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

Women in the church

Are women allowed to be voting members of WELS ?


Elsewhere on this Web site you will find This We Believe:  A Statement of Belief of the WELS.  The “Church and Ministry” section addresses your question on the basis of Scripture:  “We believe that women may participate in offices and activities of the public ministry except where that work involves authority over men (1 Timothy 2:11,12). This means that women may not serve as pastors nor participate in assemblies of the church in ways that exercise authority over men (1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:33-35).”  One of those assemblies is the voters’ assembly.

While women in WELS congregations do not cast votes in voters’ assemblies, that does not speak at all to their status in God’s sight.  Scripture says to Christians:  “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).

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.

Finding a fulfilling career and being satisfied with role.

I have a good job as a director of a department at a university. I've been in the office for over 12 years and have been director for 7. I've found myself feeling anxious and depressed 3 times in the last 5 years and, especially at those times, have felt trapped and hopeless that this is where I'll be "stuck" for the rest of my life. I feel something is missing and that I'm not using the gifts God has given me as natural strengths due to the job requirements. I've signed up for online career change systems, taken numerous aptitude tests, investigated careers and come up with nothing. I keep thinking there must be a career, or careers, out there that would be perfect for me but I can't seem to find what that would be. There are many areas that intrigue me but each would require quitting my job, going back to school, and I'm not certain that I would love those careers. I'm feeling stuck. God has given me my natural gifts and I know he wants me to use them but I can't find where. At what point do I quit searching and just sit back and wait for God to show me his will or must I keep searching, what feels like a futile effort, and not just expect God to hand me the perfect career? I'm really struggling with a lack of motivation in my current work which leads to feeling of guilt. I want to serve God and be happy but I just can't shake this sense that something is missing.


The first part of your background has me wondering if, in your “anxious,” and “depressed” and “hopelessly- stuck” times of life, you have sought and received any medical and professional care that might have been needed.  Hopefully that is the case.

Other parts of your background tell me that you have certainly explored (and perhaps in your estimation, exhausted) options for career change.  I cannot suggest anything of substance in that regard.

Where I can respond is in the area of your question.  I am led to wonder if you are putting unnecessary strain on yourself by “waiting for God to show you his will” for a career change.  If that is indeed the case, I believe you could find it liberating to read more on what the Bible says about Christian vocation.  Especially appropriate Bible sections are 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 and Colossians 3:22-24. 

I would also commend to you some excellent reading material on the subject of Christian vocation.  Our synod also has a very fine Bible study on Christian vocation that congregations can use.  Here are just a few excerpts from it:  “We have less control over the direction our lives take than we may realize.  External circumstances—which are under God’s control—often influence the course of our lives.

“When our work seems meaningless, it can be hard to continue serving faithfully in our vocations.  But if our vocations are assignments from the Lord, they are never meaningless.  Ultimately we are not doing our work for the sake of our own feelings of satisfaction, but for the Lord.

“Often we make decisions [of vocation] by focusing on ourselves—our needs, our aptitudes, our interests, and so on.  The Bible’s discussion about vocation teaches us to get our eyes off ourselves and onto our neighbors.”

Martin Luther wrote much on the subject of Christian vocation.  You might find it valuable to see what insights he offered on the basis of Scripture. 

Finally, when we encounter feelings of guilt—real or imagined—we know that we can go in spirit to the foot of the cross and be assured that Jesus removed all our sins and the guilt of our sins.  King David’s experience is also ours:  “I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).

I do wish you well and pray for your contentment as you continue using your gifts and abilities to serve God and your neighbor.

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

» 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 Streams

Tags: WELS, Streams and missions

» October 2014 - Ministry of Christian Giving

One thing that marks us as Christians is that we think long-term. That is, we've considered our eternal future, and we know it's secure in Jesus. But when it comes to our time on this earth, the path forward doesn't always seem so clear. Is your retirement secure? Who'll take care of the children if you're not around? And how can you wisely use the blessings God has given you--in your local church, and beyond. Those are big questions. And there is help.

Cast: WELS Streams

Tags: WELS, Streams and giving

Forward in Christ

December 2014
Issue Date: 

It's the end of the year already. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday when we were brainstorming ideas of how to celebrate Forward in Christ's 100th anniversary. And it's been fun. We hope you have enjoyed our look back through the years and our celebration of God's grace and favor upon the magazine. We included a few more special anniversary features in this issue.

read more