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Kate Kelly no longer is part of the Ordain Women leadership team.

Kelly, who was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just more than a year ago, resigned this past week from the executive board of Ordain Women (OW).

"Kate has helped bring gender equality and ordination of women in the LDS Church to the forefront of conversation," OW chairwoman Debra Jenson said in a statement. "There is no way to measure the impact she has had for women and girls in our community. Her work and talent will be missed, and we thank her for her sacrifice and bravery. Ordain Women's executive board will continue the work that Kate was so instrumental in starting."

Kelly has been an active participant in the push for women to be ordained to the faith's all-male priesthood since OW's debut in March 2013.

It is not surprising that she wants a break, Jenson said Friday in an interview. "Kate has dedicated three years to this cause. It has been a stressful endeavor. She wants the freedom to work on other causes. She's earned this chance to move forward, but she's still a full supporter."

Kelly, a returned Mormon missionary and human-rights attorney, learned that she had been excommunicated at an OW board meeting in Salt Lake City on June 23, 2014. She began to tear up at the email from her LDS bishop, and soon most of the nine or so board members around the table were weeping as well.

In the succeeding 12 months, Kelly has moved to Kenya, lost appeals to regain her church membership, worked for women's rights in Somalia and written opinion pieces for several newspapers.

Meanwhile, OW has uploaded more supportive profiles on its site, produced photos of women involved in imaginary healing blessings and promoted actions to educate and push Mormonism toward greater gender equity.

And the group's executive board, with Jenson at its head, plans to continue to pursue ordination.

"What we lose [with Kate's departure] is not leadership," said Jenson, who will remain OW's chairwoman until at least October. "We lose her skill set and passion, but it does not leave us rudderless."

The board is "stable," she said, "and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future."

And likely to continue to draw attention to the question of gender equity in the LDS Church.

But the group's executive board, which has turned over almost entirely since Kelly's excommunication, and its backers also have paid a price during the past year — in time, religious respectability and church standing. Some have lost callings, temple access, even friends.

Whether from fear, burnout or altered perspectives, some have stepped away from the organization, some have quietly withdrawn their profiles, some have a different view of women's priesthood altogether.

And, for some, Kelly's post-excommunication persona and actions have created divisions over leadership and tactics.

Most, however, still prize the ultimate goal: female ordination.

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