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District Developments February 2023

A Celebration of Ministry occurred in November, marking the 35th anniversary of Moravian Open Door. This ministry of our district has evolved over the years but remains a safe haven for older adults in Manhattan. Its mission statement reads, “The Moravian Open Door, Inc., a not-for-profit organization located at 347 East 18thStreet, New York, NY 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.” I am grateful to Sisters Blondel Jones-Grant (board chair) and Susan Mendoza (executive director) for their description of the event below. Please join me in celebrating this milestone as we continue offering prayers and support for this important ministry.

                                                                      Melissa Johnson

                                                                             President, EDEB


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).  Celebrations began with a rousing service of worship that was put together by the pastor, Sis. Desna Henry Goulbourne and during which, Rev. Charles Harewood, Pastor of First Church served as the worship leader.

Everyone was blessed by the ministry of music which was provided by the choir and the Youth Steel Band orchestra.  The Sermon was delivered by the MOD Board President Sis. Blondel Jones-Grant who stood in for Rev. Desna, who was unable to be present.  Ms. Deborah H, one of the MOD clients read one of the assigned scriptures during the service.  Greetings and congratulations were brought by Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, President of the PEC, and by Sis. Naomi Solomon, EDEB representative.

Following the service, guests were invited to go downstairs to the church’s social hall where they were treated to a lavish reception.  Former Board member John Egerton served as the Master of Ceremonies for the ongoing celebrations during which, awards were given out to the 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.


 Seed Distribution in Honduras and Nicaragua

It’s not exactly planting season here in North America, but at the Board of World Mission, we have seeds on the brain! That’s because much of our recent disaster relief work has been focused on providing bean and vegetable seeds for replanting after disasters have wiped out existing crops in Honduras and Nicaragua. After nine months of heavy rains and flooding, we continue to receive reports of families in La Mosquitia living on one meal per day and often surviving on fish that they are able to catch from the riverbanks. Thanks to generous BWM donors, we have provided 13,000 pounds of bean seeds, which will be distributed to about 650 families. The seeds will be planted by mid-February and harvested in March or April. If it is unaffected by floods or insects, this will be the first harvest of a major food crop in the last twelve months. We are also pleased to report that, thanks to Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church and a North Carolina organization called Seed Programs International, hundreds of families will also soon be able to plant watermelon, cabbage, tomatoes, kale, and more. Many thanks to Brother Rick Nelson and our Honduran and Nicaraguan partners, who have been instrumental in coordinating these efforts. Stay updated on these Moravian Disaster Response efforts and other Board of World Mission projects on our website, MoravianMission.org.


   Imagine the possibilities!

Bishops Graf and Rights on the
Moravian Day of Giving (February 21)

By Vince Holbrook

If you want to better understand the importance and value of the Moravian Day of Giving, just listen to these recorded messages from The Rt. Rev. Paul Graf and The Rt. Rev. Graham Rights. They are our sponsoring bishops for the third annual Moravian Day of Giving. It’s the one day we ask your help to replenish grant-making field of interest funds by giving above and beyond your tithe or pledge. The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America puts incentives in place for gifts to both congregations and grant-making funds, so your gifts go further on this day than any other. Special thanks to Austin Craver (Commission on Congregational Development), Sylvie Hauser (Board of World Mission), and Mike Riess (Interprovincial Board of Communication) for producing these videos.

Watch Bishop Graf Video Now

Watch Bishop Rights Video Now




Spring 2023

Traveling Mercies – Congregational Care with Dr. Jill Peters, Greg Krausz and Diane Kareha

   Mondays, 6-9 pm, Mar 6, 13, 20, 27, (Not meeting Holy Week 4/3), Apr 10, 17, 24, May 1

   Texts: TBA.   Zoom Option is always available for real time distance learning.

Traditions – World Religions and Protestant Denominations with Rev. Dr. Bill Falla

   Thursdays, 6-9 pm, Mar 9, 16, 23, 30, (Not meeting Holy Week 4/6), Apr 13, 20, 27, May 4

   Texts: TBA.   Zoom Option is always available for real time distance learning.

As a preview for next year:

Fall 2023/Winter 2024 Projected Courses:  The following courses will probably be offered next academic year: Compass, Creative Worship, Missional Leadership, Road Hazards – Congregational Ethics, Discipleship, Teaching and Contextual Outreach.

For more information, Contact Jill Peters at [email protected] or go on the website at www.moravianseminary.edu/crossroads


IBOC February Highlights

As Lent approaches, the IBOC offers Readings for Holy Week on Sale for a limited time. This book/CD set takes participants through Jesus’ final week before his Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Music Edition sale price is $10.50; Large Print $7.50; 5-CD set 24.95. Also available in a bundle that includes CD set and either book. To place an order online visit store.moravian.org.

Rev. Brian Dixon’s latest book filled with prayers, poems and parable, Losing Light-Walking by Faith but Wanting More is available through the IBOC. Read his latest book that completes his moving pictures duology that started with his first book, Keeping Time: Dances to the Beat of a Different Drummer. Cost: $12.95. Log onto store.moravian.org to order.


Bethlehem Area Moravian Freezer Ministry