Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas

Our mission is to build a bridge between racial, cultural, educational, and economic divisions within the community.

July - August 2024 Newsletter


Our mission is to build a bridge between racial, cultural, educational, and economic divisions within the community.


Click here to view the newsletter as a PDF.


Today’s the Day


by Debbie Schroeder, Executive Director


Legendary Key West treasure hunter Mel Fisher was an optimist. So convinced was he that he would find the vanished Spanish galleon ship The Atocha that he began each day with the phrase, “Today’s the day.” He just knew that he and his crew would recover the more than 400 million dollars’ worth of gold, jewels, armaments and antiquities that had sank off the Florida Keys in 1622. 


It took him more than 16 years, the loss of his son and daughter-in-law, and the endurance of much criticism and ridicule, but he did eventually find the ship. He persevered, he worked the plan and — most importantly ­— he had faith.


Faith is also the driving force for Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas. We have faith that our volunteers will continue to share their time and talent; that our donors will bless us with resalable clothing, home goods and financial gifts; and that we will be able to discern where our ministerial efforts are needed most.


Beginning in the spring of this year and continuing throughout this summer, we have been providing child-friendly meal packages each week to 19 children identified as food insecure. The Texas Department of Agriculture does offer a “Healthy Summer Meals for Kids” program — traditionally offered through the schools — but Burton I.S.D. is not participating this year. We are grateful to the individuals and partner churches who have donated child-friendly, nonperishable foods to help offset the costs associated with this program. The children participating in VBS at St. John’s UCC (July 21-24) also are collecting nonperishable foods for this important program.


In a program launched by volunteer Brit Russell, and implemented by an army of volunteers, Burton Storytime is flourishing. Participating children are developing their love for books. Read more on page 4.


Area churches are pooling their resources to introduce new, Christian-based programming for youth. All youth are invited to the Blue Bell Aquatic Center on August 9. Learn more on page 6.


Most are familiar with our Senior Fellowship and Meal program, offered most Fridays and hosted at St. John’s United Church of Christ. We are launching two new initiatives to add value for those who participate: a once-a-month transportation service to bring homebound seniors to the church so that they can share games and fellowship, and a supplemental food program for senior citizens. The latter is a partnership with the Brazos Valley Food Bank and we are excited about finding new ways to help senior citizens cover the cost of meals.


So from the youngest of our clients to the most seasoned, we are identifying new programs that build on our existing ministries. These are life stages where it can be difficult to change one’s circumstances without outside intervention. 


“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” ­— Eleanor Roosevelt


Transportation has long been a challenge for our clients but treasure-hunter Cindy Robles, pastor of Greenvine Emmanuel Lutheran Church, located a gently used church bus for us. The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod voted to gift us the bus and we are looking forward to introducing new services later this year.


Volunteer Susan Fernbach has been teaching English to Spanish speakers on Wednesday evenings. Approximately one fourth of our pantry clients identify as Hispanic or Latinx, and these classes are helping Spanish-speakers better integrate with employers, neighbors, schools and the world in which we live.


Physical fitness and nutrition are important for overall health, as is proper medical care. The Board of Directors for Burton Bridge Ministry has been meeting with Health Point to see if they can open a facility in Washington County. This is a community-wide network of health care providers that provides access to medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services on a sliding fee scale. Health Point is eager to establish a site in our region, but must be invited by the county.


Hurricane season is nigh upon us, and weather forecasters are predicting an 85% chance that it will be an above-normal season for hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. Through our association with the food bank, Burton Bridge Ministry has been named its only designated Super Agency in Washington County, which means we have agreed to store nonperishable food and water as preparedness in the event of a disaster.


“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” — ­ Psalm 118:24


Please continue to support our programs through your financial donations. We are still paying on the mortgage loan for the property on North Brazos, where our thrift store and furniture store are located. Purchasing a ticket to our August 8th fundraiser helps support our efforts.


Volunteering with Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas can be a rewarding and joy-filled experience. Just ask the more than 250 volunteers who actively help out in our programs for senior citizens, children and the food insecure, who work in our thrift and furniture stores, and who help build accessibility ramps. If you would like to help out, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 979-337-3370 or at


With gratitude,

Debbie Schroeder, Executive Director

Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas



Mark Your Calendars


Storytime with Mrs. LouLou at Burton Baseball Park, July 1

Pantry truck unloading day, July 5

VBS at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Rehburg, July 7-12

Guest speaker at Senior Meals, July 12

Storytime at our furniture store, July 19

Pantry truck unloading day, July 19

Blood Drive at St. John’s UCC, July 21

VBS at St. John’s UCC, July 21-24

Pantry truck unloading day, August 2

First of August Celebration, August 3

Storytime with Mrs. LouLou at Manna Food Pantry, August 5

“A Louisiana Hayride” at Burton American Legion, August 8

Next Generation at Aquatic Center, Aug. 9

Storytime at our furniture store, Aug. 16

Pantry truck unloading day, August 16


New! BVFB’s Senior Outreach Program Comes to Burton


For senior citizens ages 65 and older who earn $27,861 or less per year*, help is on the way when it comes to putting nutritious food on the table. 


Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas is partnering with the Brazos Valley Food Bank to bring their Senior Outreach Program to Burton. Each week, participating seniors will receive a bag of food that contains (for example) one serving of oatmeal, two juices, one serving of cereal, two milks, two fruits, two vegetables, one nutritional shake, two proteins, one pudding, and two easy-to-prepare meals (like soup or Easy Mac n Cheese). There is no cost to participate in this free program.


If you are a senior citizen who qualifies based on age and income, and you want to receive a weekly bag of food, contact the Bridge office at 979-337-3370.


* Couples can earn up to $37,814 per year to be eligible for this program.


Planning For Forever (Special Program for Senior Citizens)


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin


Join guest presenter Robert Delaneo (Brenham Memorial Chapel) for a free program on advance funeral planning. 

Come and share:

• Trivia

• Funeral home history

• Final wishes organizer, with meaningful plans for families

• Common reasons people preplan

• Funeral plans


Friday, July 12, 11:30 a.m.

St. John’s United Church of Christ

516 North Colorado, Burton


One lucky attendee will win a $25 gift card. Must be present to win. This event is hosted by Bridge Ministry of Burton Texas. Guests are invited to join us and stay after for lunch ($4). Questions? Call 979-337-3370.


Please Donate to Our Children’s Backpack Program


During the months of July and August, we are requesting single-serve proteins for children. Popular items include Chef Boyardee pasta, peanut butter, canned chili, Beanee Weenees, Vienna sausages, breakfast shakes, and chicken or tuna pouches. We’re also looking for single-serving boxes of breakfast cereal. Thank you!


Burton Storytime


We are grateful to several area businesses for hosting our twice-a-month Burton Storytime events, and for supporting this program with donations of juice, gift certificates, admission and more. Thank you to Blue Bell Creameries, the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, Whataburger (Brenham), the Burton Short Stop, Dollar General, and The Corner Shoppe.


Happy July Birthdays


Happy birthday to Susan Henske and Marie Johnston (July 2), Heidi Naylor (July 3), Cindy Robles (July 6), Peggy Cadenhead and Joy Fuchs (July 12), James Chapman (July 13), Gary Rothermel (July 26), Judy Witte and Jeanette Shepherd (July 27), Kinsey Kuschel and Pastor Glenn Hohlt (July 28).


Happy August Birthdays


Happy birthday to Jennifer Lopez (August 6), Thelma Doppelhammer (August 7), Carol Naegeli (August 9), Sue Eubanks (August 10), Sharon Stolz and Theresa Rodenbeck (August 14), Linda Makowski (August 16), Andrea Robinson (August 20), Joan Goebel (August 22), Kathy Carroll (August 28), Gene Lake (August 29), and Susan Fernbach (August 30).


Did we forget your birthday? Let us know so that we can include you in our newsletter next year. Call 979-337-3370 or email or. Thank you!


Manna Food Pantry News


Burton Bridge Ministry purchases food or pays a shared cost when sourcing wholesale items from the Brazos Valley Food Bank. But our pantry also depends on donations from area farmers, hatcheries, individuals and grocers. 


Thank you to the following people and groups for donating food and pantry items this year: Dotty Jo Wickel, Rachel Belvin, Adam and Kristen Schroeder, Round Top Mercantile, Betty Scardino, Steven and Janet Johnson, Ralf and Carolyn Thiemer, Debbie and Troy Schroeder, Blinn College, Tonja Scheer, Mike and Patricia Clyde, Kriya Yoga Temple of Compassion, Wildflower Farm, St. John’s United Church of Christ, First Baptist Church of Burton, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Rehburg, Tippet Dental Group, and David Anderson.


Thank you to those who made financial donations earmarked for our feeding programs for seniors, children, or the food insecure: St. Paul Lutheran Church of Rehburg, Sharon Stolz, Fred and Donna Leonard, Judy Jeske, Diana Krause-Lampe, James and Cecelia Bishop, St. John’s United Church of Christ, and Christ Lutheran Foundation. Thank you!


The “truck unloading gang” meets on the first and third Friday mornings of each month to unload thousands of pounds of food from the Brazos Valley Food Bank refrigerated truck.


Once a year the income guidelines change for pantry clients. Beginning July 1, 2024, we are able to serve those who live within the Burton I.S.D. geographical area and who earn $27,861 (or less) each year. Those income minimums increase for each additional household member.


Community News


Mark your calendars for the annual “First of August Celebration,” hosted by the Long Life Brotherhood Club. This event remembers the moment in 1865 when this region learned that slavery had been abolished.


From the Burton Heritage Society: The group’s roots are intertwined with Burton and possibly pre-date the town! As of the late 1860s, the United Brothers of Friendship (UBF) organized and by 1884 formed Matson Lodge to serve the local African American community as a fraternal organization. The UBF dissolved in 1937 and the Long Life Brotherhood Club was born in 1940.


Our Partner Churches


A space for sharing the good news about our partner churches. 


Motivated Movers and Gentle Yoga (at St. John’s United Church of Christ)


The Motivated Movers walk on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., departing from St. John’s United Church of Christ, 516 North Colorado. Arrive early for gentle yoga at 5:30 p.m. Motivated Movers is an all level exercise program including gentle yoga stretching and a friendly, fresh air walk on the streets in Burton. Organizer Connie Gwyn says it’s best to get in touch ahead of time, as the schedule might change due to weather conditions. Call or text her at 979-203-0524. Both programs are free.


Blood Drive (at St. John’s United Church of Christ)


The Burton Community Blood Drive will be held on Sunday, July 21st from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the St. John’s United Church of Christ (Family Life Center), 516 North Colorado. Please consider saving lives through a blood donation! Call Karen Harmel at 979-203-1470 to schedule an appointment.


Vacation Bible School (at St. John’s United Church of Christ)


Theme: Hometown Nazareth: Where Jesus Was a Kid

For: Children potty-trained through recently completed 4th grade. 

Dates: July 21-24, 2024 (evenings). Register online at

Questions? Contact Tracy Matthies at 979-451-9744, Joan Goebel at 979-451-1830, or the 
church office at 979-289-2485.

Location: St. John’s United Church of Christ 516 North Colorado