New Beginnings at Second Congregational Church!

The members of the SCC Search Team are pleased to introduce the Rev. Dr. Karen Bailey-Francois as our unanimous choice as our next settled minister.

As a committee, we met for over a year, reviewed almost 50 applications, interviewed six candidates by video conferencing and met with five candidates in person before prayerfully making our selection. During our period of discernment, we continually asked God for guidance as we sought to see our candidates through a wider lens, keeping our congregation’s needs in the forefront of our minds. Our search led us to interview many worthy men and women from across the US (including California) and we are filled with joy and anticipation at the prospect of joining in ministry with Reverend Bailey-Francois both at SCC and beyond.

Our Search Team sought a minister strong in faith-based leadership skills, who values tradition while embracing new and alternative ways of worship and community building, is comfortable with musical leadership from the pulpit, demonstrates significant experience with children and youth leadership as well as being adept at conducting multigenerational worship services.

Karen believes that the gift that she brings to ministry in a local congregation is faith.  She says, “I believe in the Good News that is the Living Word of God. Spoken in Jesus, conveyed by the Bible, preserved by tradition and interpreted in the experience of Christians as we seek to live out our faith, we have a powerful story to tell. Practically, that translates into a passion for teaching and learning: a comfortable, invitational reverence for worship, spiritual nurture and prayer; a delight in the sacraments and in the many other opportunities to extend the hospitality and welcome of the church; and, finally, an understanding of church structure and administration as both integral to and representative of the ministry they seek to support. More personally, that translates into my commitment to the people God calls me to serve – their lives, their joys, their concerns, their dreams.”


  • Masters of Business Administration, University of Vermont, 1990
  • Masters of Divinity, Andover Newton Theological School, 1994
  • Doctor of Ministry Hartford Seminary, 2005
  • Ordained, United Church of Christ, 1995
  • Serving congregations in Rockville, Hartford, Storrs and Ellington, CT
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Hands On Hartford, 2012-2017
  • Trustee, Hartford Seminary, 2012-present

Yours in Christ,

Steve Parnell, Ross Rosano, Susi Coley, Doug Thompson, Abby Greer, Pam Delorenzo, Kim Maynard, Judy Neer and Bob Cunningham

Dr. Rev. Karen Bailey-Francois has been formally called to be our next Settled Pastor!  She will begin her time with us on March 20, 2018.