Moravian Open Door celebrates 35 years of service to older adults in NYC

On Saturday, November 5th, 2022, Moravians, friends, supporters, board members, staff and clients gathered at United Moravian Church in New York City to celebrate the 35th anniversary milestone of Moravian Open Door (MOD).

MOD is a ministry of the Moravian Church, Eastern District in New York. The ministry has evolved over the years, but remains a safe haven for older adults in Manhattan.

It’s mission statement says it all: “The Moravian Open Door, Inc., a not-for-profit organization located at 347 East 18th Street, New York, N.Y. is acting as a ministry of the Moravian Church. Our purpose is to provide supportive services to the homeless, distressed and underserved population of New York City. Our ministry will serve those individuals who are fifty years and older with the goal of helping them regain their independence and security, and assisting them in moving to appropriate permanent facilities.

Over the years, MOD has helped many older individuals through difficult periods in their lives. The staff and volunteers, led by Executive Director Susan Attzs-Mendoza, provide transitional housing and supportive services to help homeless individuals help themselves, with the goal of each client moving to affordable housing and a fully independent life.

To celebrate three and a half decades of service to New York, celebrations began with a rousing service of worship that was put together by the Rev. Desna Henry Goulbourne during which the Rev. Charles Harewood, Pastor of First Moravian Church (NYC) served as the worship leader.

Everyone was blessed by the ministry of music, provided by the choir and the Youth Steel Band orchestra. The sermon was delivered by the MOD Board President Sis. Blondel Jones-Grant, while MOD client Ms. Deborah H. read one of the assigned scriptures during the service. The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, President of the Northern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference, and Sis. Naomi Solomon, Eastern District Executive Board representative brought greetings and congratulations.

Moravian Open Door Executive Director Susan Attzs-Mendoza presents an award to Dr. Doris Schattschneider during 35th Anniversary festivities.

Following the service, guests proceeded to the church’s social hall for a lavish reception. Former Board member John Egerton served as the Master of Ceremonies for the ongoing celebrations, during which awards were given to previous Board President Sis. Doris Schattschneider, Michael Ralling, MOD Facility Manager, and Perry Garcia for their many years of service and dedication. Some of the MOD clients took the opportunity to express their heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to be at MOD. Overall, it was a wonderful and fitting celebration of 35 years of working with and serving our homeless brothers and sisters.

MOD could never have achieved this milestone in its history had it not been for your continuous prayers, for our many volunteers and for the financial support that we have received over these years from individual Moravians, churches and other Moravian entities who believe in, and are committed to this work and ministry to our homeless brothers and sisters. 

Special recognition and thanks are also extended to the members of the 35th anniversary committee for their work, time, and efforts. The committee included Sis. Blondel Jones-Grant – President of the MOD Board of Directors, Sis. Tricia Clay – Board member, Rev. Desna Henry Goulbourne – Board member and Pastor of United Moravian Church, Sis. Patricia Martin – former Board member and Sis. Susan Mendoza – Executive Director. Although not a member of the committee, Rev. Lance Fox – Pastor of Castleton Moravian church is also recognized and appreciated for all of the work that he did on the design and creation of the anniversary invitation and marketing materials.

We thank God for all of you.

This article originally appeared in the Eastern District’s District Developments newsletter. To learn more about Moravian Open Door, visit