Mary Ann (Kaiser) Barclay, a candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church who was preemptively removed from her ordination process after she married a woman, will have the opportunity to continue pursuing ordination.
In June 2013, Barclay as removed from her ordination process by the Southwest Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Barclay was previously recommended for ordination by her District Committee, and according to San Antonio Bishop Jim Dorff, this recommendation ensures Barclay “full examination, including an interview, by the Board of Ordained Ministry.”
Earlier this year, Barclay married Annanda Barclay, who she met in seminary. The United Methodist Book of Discipline bans non-celibate gay clergy, and a 1972 motion declares that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Today’s ruling affirms that Barclay’s removal from this process violated the procedures of the United Methodist Church.
In response to today’s decision, Barclay issued a statement through Reconciling Ministries Network affirming her commitment to both the process and the movement of the Spirit:
When the Board of Ordained Ministry preemptively removed me from the process without ever interviewing me, relationship and Spirit guidance were also removed from the process. Fortunately, the Bishop has recognized that our denominational policies do not allow for candidates to be removed without this time together….I find hope in the fact that this wrong is being corrected and I am eager to continue on this relational, Spirit driven process with the Board. I rely on the voice of the Holy Spirit to illuminate my understanding of faith, my call, and my place in The United Methodist Church.