The Rev. Dr. Harry L. Serio was born in Newark, New Jersey
and he received his B.A. from Ursinus College and his master's degree
and doctorate from Lancaster Theological Seminary.
As an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, he has served
churches in Eastern Pennsylvania, recently concluding a thirty-two
year pastorate at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Kutztown.
Dr. Serio has taught Latin and Social Studies in the Lancaster and
Easton school systems. He is a frequent lecturer and workshop leader
in the areas of archaeology, spirituality, and the arts and meditation.
His doctoral work was in the field of Christian mysticism. He is President
Emeritus of the Academy for Spiritual and
Pastor Serio is a Biblical archaeologist. He did research at the University
of Pennsylvania on the "Royal Tomb of Gordium (Anatolia)," and
has studied archaeology in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel. He has
excavated at the City of David and in the Rephaim Valley near Jerusalem,
and has led archaeological tours of the Middle East including Egypt.
A member of Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary drama society, Pastor
Serio is interested in the interrelation of the arts and religion and
encourages the use of the performing and visual arts in celebrating
the presence of God in the life of the congregation. His thesis at
Lancaster Seminary was "The Secularization of Damnation: The Meaning
of Existence in the Works of Tennessee Williams." He is active
in supporting the arts in eastern Pennsylvania, having served on the
Boards of Directors of the Berks Arts Council, Lehigh Valley Arts Council,
and the New Arts Program. He was president of the Berks Arts Council
from 1993 to 1995, and a member of the Berks
Jazz Fest since its beginning,
serving as Festival Chairman from 1993 to 2000, and creator of the
annual Pagoda Award. In 2009 he organized the Spirit on Tap program currently held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Reading. He recently conceived and initiated the Spiritual Exploration Project and leads discussions on film at the Goggleworks
His concern for social justice and world peace has led to Pastor Serio's
active involvement in the Berks Interfaith Peace Fellowship, Amnesty
International, and the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference's Committee
on the Middle East. He has also been involved in refugee resettlement
concerns beginning with the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 through assisting
Kosovar families following the Serbian war. He was a regional organizer
for the first Earth Day observance in 1970 and assisted in the formation
of the Lehigh Valley Environmental Federation.
Pastor Serio is active in community affairs. He is vice-president of
the Board of Directors of Saucony Cross Apartments in Kutztown and
is a founder of the Kutztown
Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a past-president
of the Kutztown Rotary Club and the Kutztown Ministerial Association.
He has served on several campus-community committees, including the
President's Roundtable on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and has instituted
a Kutztown University Appreciation Day observance at St. John's Church.
He has also been involved with the Kutztown Folk Festival in several
capacities and lectures daily on "The Spirituality of the Pennsylvania
Dr. Serio has also been a consultant in outdoor ministries and was
a partner in the development of "Voyage of Faith" resources
for confirmation education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees
of Lancaster Theological Seminary.
In May, 2000, Dr. Serio was awarded the Allen S. Meck Award for Excellence
in Ministry by Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is a recipient of
the Caron Foundation’s Clergy of the Year Award in 2003, and
was cited by the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for service
to the arts, the community, and social justice causes.
Dr. Serio is married to the former Mary Ann Kocsi who is a retired
private music instructor in piano. They are the parents of three children:
Stuart, Tasha, and Matthew.