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

Celebrating Lent

Where in the Bible does it state that we are to celebrate Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, the Lenten season? Thank you.


The short answer is:  “It doesn’t.”  What the Bible does say is:  “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).  God directs us to gather together as Christians and worship him. 
In Old Testament times God spelled out the weekly day of worship (Saturday, the Sabbath) and the three major annual festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles).  As New Testament Christians we are free from the ceremonial laws that commanded observance of those days and festivals (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16-17). 

In New Testament freedom Christians many centuries ago designed the festivals and seasons you mentioned as a way of putting special emphasis on the passive obedience and victorious resurrection of our Lord. 

As Christians, the opportunity to attend special, additional worship services can pull us in different directions.  Our sinful nature, of course, abhors anything good and godly, and wants nothing to do with regular or special worship services.  On the other hand, our new self echoes the sentiments of King David: “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’”  (Psalm 122:1).  Our new self has that joyful attitude whether we are talking about regular or special worship services.

And so, during this season of Lent, our new self finds extra reasons to say:  “I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).

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.

Homosexuals and salvation

Can homosexuals go to heaven and are practicing Christians supposed to love them?


A distinction needs to be made in answering your question.  “Homosexuals” can refer to Christians who struggle with temptation to engage in same-sex sins.  These individuals recognize the sinfulness of thoughts and actions that run contrary to God’s word that spells out that sexual relations are for men and women in marriage (Hebrews 13:4).  They fight against those temptations.  They confess their sins when they fall into temptation.  They look to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of their sins and strength to fight temptation better in the future. 

In contrast to these individuals are "homosexuals" who deny, ignore and rationalize their same-sex sins.  They see no need to confess sins in this regard.  It is people with this impenitent attitude that the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote:  “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived:  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  You notice that it is not a particular sin that characterizes people as “wicked” and bars them from the kingdom of God.  It is impenitence. 

Are Christians supposed to love homosexuals?  Yes.  Christians are to love people no matter what their characterizing sin might be.  Why?  Because it is pretty loveless to recognize the spiritual danger people are in by their sins and impenitence, and say nothing.  If we love people, we will have every reason to point them to God’s law so they can recognize and confess their sins, and point them to God’s gospel so they can enjoy forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus who came into the world “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). 

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

» 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

» January 2015 - Year in review

WELS Connection stories represent what we do together as a synod with the Congregation Mission offerings you give to us. We highlight the faithful work being done in more than 1300 congregations and mission stations, where Christ’s love is freely proclaimed to precious souls. 2014 was a year of many blessings in WELS. Here's a look back at the year in review . . . and a peek at the year ahead.

Cast: WELS

Tags: WELS, Streams and review

Forward in Christ

February 2015
Issue Date: 

What do you read first when you get your issue of Forward in Christ? Is it . . .

- the monthly question and answer, which looks at your religious questions and discusses them in the light of God's Word?

- features on biblical doctrines like the church?

- personal stories from your fellow WELS members overcoming adversities or discovering the true gospel message for the first time?

read more