr. Ramsey's Financial Peace University course and found it to be especially helpful.
That is why Tim is offering you an opportunity to work through the details of this course over a nine week period.  

If you have questions or need more details please contact Tim Smieja directly, on his cell phone at (507) 450-5347. He would be happy to talk.  

You can also sign-up or get more details by going directly to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University website.  Go online to

God bless you and may this instruction be a help to your life.
Pastor Jon Cox



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

Alpha Course

What is the WELS' position on the Alpha Course by Nicky Gumbel, and is the course used by any of your churches?


There is no official synodical position on individual materials like this course, and I am not aware of any WELS congregations using the course.  Information on hand describes the course as being designed for ecumenical usage and not being biblically accurate.  Our publishing house offers a variety of sound materials that our congregations can use to teach people the basics of Bible 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.

Baptism of infants

Nowhere in the Bible does it say to baptize infants. As a matter of fact it says quite the opposite. Why do you believe little babies should be baptized when it's is a direct contradiction to the Bible since it doesn't say to do so? Making disciples of all nations as a command to baptize children is a bit of a stretch, isn't it? Not sure how a month old baby can be a follower of Jesus and also doesn't know it is a sinner in need of forgiveness.


I did not find in your information which Bible passages you believe prohibit baptizing infants.  In the Bible there are compelling reasons for baptizing infants.

As you referenced, children are part of “all nations” (Matthew 28:19), the object of the church’s “baptizing” and “teaching.”  “Nations” are made up of people of all ages, including infants.  If baptism were to be withheld from infants, this would have been the place for that instruction.

Secondly, because children are sinful by nature they have a great need for the forgiveness of sins (Psalm 51:5; John 3:5-6). 

Thirdly, we baptize children and infants because they can believe (Matthew 18:6; Luke 18:15-17; 2 Timothy 3:15).  They can believe because God is the one who creates faith in people through the gospel (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 10:17).  Faith is not a human decision.  God is the one who creates faith, and he can do that in young and old alike.  People of all ages are on the receiving end of the Holy Spirit’s converting power (Acts 2:39).

As infants grow older and acquire abilities to communicate more clearly, we will be able to hear their confession of sins and confession of faith in Jesus as their Savior; we will be able to hear what great changes God brought about in their hearts through baptism. 

We can be thankful that through holy baptism God can reach out to the very young and include them in his kingdom.  We can be thankful that Jesus’ words of baptism giving rebirth (John 3:5-6) have no age restrictions.

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

» March 2015 - Russia

WELS World missionaries have spent years preaching and teaching in Russia…and now they are helping to prepare a new group to assist in outreach. The WELS Missions initiative called "Daylight in Russia," encourages WELS members to serve in Russia as English teachers while working with the national churches there.

Cast: WELS


» February 2015 - Youth ministry

It’s not easy being a teen these days. There are more distractions . . . more temptations . . . than ever. How can our church help teens—and parents—navigate the challenges we all face?

Cast: WELS

Tags: WELS, Streams and youth

Forward in Christ

April 2015
Issue Date: 

God invites us all to pray to him, to ask him for whatever we want in Jesus' name.

For the last six months, Forward in Christ has been exploring Jesus' prayer life and how that connects to us. This month we start a related series that further examines what God has to say about prayer in the Bible.

As you think about your prayer life, here are a few more things to add to your prayer list:

read more