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 Wednesday evening service at 6:00 p.m. in Galesville.

Faith Related Q and A

Homosexuality and witnessing

I am in a discussion with an old friend on Facebook who no longer lives near me. She is a homosexual and claims to be a Christian who believes every word of the Bible. In the discussion I was directed to a resource on the Westar Institute Web site.

1. What is the correct interpretation of the word "arsenokoitai" in 1 Corinthians 6:9?

2. Is it wise to be in these types of discussions? I have approached it in the spirit of love and it is being taken that way. Everyone has been cordial.

3. If someone believes in Jesus and doesn't know that something is a sin (because for example, false teaching in the church they belong to) is it still a sin for them?


For starters, you will want to be aware that the Westar Institute Web site is self-described as the “Home of the Jesus Seminar.”  The Jesus Seminar is a group of liberal theologians who reject, among other things, the verbal inspiration of the Bible.  Their views led them to dissect the gospels and vote on what they believed Jesus really said and did.  They concluded that out of all the red letter words in a New Testament Bible, Jesus spoke only 18% of those words.  Likewise, they concluded that Jesus did only 16% of the activities attributed to him in the gospels.  Their bottom-line conclusion about Jesus is:  “Jesus of Nazareth did not refer to himself as the Messiah, nor did he claim to be a divine being who descended to earth from heaven in order to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. These are claims that some people in the early church made about Jesus, not claims he made about himself.”  This brief background on the Jesus Seminar will put its assertions about homosexuality in context.

1. Greek-English lexicons define the Greek word arsenokoites as “a male homosexual,” “pederast,” “sodomite,” “one who lies with a male as with a female.” 

2. By all means, keep witnessing to the truths of God’s word!  Your attitude of “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) is admirable.  The fact that others are being “cordial” to you tells me that people are willing to listen to you.

3. Ignorance of the law does not excuse one’s disobedience of the law.  In Romans 7:7 the apostle Paul wrote:  “What shall we say, then?  Is the law sin?  Certainly not!  Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law.  For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘Do not covet.’”  The apostle provided the example that a person could be guilty of having a covetous attitude without realizing that God’s law condemned that attitude as sinful.  We could substitute other sins for coveting and say the same thing:  people may not be aware that their words, thoughts or actions are sinful, but their ignorance of God’s law does not excuse their sin.  Ideally, when God’s law clearly labels their words, thoughts or actions as sinful, confession of sins takes place, followed by the good news of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus.  Forgiven, grateful people will then strive with God’s help and strength to sin no more, but live life God’s way.

God bless your witnessing efforts—to his glory and the spiritual good of others!

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.


The reliability or truth of the Bible

Recently I had a conversation regarding a relevant social issue and had 2 people doubt that we could use the Bible as the error-less source of truth as our ultimate authority. One cited information regarding King James himself having had the Bible rewritten to make his divorce possible and suit his view of things, as well as leaving out 24 other books. What can you tell me in regard to the history of the King James Version and the supposed 24 eliminated books. The person did not refer to them as the Apocrypha and I guess I am not as knowledgeable about any of this as I would like to be. Also, the other person very much doubted that we can rely on the Bible because it is written by men and interpreted by men. I know the Scriptures surrounding its divine inspiration and believe it myself but would love some help to explain this whole miraculous authorship and preservation through the centuries in a way that a non-Christian or weak-Christian can understand. Thank you so much! God's blessings on your day.


It sounds like one of the people you were talking with confused James I with Henry VIII.  It was Henry VIII’s marital affairs that led, not to a rewriting of the Bible, but the establishment of the Church of England.

James I did commission the translation of the Bible that bears his name.  Original editions of the King James Version (as well as some editions today) included apocryphal books.  We do not include the Apocrypha in our Bibles because those books were never a part of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament canon. 

The doctrine of verbal inspiration means that the Bible writers wrote exactly what the Holy Spirit wanted them to write—down to the very words (Jeremiah 30:2; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).  The Bible writers had their own styles, yet the Holy Spirit led them to write what he wanted.  In classes I sometimes use this illustration.  If I give a writing assignment on a topic, I have a general idea what students will write about, but I cannot control their writing.  Imagine if the essays came in and every one of them was exactly what I wanted the students to write—word for word.  That would never happen because I don’t have that kind of control over other people’s writing, but the Holy Spirit had that control over the writers of the Bible.  God was able to communicate his message through people.

As with other biblical teachings, you will want to keep in mind that all you can do is present to others what the Bible says.  The results of what you share are beyond your control.  So, pass along to your friends what the Bible says about inspiration, respond to their questions and pray that the Holy Spirit will change hearts and minds.

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

» June 2015 - Role of district presidents

One of the central principles of Lutheranism is that the Bible is the ultimate authority. The purpose of a church body, then, is to help congregations in their ministry and encourage overall unity. One group that's a key to that effort are our 12 district presidents.

Cast: WELS

» May 2015 - Marriage Enrichment / Interactive Faith online Bible series

As Christians, we're lifelong learners. There's great joy in coming to a deeper understanding of God's word. Learn about two exciting ways to grow in our faith . . . from WELS Adult Discipleship.

Cast: WELS

Forward in Christ

June 2015
Issue Date: 


This episode of Forward in Christ's Heart to heart: Parent conversations focuses on bullying, overprotective parenting, and discipline. Heart to heart authors Laurie Gauger-Hested, Pastor Jim Aderman, and Ann Jahns are joined by WLCFS-Christian Family Solutions counselor Sarah Reik.




Change is inevitable.

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