Dear Westside Church,

It has been such a privilege to serve the Westside Church in the capacity of elder and elder's wife for the past 11 years.  We wanted to let you know that after much thought and prayer, we have decided to take a sabbatical from our role as the elder couple of the Westside Church from June 1, 2024 until August 31, 2024.  We had originally planned to start our sabbatical July 1, but we decided recently it was best to start it sooner and have the whole summer for this time together (Mark goes back to teaching in late August).

After serving in this shepherding role for 11 years as volunteers (not paid by the church), we are feeling the need to take a break to focus on rest and to strengthen our relationships with God.  We attended an elder's retreat in Houston, TX this past March and the topic was about the importance of spiritual formation and taking time to rest and be refreshed for those who are in leadership roles in the church. Of course, the need for rest is important for all of us.  This is specifically a time for us to take a break from shepherding and all forms of leadership in the church.  We will not be attending any of the Westside church services or events during this time and will be worshipping in other places other than the Westside Church. We kindly ask that you honor this sacred time by respecting the spirit of a sabbatical with no phone calls, texts or emails to us. 

If you have any questions, please talk to Steve and Carie Lounsbury or CJ and Sheree Wakefield.
We look forward to connecting with all of you at the end of the summer.

Warmest regards,

Mark and Catherine Shump