In the summer of 1977, Rev. Bill Johnson, approached Riverside again about starting a gay and lesbian group, this time with Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Senior Minister of Riverside from 1977 - 1987.
Rev. Johnson showed his film A Position of Faith again at Riverside in April 1978 at "The Gay Civil Rights Movement" forums sponsored by Adult Ministries. Dr. Carter Heyward was a guest speaker.
At the end of the last forum, Sam Barrett, a Riverside member, asked if people were interested in forming a Lesbian & Gay support group at Riverside. Marnanatha (although it had yet been named as such) was BORN!
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The Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward was a guest speaker at Riverside's 1978 forums "The Gay Civil Rights Movement". She is an Episcopal priest, professor, theologian, activist, and writer. A pioneer in the areas of feminist liberation theology and the theology of sexuality.