You’re likely wondering why the Finance Elder is communicating to you, and thinking it is either something really good, or something really challenging. To that I would say, “Yes, you’re correct on both accounts.” I am writing to you in a time of blessing, but also a time of need.

I’m going to flip the script here and start with my ask:

Please pray with me that God would provide for our current financial needs. 

Pray that He would give the elders wisdom and vision as we consider our budget for 2023. 

Please also ask what part God may desire you to play in supporting Church of the Open Door’s ministry through our general fund giving.

If you stop reading here and pray, I am very thankful and consider this mission accomplished! If you would like to hear about God’s amazing financial blessing and our present financial need, please read on.


It is indeed a time of special blessing as we witness God’s powerful response to our desire and prayer to pay off our mortgage. By His hand and through your generosity, we have watched and celebrated as our balance has been cut in half thus far this calendar year. It has been reduced from $1,407,000 at the end of December of 2021 to $702,000 in August of this year!

And we still have approximately $165,000 remaining on the Principal Project matching gift program. If we reach this goal by the end of the year, our mortgage balance will be reduced to less than $300,000! This is truly amazing! Thank God with me for what he has done thus far, and continue to pray that he will pay off our mortgage quickly. 

As we witness God’s blessing on our mortgage balance, we simultaneously face a significant challenge with our general fund giving.

As of the end of September we were $300,000 short of our budgeted need. Although we have sufficient funds to weather this storm for a period of time without encountering immediate crisis, the shortfall is particularly challenging due to current economic circumstances.

As a result, we have asked our staff to temporarily implement austerity measures, which means spending should be avoided or delayed wherever possible. In short, this means our church ministries and property are not currently receiving the full financial support they need.

Let me also share two additional bits of information which provide important context.

1) We are currently working on the church budget for next year, 2023. We endeavor to be good stewards of the ministry and property God has given us, while also working within the funds He is providing. This means that our giving results for the current year factor in heavily as we prayerfully consider next year’s budget.

2) As we acknowledge that God’s answer to our prayer to pay off our mortgage seems just around the corner, I believe it is important to share that paying off the mortgage will not fully resolve our present budgetary needs.

When the mortgage is paid off, we will need God’s assistance to increase our general fund giving and/or decrease our expenses by an additional $100,000. Further complicating matters is the decreased purchasing power of our budget due to the inflationary pressures we have all experienced at the pump and the grocery store.

The church budget has hovered close to 2 million for the past 10 years. When we factor inflation into the equation, we find that our current budget purchases approximately 26% less now than that same 2 million did back in 2012.

I remain supremely confident that God is actively working among us at Church of the Open Door. 

We continue to engage in ministry with communities near and far, desiring to be filled with His Spirit, making disciples, and sharing His message of amazing grace.

(Pictured here is one of our long term missionaries, Margaret Andersen, who ministers in Tanzania with her husband, Andy.)

God is walking with us through this time of financial need, and we can be confident of His provision as we look back and consider how He has provided time and time again.


Robert Gray
Finance Elder

P.S. If you have questions about this information, please feel free to contact us at


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