Witnessing for our Kiwi Mormon – Page 2

Witnessing for our Kiwi Mormon – Page 2 December 12, 2018
The following are the “witnesses” that have been written in behalf of Gina Colvin, who is being summoned to a disciplinary court on December 20, 2018. If you’re interested in submitting a witness… please share with me at nhelferparker@gmail.com. I will continue to update… or create further posts as I receive them. I will keep blog posts to about 1500 words… that’s why there will be more than one “page.”
To (Gina’s leaders)
Hello. My name is Jimmy bridges. You do not know me, but I have been recently made aware of the intended disciplinary Council in action for Gina Colvin. When I heard of this action I was deeply troubled. I have been a member of the church for a little over ten years now, served a mission a year after I had been baptized at 19 years old, served in many positions in the church in my Wards, and always considered myself active in my search for truth and what’s right in the world. As the church has became more and more involved in the social issues in Society, especially here over in the United States, I began to realize how Divergent my own views were from the churches regarding social issues such as same-sex marriage and values around gender and gender roles in society. This growing dissonance was almost too much to handle. I started to gain access to the online Mormon Community, podcasts that Gina Colvin moderates, and other resources for Mormons with my worldview. Gina Colvin ended up becoming one of the most influential Mormons for my own spiritual growth and maintenance of my faith. Her capacity to integrate new ideas and maintain her Mormon identity has been an inspiration to me and has been a motivation for me to stay connected with the Mormon tradition. As mentioned earlier, because of how much she has done for me, her disciplinary Council and the potential for disciplinary action is deeply concerning, incongruent to what I feel are the main principles contained in the Articles of faith 13, and seems to go against all efforts church leaders make to establish a reputation of interfaith relations and respect for all religious perspectives. Because of how much good Gina Colvin does, any potential of disciplinary action looks more like an abuse of power  than an inspired decision from church leaders. My hope is that you put my witness and others under serious consideration and follow your own promptings, even if that goes against leaders above you. If there’s one thing I learned from my mission, it’s that Revelation is followed by information. And considering you are the local leaders presiding over Gina Colvin, you would have the most information in this situation and thus entitled with the greater capacity for answers. Thank you for your time and your service in the church.
Jimmy Bridges, MS, LMFT
Gina’ s testimony and study have helped me to stay a member. Some of us learn in different ways, which need the concept of doubt in order to propel us forward to the growth and comprehension of God which we need. This attempt to damn her for jointly practicing in order to serve a community is…disheartening. She’s not trying to leave. She’s trying to stay.
Heather Harris-Bergevin

Dear Brothers Ormsby and Shaw,

I am writing in support of and as a witness to Gina Colvin.

 Gina’s wise and compassionate voice has literally bore up many spiritually distraught, disenfranchised, and wounded members of the LDS church-of, which I am one.  Listening to Gina’s podcasts were as balm to my soul.  Her nuanced and enlightened insights allowed me to re-evaluate my spiritual journey and in the process, I discovered a greater sense of the divine.  I know for a fact that Gina’s courageous, compassionate, and articulate voice is personally responsible for the retention of 4 members of the church — and that is just from my very small cloistered perspective.  I know she has touched the hearts of hundreds and has been instrumental the ministering of Christ’s gospel.

Robin Stephens


Dear Bishop Shaw and President Ornsby,

In September of 2016 the arms and soul of Jesus stood at my front door.  It was Gina Colvin.  She took time out to visit the widow.  She took time out to care about the disabled and to mourn with those that mourn. It wasn’t the first time.   She stood as a witness of Christ and did what Jesus would have done.  Jesus wasn’t here but Gina was.  She came because Gina loves and serves and seeks to follow Jesus above all else.  Not everyone who claims to follow Christ does so, but in Gina there are not only words but actions that reach out to touch, to hold, and to love just as Jesus does.   

You are planning to excommunicate her.  I won’t put words to this fact.  I will hold her in prayer.  I will pray that what she does continues to touch the souls of all no matter where they live.  Gina lives the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m a better person for knowing her and learning from her example.  

This is my witness.  

Gail  Shurtleff


I want to add my name as a witness of what a magnificent disciple of Christ Gina is for the world. I grew up hearing stories of my pioneer ancestors and always felt a pressure to carefully obey the brethren with a dad in church leadership positions. I attended BYU, served a mission in Chile, and married in the temple. The gospel was everything to me. 
I had a budding spiritual and feminist awakening ever since my mission, but after having 3 girls of my own it turned into more of a faith crisis. I didn’t know if I could have anything to do with religion at one point. I met Gina at a spiritual formation workshop she was hosting for women. It was the first time in a long time I felt the spirit and remembered the need I had for spiritual community. Seeing someone who understood the problems with patriarchy and was willing to strongly proclaim her beliefs and desire to seek God was beautiful and new to me. Gina is an example to me of a devout and bold follower of Christ. People like her and her podcast are some of the only things that have given me hope for being able to remain in the church.  I am disappointed to once again see the church protecting the corporation and it’s male leaders while going after benevolent members. Meanwhile, men who have done true harm to others are left in good standing. I don’t think excommunication is a humane or Christian practice, but if you’re going to excommunicate members there’s probably a million people who could be ahead of Gina Colvin on the list. When people say the church is losing it’s best and brightest they truly are. What a mistake for a religious organization to not want Gina counted among its ranks. No woman gets a say in these decisions in our church and the decisions seem to be predetermined, but I’d urge the men who’ve been granted so much power to humbly reconsider.
Katie Hagen 


Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, is the current president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.

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