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Rev Linda to devote all her time to Side-by-Side

Rev. Linda is second from the left in this photo, taken in Friendship Park, that is posted at the Side-by-Side website.
Yesterday morning, at a breakfast for the homeless that First United Methodist Church provides twice a month, it was learned that Rev. Linda Kelly-Baker would be leaving her position at the church, effective June 30, in order to devote all her time to Side-by-Side, the organization she founded, and is Director of, that acts as a "listening ministry" serving the homeless in Friendship Park at the Loaves & Fishes compound.

In the newsletter of the church, "The Visitor," in its issue dated June 14, "the Rev" wrote,
Even though I will not be on the staff of First UMC as of June 30, you will still see me. FUMC will be my charge conference and my regular worshipping community. There is also a possibility that FUMC and Side-By-Side Ministries (which I founded almost 10 years ago) will become even more closely connected. … It is to Side-By-Side as my full-time work that I am most fully called. Side-By-Side is self-funded, which means that I must not only pay attention to the program itself, to the homeless individuals with whom I meet, and to the volunteers who work with Side-By-Side, but also to the work of the steering committee on issues of fundraising and organizational structure. I am happy to say that the steering committee currently consists of several folks from FUMC: Leslyn Syren, Tanis Toland, Tara Thronson (on maternity leave), and Buzz Heinrich. These wonderful folks and others actively work with me to keep the Side-By-Side ministry financially sound and growing.

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