We are happy for you to meet
Pastor Ron Baerbock
God is good. One way that the members of Bethel Lutheran in Arcadia and Galesville measure God's goodness is by considering the way the Lord has sent pastors to serve with us. We are especially grateful for the arrival of our newest pastor, Ron Baerbock.
Pastor Baerbock and his wife Karen (pictured here) have been married since 1970 and have served in congregations and mission fields from 1973 to 2015. The Lord directed them from the suburbs of Milwaukee to the Pacific coast of Washington, from islands in the Caribean to villages in both Northern and Southern Mexico. From serving to Coordinate mission field work to helping to produce multi-language outreach material, Pastor Baerbock has enjoyed a wide range of ministry experiences. One great blessing that the Baerbocks bring to us is that they are both fluent in Spanish as well as English.
There is no doubt that Pastor and his wife count their four children and 18 grandchildren among the greatest blessings that the Lord has given to them. Though their children live at some distance from mom and dad - West coast, Milwaukee, and two in Minnesota - the Baerbocks praise God for the faith in Jesus Christ that binds them all together.
Pastor Baerbock, as a previously retired minister, has been called to serve with Bethel in a part-time role for the next two years. This provides Bethel with extra manpower and the Baerbocks with the opportunity to still enjoy some well-earned retirement. Though their time with us is limited, the Lord will not put limits on the message of Christ to bring spiritual blessings to those whom we serve with God's Word.
We are happy for you to meet Pastor and Mrs. Baerbock. We would be happier still for you to know Jesus through our ministry of the Word at Bethel Lutheran.
From Sunday to Sunday, in Arcadia and Galesville, you will find Pastors Cox and Baerbock opening up the Scriptures to all who attend. Come and hear what good news God's Word has for you to know!
Contact Pastor Baerbock by email - firstname.lastname@example.org - or phone (715) 299-0786
"Peace to you!" from
Pastor Jon Cox
Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ! It is good to greet all those who visit the Bethel Lutheran Church website. Thank you for your interest. We would be especially glad if what you saw here would lead you to visit us in Galesville or Arcadia.
My wife, Doreen, and I have been married since 1990. We've been at home on the west side of Galesville for nearly six years now. Our neighbors in the Coulee Region are so friendly, hardworkding, and genuine. We are happy to be at home here.
The members of Bethel have really helped us feel like family. This is a special blessing when parents see their children growing and going. God blessed us with five children, ranging in ages from 25 to 15. The experiences of parenting have helped us so much to be able to help others who face the many challenges that can be a part of family life. The goodness of God has certainly carried us through.
Over the last 25 years of ministry, I've been blessed to serve in a wide variety of settings and situations.
Starting out in a small congregation in the heart of Texas, I learned how true it is that people of differing places and cultures still face some of the very same troubles. We all need the Word of God to counsel and direct our lives.
Serving for 14 years in a congregation of over 1,300 members helped me learn a host of skills. Working with people on a one-to-one basis as well as with committees, we found that the good news of Jesus Christ is the one constant power that both motivates us to reach for success and comforts us when faced with failure.
Now after six years in a multi-site congregation of Bethel Arcadia and Galesville, the Lord has shown all the more his ability to be faithful to his beloved people. We can always trust the goodness of God to bless and sustain us.
It is always a blessing to meet new people at church. I would be so happy to help you know Jesus Christ. Take a little time, read about what we believe, then come and see for yourself all the good things that God is doing at Bethel!
Contact Pastor Cox by email - email@example.com - or phone (608) 582-9998
Faith Related Q and A|
|My grandma is a WELS Lutheran, but my grandpa was Catholic. Everyone in my family was raised and are practicing Catholics. My grandma's WELS pastor told her (in front of my aunts and uncles- at her sister's funeral) that he felt bad that her children and grandchildren are not saved and that we are all doomed to hell. Is this really what the WELS religion believes?|
I was not privy to the conversation you referenced, but I can tell you what we in our church body believe about salvation.
“We believe that God has justified all sinners, that is, he has declared them righteous for the sake of Christ. This is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the church depends. It is a message relevant to people of all times and places, of all races and social levels, for ‘the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men’ (Romans 5:18). All need forgiveness of sins before God, and Scripture proclaims that all have been justified, for ‘the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men’ (Romans 5:18).
“We believe that individuals receive this free gift of forgiveness not on the basis of their own works, but only through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Justifying faith is trust in Christ and his redemptive work. This faith justifies not because of any power it has in itself, but only because of the salvation prepared by God in Christ, which it embraces (Romans 3:28; 4:5). On the other hand, although Jesus died for all, Scripture says that ‘whoever does not believe will be condemned’ (Mark 16:16). Unbelievers forfeit the forgiveness won for them by Christ (John 8:24).
“We believe that there is one holy Christian church, which is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16) and the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23; 4:12). The members of this one church are all those who are the ‘sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:26). The church, then, consists only of believers, or saints, whom God accepts as holy for the sake of Jesus’ righteousness, which has been credited to them (2 Corinthians 5:21). These saints are scattered throughout the world. All people who believe that Jesus is their Savior from sin are members of the holy Christian church, regardless of the nation, race, or church body to which they belong.
“We believe that this holy Christian church is a reality, although it is not an external, visible organization. Because ‘man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’(1 Samuel 16:7), only the Lord knows ‘those who are his’ (2 Timothy 2:19). The members of the holy Christian church are known only to God; we cannot distinguish between true believers and hypocrites. The holy Christian church is therefore invisible and cannot be identified with any one church body or with the total membership of all church bodies.”
Those statements are from This We Believe, a statement of belief of our church body. The first two paragraphs are from the section titled “Justification by grace through faith.” The last two paragraph are from the section titled “Church and ministry.” This link will take you to the complete document. I hope this information is helpful for you.
|As Lutherans, we believe that immediately upon death, our soul enters either heaven or hell - there is no “middle” state, such as the Catholic teaching of purgatory.
However, the Bible clearly teaches of Christ raising people from the dead as part of his array of miracles. So that leads me to wonder...as WELS Lutherans/Christians, where do we profess those souls went after death, and how do we reconcile that belief to our standard “post-death” belief?
Take, as an example, Lazarus. We can logically conclude that Lazarus, as a believer, would have immediately entered heaven upon his death. But from what we know of heaven, those who entered heaven would be devastated to be “pulled” from the perfect existence of heaven back into this veil of tears. (In fact, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we clearly see God rejecting the notion of “sending back” people to earth after death.)
So, what is our teaching/belief-set here? Or is this just one we throw our hands up and say that we really do not know?|
The Bible teaches that the body and soul separate at death (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and there is judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The soul goes to heaven or hell; there is no in-between place like purgatory, as you noted.
When it comes to the biblical accounts of people who were raised from the dead (in Old or New Testament times), Scripture is silent on the specifics and whether or not God might have brought about exceptions to what normally happens.
We have to be content with what the biblical accounts teach us. What they teach is that Jesus has conquered death, and he shares his victory with those who are united to him in faith (John 11:25-26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 1:17-18).
In regard to the account of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus’ point was that the rich man’s brothers had what they needed to avoid an eternity in hell: they had the Old Testament Scriptures. The Holy Spirit works through the word of God to create saving faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and give people forgiveness of sins and heaven as their home. The truth in the biblical account is that if the rich man’s brothers rejected the word of God, “They will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
Forward in Christ|
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