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

Pope article in Nov 2014 FIC

Just read your article "Light for our path." Nov 2014 FIC. Your article left me with the impression that there will be heaven on a "new" earth, after judgement day. Is that to say that it will be the same orb that we now live in? I've never envisioned that, and would like to make sure that my thinking is on track. I've always believed that heaven (pre- and post-judgement) will be in a new heavenly realm. I know that when I die, my soul will go immediately to heaven with Jesus, and my soul will be reunited with my body (in heaven) after judgement day. I appreciate your time, and thanks for the article.


The Bible states that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare…That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10, 12-13).  It is clear from this passage and others (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22;  Revelation 21:1) that on the last day this present world will pass away (Luke 21:33) and God will prepare “a new heaven and a new earth” for his people.

The question that remains for us is whether God will 1) annihilate this present world and create another one, or 2) destroy this world without annihilating it and transform our present world into another one.  Total annihilation or transformation/renovation:  those are the legitimate options for understanding what the Bible says will take place on the last day.  Lutheran theologians and commentators have put forth support for both positions.  Because Scripture uses language and imagery of “renewal” (Matthew 19:28) and “rebirth” (Romans 8:21-22) in regard to this subject, there are probably more theologians who side with the transformation/renovation view.  Martin Luther was on that side.

In the end—literally—it will not matter what specific course of action God takes on the last day.  The result will be a new, perfect world in which we will live with our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-57). 

How wonderful it is for us to know that whenever our lives on this earth do come to an end, we will be with the Lord forever.  You and I have that confidence because salvation—from beginning to end—is God’s doing.  It is his gift received through Spirit-worked faith.  I hope this answers your question.

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.


Analysis paper

I'm writing a paper on Exodus chapter 3, and we need to explain the basic meaning. I understand it is on the burning bush but I don't know a lot on the text. Just need some information on the text.


I have to be careful that I do not get myself—or you—into trouble with your teacher by providing too much help!  You could get good information on the chapter by consulting “Exodus” in The People’s Bible commentary series.  The book may be available from your pastor or in your church library.  If you are looking for an online source, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary may give you some insight.  I wish you well with your assignment.

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

» 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

» September 2014 - 150 anniversary of Luther Prep

The year was 1864. Civil War fighting was at its peak, as Lincoln pressed to preserve the Union. At about the same time, WELS president Johannes Bading saw a need to preserve another institution: WELS. He realized that a key to our synod's future was to establish schools for training pastors and teachers. Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of that effort, by looking at one of our preparatory schools: Luther Prep.

Cast: WELS Streams

Tags: WELS, Streams and LPS

Forward in Christ

November 2014
Issue Date: 

This month of November, I'm going to share a few things I am thankful for as I go to work every day:

• I'm glad that every day can be a day of thanksgiving. As several authors remind us this month, we're not limited to giving thanks only on Thanksgiving. We can be thankful all the time, no matter what our circumstances, because we have the Lord who saved us at our sides.

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