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

Non married and becoming members of the church

I was wondering if the church would prohibit us from joining because of living together, but not being married?


Yes, you will want to resolve your living arrangements before church membership can be established.  But rather than considering your living situation with church membership in mind, I encourage you to do so with God and his word in mind.

When two people of the opposite sex live together without the benefit of marriage, they put themselves into tempting situations where they can break the sixth commandment.  The Bible tells Christians to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).  God explains that he “will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). 

If a man and a woman living together without being married claim to be refraining from sexual activity, they are still in a position of causing offense to others (Matthew 18:6-7) and emboldening them to sin.  In addition, their lives are not in line with what God says:  that “among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:3).

So, do speak to a WELS pastor.  He can direct you to additional appropriate Scripture passages.  In this or any area of life, confess your sins to God.  Embrace in faith his boundless forgiveness.  Then give to God the sacrifice of praise:  lips that confess his name (Hebrews 13:15) and lives that give him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).  I do pray that you two do these things.

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.


RE: Israel

After reading "Bible Basics" in the Bible Discovery Series I have a question. The Northern Tribes kept the name Israel, and in 722 BC the Assyrians "transported the people of Israel to other places in their empire". page 39. The Northern Tribes are never heard of again. Why in Christ's time is it that King Herod is called the ruler of Israel? page 50 Thank you.


After King Solomon’s death, Israel split into two kingdoms.  The ten northern tribes became known as Israel and, as you pointed out, the Assyrians deported those tribes.  The two southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) became known as Judah.  The Babylonians deported those tribes in several deportations.  After 70 years, some Jews returned to Jerusalem. 

Those terms of “Israel” and “Judah” were not hard-and-fast designations in the Bible.  For example, after the Babylonian captivity came to an end, the Bible describes people from the two southern tribes as “Israelites” (cf. Ezra 6:16; 9:1; 10:1-2; Nehemiah 11:3). 

With that background in mind, “Israel” in New Testament books can refer to the physical territory where the Israelites of old lived (cf. Matthew 2:20-21).  The author of the book you referenced has that in mind when he speaks of Jews returning to “their homeland” in places like pages 40, 41 and 47.

Glad you are using resources like the Bible Discovery Series books.  Northwestern Publishing House has many good books to assist our Bible reading and study.

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

» 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

» August 2014 - Humanitarian Aid

One of the first steps in mission work is showing that we care. Demonstrating our love for others often opens the door to the gospel message. And in many places, the best way to show we care is to provide the basics that so many don't have: food, shelter, and water.

Cast: WELS Streams

Tags: WELS, Streams, humanitarian and aid

Forward in Christ

October 2014
Issue Date: 

As I was proofreading this month's issue, I was struck by how many times I encountered references to God's plan for our lives:

Pres. Mark Schroeder highlights how seemingly insignificant incidents at the time, like Martin Luther hanging statements on the Castle Church door, can lead to big events . . . events that God guides and uses to make an eternal difference.

read more