What Does it Mean to be People of Possibility?

“My Grandma and Grandpa Scrivo both came to this country as children from southern Italy. Their peasant families sought refuge from poverty, exploitation and violence. And sought the possibility of a better life.”

Rev. Karen Lee Scrivo is a community minister working on justice issues affiliated with Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, MD.

Karen is active in the faith-based organizing group Industrial Areas Foundation and its efforts to establish an affiliate in Prince George’s County.  She also is a member of the county’s Coalition for Community Empowerment and Police Accountability (CEPA) and its work with CASA de Maryland.  A regular volunteer at Dress for Success-DC, Karen helps outfit area women in need of business attire. 

Karen was ordained in 2017 by the Goodloe Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bowie at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.  She served as the first full-time ministerial intern for the UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland from 2015 to 2016.  She received her master of divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif. In 2015 and completed her student chaplaincy at the Hebrew Home in Rockville, MD in 2012. 

Before becoming a minister, Karen served as an interim religious educator at First Unitarian of Baltimore, Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, Paint Branch UU Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia (MD). 

In her past lives, Karen was a journalist, a Montessori teacher and the manager of a State Department study program for international journalists.  She holds masters’ degrees in international relations (George Washington University) and communication (American University) and a bachelor’s in journalism (Kent State University).

A native of Pittsburgh, Karen grew up in Lorain, Ohio – west of Cleveland. She was raised Catholic but also spent time at her maternal grandmother’s evangelical Protestant church.  She learned about Buddhism and Hinduism in a World Religions class at her Catholic high school.

Karen and her husband, Ken Shilling, are longtime members of Goodloe Memorial.  Their grown son Kelson is a Ph.D candidate in the neuroscience program at the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore.