If you’ve arrived here looking for information or resources from Evergreen International, you’ve still come to the right place—welcome to North Star!
As announced on January 1, 2014, Evergreen has been absorbed into North Star in order to unite and consolidate resources and form under the North Star umbrella a single faith-based ministry organization for Latter-day Saints who experience same-sex attraction or gender identity incongruence. In conjunction with the changes, Evergreen’s Executive Director, David Pruden, stated,
“Over the years more and more of the activities of Evergreen and North Star have become redundant as both organizations seek to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their families who are experiencing homosexual attractions. In a world that is increasingly hostile to the message of the gospel and the standards of the Church it is important that those who seek to serve this subset of Church members be united in our shared message of faithfulness. This merger will allow us to consolidate valuable resources and focus the efforts of volunteers—who were often working in programs in both Evergreen and North Star—under the direction of a single volunteer led organizational effort. We are excited about the expanded possibilities that this united effort can provide.”
Preston Dahlgren, the previous chairman of Evergreen’s Board who has since joined North Star’s Board, similarly commented,
“Since our founding, both Evergreen and North Star have been complementary organizations, united around and focused on helping those who experience same-sex attraction, supportive friends, family members, and other interested parties live lives in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Jeff Bennion, current chairman of North Star’s board has added,
“I am very pleased with this strategic move because it means all Latter-day Saints will be able to more easily find resources… Combining our efforts under one umbrella allows us to extend our reach, because Evergreen brings to North Star an established network and valuable internet resources that will be incorporated into the recently expanded and improved North Star website. The scale and scope of the challenges facing this community can sometimes be overwhelming, which is why I am thrilled that so many of the strong and experienced associates of Evergreen will be standing even more unitedly with us.”
What Hasn’t Changed
Since its founding more than 20 years ago as a support organization for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Evergreen’s mission has always been similar to North Star’s in its desire to assist those who experience same-sex attraction and who desire to live in harmony with their spiritual and religious values. Evergreen International was founded on the belief that the atonement of Jesus Christ enables every soul the opportunity to turn away from all sins or conditions that obstruct their temporal and eternal happiness and potential. That mission and belief will continue and only be enhanced in a united effort with North Star.
Various resources previously administered under the Evergreen name and many other aspects of the twenty-year effort of Evergreen’s ministry, will be incorporated into the new, expanded effort. Some of these resources include:
- Website content.
Much of Evergreen’s website content and archive will slowly be moved over and incorporated into North Star’s website content—particularly the vast collection of non-English language resources.
- Online Spanish support program.
The EvergreenEspañol online support group, which has provided a vibrant support community for Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints for many years, will continue under North Star sponsorship through our Spanish-speaking community Facebook Group, and will join the array of Spanish resources being created by North Star’s Spanish Language Resource Committee.
- Seminars and conferences.
While the North Star Conference will be different than the annual conferences Evergreen used to sponsor (and stopped sponsoring in 2010), we expect that those who enjoyed the fellowship of the Evergreen Conference will feel just as welcome at the North Star Conference. Like it was for many who regularly attended the Evergreen Conference, we hope the North Star Conference can build on that by extending the fellowship and community to an even larger audience.
In addition, administratively, Preston Dahlgren and Laurie Campbell, two long-serving members of Evergreen’s board, continue their volunteer ministry as part of North Star’s leadership team.
Following the absorption of certain resources and assets of Evergreen International, all absorbed resources and assets will operate under the name and direction of North Star and it’s leadership team. The legal entity of Evergreen will no longer exist.
What You’ll Find at North Star
Founded in 2006, North Star is a peer-led, community-driven organization—a grass-roots effort with a mission to empower men and women who experience same-sex attraction and gender identity issues, as well as their friends, spouses, or other family members, to more authentically and healthily live the gospel of Jesus Christ. North Star is successful because of the efforts of many individuals who contribute their time, talents, and hearts to various aspects of its mission.
Though it is not a membership-based organization, North Star serves as a resource to the community through the following:
Recognizing the uniqueness of individual circumstance, takes no official position on the origin or mutability of homosexual attractions or gender identity incongruence and, with the incorporation of the Evergreen organization, continues to reaffirms that stance. North Star affirms the right of individuals to self- determination and supports all efforts consistent with the gospel that help individuals live in harmony with their covenants and attain greater peace, fulfillment, and sense of individual worth, while affirming that the most essential and eternal growth and progress come through the power of the Savior and adherence to the teachings of His prophets. North Star holds that the power and grace of Christ enables each individual to renounce behavior and manage thoughts that will prevent him or her from returning into His presence. North Star testifies Jesus Christ has the power to reach and transform every life and every individual can find genuine peace and hope in the promises of His gospel.
All the gospel-congruent approaches that our members have had experience with in seeking this goal, whether they be therapeutic, religious or otherwise, North Star desires to be the forum to discuss and disseminate these experiences and resources, even as we acknowledge that North Star does not officially endorse or recommend any specific set of responses to these issues. Due to the uniqueness of personal circumstance, we do not believe any one approach will always be either effective or appropriate in all cases. Yet in the sharing of experiences, and in seeking to bless all of Heavenly Father’s children, we believe we can be an influence for good in the world and among the members of the Church.