June 2024 Member Spotlight – Karen McManus

If you talk to Karen McManus, you will hear a wealth of stories of many different lives.  She grew up in Alaska and lived there until she was 27.  She was a special ed teacher, a job that requires lots of heart and patience.  Karen was a mother of five, three of her own and two foster daughters with their own struggles.  For that reason, Karen was active with a Dorothea Dix support group at her first church, East Shore Unitarian in Bellevue, WA.  The Dorothea Dix groups help families dealing with mental health issues.  At that same church she remains involved with a partner church in the Khasi Hills of India and can tell you about her visits there.  There is also Karen who cruised a sailboat along the East Coast for three years with her husband.  She lived on that boat for two more years at the Wharf in DC  where she saw a need in the Southwest and started a food pantry, a role she continues.  And then there is Karen who moved to the Silver Spring area after the birth of her grandson so that she could be part of his life. 

Her own personal religious beliefs allow for the possibility of a spiritual entity who may or may not care about the world.  That is not the important part.  What is important for her as a Unitarian-Universalist is the primacy of love and connection, living in community, helping others and contributing to this world.  Karen’s life story exemplifies this.  Take time to get to know her.