Early Childhood Development Center

A Summary of What Was Passed on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021

We propose packaging the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) building project with some of our church building restoration and worship center projects to fiscally accomplish multiple ministry priorities.  As you will see in the supporting documentation, all of these projects can be accomplished through a self-sustaining and income-generating ministry program that meets an important need in our community.

Continue repairs in and around our worship center, to prevent current and future leaks.

Create a multi-use cafeteria and meeting space for up to 100 adults in the former Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms.

Renovate the existing preschool wing to start a childcare center for ages 18 months – 3 years old.

Renovate the lower level, underneath the worship center, and move our preschool there in time for the start of school in 2022. The only rooms not included in this project are the youth room and boiler room.

Replace our pew upholstery and make repairs to our lighting and sound systems in the worship center.  We will also begin the process of developing plans for a future, comprehensive renovation of our worship center.

More Detailed Information

  • Is this already approved?  
    • It was approved by 96% approval in a vote that took place from Sept. 12 – 19, 2021
  • What is meant by “Early Childhood Development Center”?
    • The Early Childhood Development Center is an area of ministry that would include our existing summer programs for school-aged children, the existing before and after school programs for school-aged children, our existing preschool, and a new childcare program for 18 month to 3 year old children.
    • The Early Childhood Development Center will use the existing preschool space, which will be renovated, along with the renovated lower level, underneath our worship center.
  • What is Mrs. Thimijan’s role in this project?
    • Mrs. Thimijan is very excited about the prospect of having more space for preschool and childcare. She is planning to continue in her role as the director of our preschool. She has been involved in many steps of the planning process for our new preschool space and will continue to provide input, should it be approved.
    • We are planning on hiring someone to take the role of director of our 18 month to 3 year old childcare, our childcare program for our school age children before and after school, and also during the summer months.
  • What is the plan for the cafeteria/meeting space?
    • Converting the old kindergarten/1st grade area into a large room will be a great benefit to all. This area is located at the south end of the original school building.
    • During school hours, it will serve as a cafeteria, freeing up our gym for more flexibility when it’s needed for funeral luncheons or added physical education classes.
    • It will also seat about 100 adults, so it will provide a large meeting area for early morning, evening, and weekend meetings. 
    • A wall will be constructed to separate it from the childcare wing.  A door has already been installed, near Bethany Werner’s desk, which will serve as the entrance to that space.
  • It’s being said that the Early Childhood Development Center will be self-sustaining.  What does this mean?
    • Erik Borgmeyer and Andy Greer have consulted with many existing childcare centers and their leaders. They’ve built a very conservative ministry plan, that shows that our Early Childhood Development Center will bring in enough money to cover the new loan payment and all salaries and expenses, in addition to a six-figure profit annually.
    • Links to more detailed financial reports can be found in our documents section on this page.
  • What happens to the youth room?
    • The youth room will be updated during this project, but it will retain its current status as a place for our youth to gather.
  • Is it true that we are starting a new capital campaign, and will this campaign be directly connected to the projects we are voting on in September?
    • Since all ministries of Messiah are unified into one Ministry Plan (budget) this can seem complicated, but hopefully the following bullet points will help clarify the distinctions and interactions between the projects we are voting on and the new Built by Faith campaign:
    • The main focus of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is to help us carry out the Great Commission given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28.
    • The projects we are voting on in September will require Messiah to secure a new loan. However, the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) will be self-sustaining and provide enough ministry income to (a) make the payments on this new loan and (b) excess income to financially bless all of the ministries at Messiah.
    • The ECDC will remain a 501c3 (non-profit) because all generated income will be reinvested into the ministries of Messiah.
    • The Built by Faith campaign is not directly tied to the projects we are voting on. That campaign will be tied directly to the loan we obtained for the new education/ministry addition we completed in 2020.
    • Built by Faith, currently in the preparation phase, will be a three-year comprehensive campaign which means that the income from the campaign will be used to reduce the debt of our existing loans and also help with monthly cash flow so that all ministry areas remain healthy and growing.
    • We will officially roll out the Built by Faith campaign this fall (2021).
  • Is the Built By Faith campaign for funding the Early Childhood Development Center?
    • The short answer is, no. As the answer to the question above states, the new center is self-sustaining.
    • The Built By Faith campaign is tied directly to the new addition finished in 2020. This campaign will positively impact all ministries of Messiah in order to continue to thrive. It will help us be good stewards with our existing debt and allow us to continue to grow as we see God leading us.

To view some initial plans for our building renovations, click on the appropriate name below:

Upper Level Plans – This includes renovating the original school building which is currently housing our preschool.

Lower Level Plans – This includes renovating the entire lower level, underneath our worship center.

  • We have been focusing on Christian education a lot lately with the new addition and the proposed Early Childhood Development Center. These educational ministries are good and important, but is Worship (Word and Sacrament) still the most important aspect of our life together as the Messiah family or has education become primary?

    • Actually, our primary reason for being the Messiah family is making disciples, Jesus said, “Go, make disciples…” All of our various ministries flow out of this mission. Yet, it is important to understand that gathering for worship is the primary expression of that mission at Messiah. Since worship is God’s gift to us, gathering regularly for worship is vital to our own personal discipleship/faith growth as well as seeking out and inviting others to follow Jesus. It is equally important to understand that worship also takes place as part of our Christian education at Messiah in our weekly chapels, Jesus Time, and in every subject as our kids learn about God’s Word. Paul also reminds us that worship is part of our day to day lives (Romans 12:1) and gives us many opportunities for personal growth and an increased desire to carry out our mission of making disciples.


  • What’s the approximate cost for someone in the 18 month – 3 year old program?

    • $225 per week. This is a rate consistent with area ministry programs.


  • Will there be any scholarships or help for people that want their children in this program but may need financial assistance?

    • It is our intention to fully leverage any available state subsidies (i.e. Title 20) and scholarships consistent with how we are already using them for preschool and day school families. In addition, we will continue to look for other funding opportunities and scholarships through the Messiah Lutheran Foundation.


  • Will we be building a new kitchen for the new cafeteria/meeting room space?

    • No. When we remodeled our current kitchen in 2020 we did so with a long range plan of being able to feed the growing needs of our school ministries. This current project which will create a cafeteria/meeting room on the south end of our original building will allow for enough space for the children to eat lunch during the school days and for other small and large church and school activities to take place at other times of the day and in the evenings.


  • Are there thoughts of expanding the parking lot or making improvements to that since we’ll have more traffic during pickup and drop off?

    • Traffic flow and expanding paved parking is being reviewed and we are gathering details for planning purposes.

  • Why are we not doing infant care, from 6 weeks to 18 months?

    • After months of prayerful thought and the review of other area ministry programs we decided it was not something to pursue at this time. While we would like to include infant care, based on the amount of childcare rooms available and the substantial cost of staffing it was clear that 18 months was a great place to start. The most healthy peer ministry programs also start at 18 months.


  • Are there ministries that are having to be put on the “back burner” because we’re moving in this direction?

    • No. We continue to pour consistent efforts into all areas of ministry at Messiah. We believe that this new addition will provide more opportunities for us to grow in all areas of ministry, but we also need to recognize that we, much like many other organizations and businesses, are in a building back phase after all the lockdowns and disruptions of the pandemic. We are already seeing growth in so many areas of our work together and we are excited to see what God will continue to do in and through us. 
  • Is some of the revenue going to be put in a fund for updates and repairs for the daycare so that it continues to sustain itself? 

    • The Executive team will put together an allocation strategy that is reviewed annually. In it, we will review the ministry plan, deferred maintenance/repair and debt reduction opportunities.

  • If these dollars go to support other ministries, can part of this revenue be put into services/staff/programming for parenting? ie – parent’s day out, Bible studies, education?

    • Many of these are a part of our current ministry plan and ongoing. With more parents we will continue to strive for excellence in this ministry area and will add support with the 3rd pastor of community outreach.


  • Is there anything additional we should be doing to remain competitive in the area of compensation for our ministry staff?
    • With the changing landscape in the area of wages it is important that we continue to do market analysis so that we can be competitive with our pay to continue to attract excellent ministry staff.

  • The lower conference room below the sanctuary, called the Berea room, has been used very frequently throughout the years. With that room being absorbed into the ECDC, do we have adequate spaces available for meetings, Bible studies, etc?

    • The new building addition includes 4 new conference rooms of varying sizes. These new rooms, three of which are just off the new Cafe, offer adequate spaces for meetings, Bible studies, etc. that used to be held in Berea. Even more space will be made available through the next phase of construction being proposed.


  • Why not separate the three projects into three separate votes?

    • The three proposed projects (ECDC, Sanctuary upgrades/fixes, and building exterior repairs) are combined into one vote because after careful consideration of Messiah’s current debt load, we felt that combining these three projects into one financial package would allow us to accomplish them without the need for increased tithes and offerings or campaign dollars. This is possible due to the fact that the ministry income from the ECDC will be able to pay the monthly mortgage payments for the loan we will need to cover all three projects.

A Brief History of our Commitment to Preschool and Childcare

Our school is growing

We knew that many wonderful things would come from our new school space, but we were surprised by the unexpected, immediate blessings God provided:

  • Without the additional space we could not have offered in person school during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The additional space has allowed us to welcome nearly 50 new families in the two years we have been open.
  • During this past year, God grew the reputation of Messiah’s school ministry beyond the community to a whole new group of families who had never considered a non-public school before. They have found a home at Messiah and are telling their friends and families.

Early in the planning process for our new school, we considered only building eight classrooms and adding four more when we needed them, in order to cut costs. Thankfully, the Messiah family wholeheartedly supported finishing all 12 classrooms immediately, and God has blessed that decision, the space, and this ministry.

Fourteen months after opening the new school building, we are already using eleven classrooms! I know He will do the same as we turn our attention to preschool age children and expand our ministry to children as young as eighteen months and their families. And I can’t wait to see it unfold with you.

Matt Stueber

Director of School Ministries

Growing Preschool Program

God has greatly blessed our preschool over the years. We have grown from one small room (originally designed as a music room for our K-6 school), to having 4 dedicated classrooms, with an additional 4 rooms for focused learning.

God has decided that He has even bigger plans, and I’m very excited at the future for our preschool moving forward, as we hope to move into a larger and newly renovated space in the lower level, below the sanctuary.

I’m also thrilled that we are planning to expand the age range of preschool children to include childcare for ages 18 months to 3 years. We’ll renovate and use the current preschool space to meet that need for families in our community.

Sherry Thimijan

Preschool Director

More Room Wednesday Nights

We are so thankful to have additional space on Wednesday Nights! Because of the new building, we are able to offer 5 adult Bible classes on Wednesday Nights, instead of just 2, and still have rooms available for small groups and new studies to form. In previous years, our children’s ministry classes were spread out across the entire building, including the portables. This year, everyone will be on the same level with easy access to supplies, help, bathrooms, etc! 

The rooms are perfectly suited to our needs. They provide appropriate storage, sound barriers between classes, large spaces for groups to run and play and smaller spaces for conversations and learning time. 

Bethany Werner

Children and Family Director