Bishop Dorff releases statement on BOM and Mary Anne Kaiser

Bishop James E. Dorff of the San Antonio Episcopal Area released a statement today regarding the request for a ruling of law regarding the decision by the Southwest Texas Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry recommendation (approved by the executive session of clergy in the Annual Conference) to remove Ms. Mary Anne Kaiser from the candidacy for ordained ministry. The action by the Board of Ordained ministry has been challenged by those who believe that the Board acted outside of the provisions specified in the 2012 United Methodist Book of Discipline, and Bishop Dorff has 30 days to make his ruling.

Bishop Dorff wrote:

It is my responsibility to rule on the question placed before me regarding the action of the Board.  I will do so within the next 30 days. My ruling will be posted on our Annual Conference website.

 The decision I make is not final.  It will automatically be reviewed by the denomination’s Judicial Council.  They will either affirm or reject my ruling.  Their ruling is final.

 I will prayerfully and carefully make a decision on the issue requested.  My decision will be based on my understanding of the Book of Discipline, which I have pledged to uphold.

 I give thanks to God for Ms. Kaiser and her work in the church.  I pray that the Spirit will guide us through this and all things.

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Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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Well said, Rev, Mitchell. Bishop Dorff has the obligation to act according to the Book of Discipline but the opportunity to take action that could both honor God and be a step towards the healing that needs to happen in the UMC.

Jan Lawrence


A number of years ago (1947) I was born in a parsonage next door to the Methodist mission church where my grandparents served the Native Americans of northeastern Oklahoma. When I was young my grandmother was licensed to preach by the Oklahoma conference. It is my understanding that she was the first woman to receive that endorsement and privilege in that conference long before other women were even considered qualified to hear such a calling by God. I have always been grateful that the conference was willing to lead the way in the unity of faith by taking this action!… Read more »

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