Galesville Campus

Arcadia Campus

The "Sonlight" Newsletter


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

My brother has joined a nondenominational church and he has a group of people at home to study the Bible. He has no training of any kind . My question is, should a lay person teach others a Bible class?
There is a place for lay-led Bible studies if the teachers of the Bible studies receive training and ongoing support from the pastor and other congregational leaders.  Without training and education for the leader, it is easy for the kind of Bible study you described to become simply a discussion on what everyone thinks the Bible says. On the other hand, when a congregation authorizes, trains and supports lay members to lead Bible classes, there are more opportunities for congregational members to study God’s word in a group setting.  And that’s good, because Scripture instructs us to “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
I grew up in a WELS church, day school, and attended an ELS college and still hold fast to the solid scriptural foundation at the basis of the WELS. Currently, I attend a solid, non-denominational church where my wife works in the youth ministry. I do not question the core teachings of the church when it comes to faith, repentance and salvation. However, there are a few topics that don't seem to be a matter of salvation, but of understanding. The greatest of these topics that troubles me is the question of spiritual gifts for Christians: speaking in tongues, gifts of healing, gifts of prophecy, and others. In regard to the three specific "gifts" I've listed, what advice would you give to me (and others) to discern perceived evidence supporting these claimed gifts and how they apply today in the New Testament Era?
In This We Believe, a statement of belief of our church body, we maintain:  “The Holy Spirit also equips the church with all the spiritual gifts it needs for its well-being (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). During the beginning of the New Testament era, special charismatic gifts were given to the church, such as signs, miracles, and speaking in tongues. These gifts were connected with the ministry of the apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12). There is no evidence in Scripture that we today should expect the continuation of such charismatic gifts.” God of course can do anything.  If he chooses to give a person special gifts, he can do so.  The key statement in the section above is the last sentence:  “There is no evidence in Scripture that we today should expect the continuation of such charismatic gifts.” Because the claims of many people who supposedly possessed such gifts have proved to be fraudulent, it is wise to approach this subject with caution as you are suggesting.  The ecstatic speech of charismatics today is far different from the gift of speaking in known, intelligible languages in Acts 2.  Spiritual gifts are to be used “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  When people cannot understand the syllables coming out of another person’s mouth, there is no value to others (1 Corinthians 14).  Also, keep in mind that “prophecy” in the Bible can refer to the activity of the prophets who relayed specific messages from God, or it can refer to Christians who have been gifted with the ability to speak God’s word to others (Acts 2:18). Rather than focusing on spectacular gifts that God definitely gave in the past, churches would do well to consider what God says about spiritual gifts in general (Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11). While you mentioned that you were troubled by your current church’s understanding of spiritual gifts, I would encourage you to give some thought to your current church’s understanding and teaching of baptism, the Lord’s Supper and faith/conversion.  Non-denominational churches can easily have unscriptural views toward these doctrines.  Do understand what your church teaches about those doctrines and compare those teachings with the Bible.  In everything, be a Berean Christian (Acts 17:10-11) and see for yourself what God’s word teaches.  Then, distance yourself from any false teachings (Romans 16:17) and enjoy fellowship with people who are united in biblical doctrine (1 John 1:3).
WELS Streaming Videos


» August 2015 - MLC Urban Ministry program

In many urban centers, there's often no one around to tell the little ones about Jesus. Churches have closed, families are broken. That's why it's so important to prepare our church workers to reach out to this community in need. With that in mind, Martin Luther College is expanding its urban ministry program.

Cast: WELS


» July 2015 - World Missions Thailand

In the 1800s, new Lutheran immigrants in America stayed connected to relatives back in the old country... often encouraging each other in the faith. Today, that trend continues, but the old country isn't Germany... it's Thailand.

Cast: WELS


Forward in Christ

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