THOMASTON –The Rev. Dr. Joseph Krasinski knows that when he stands behind the pulpit and looks out over his new congregation this weekend, some parishioners may be looking back at him with disdain.
One in three Americans, after all, described homosexuality as a “major problem facing the nation,” according to research by the Barna Group.
But Krasinski, who led St. Peter’s Trinity Church in Thomaston for about 14 years, said he’s ready to step in as rector at Saint James’ Episcopal Church in Danbury and help the parish expand its ministries.
He said after more than a decade at St. Peter’s, it was time for him to leave.
“It’s time for me to go, not just for myself, but for the congregation,” he said. “They need to discover themselves.”
He explained that after nearly 15 years, the church needed to hear some fresh views and insights.
His new parish, which he will be pastoring with Rev. Iris E. Peterson, is twice as large as the Thomaston church, with twice the budget. It also has a larger staff and Krasinski said he hopes to help the parish grow even more.
“They have a phenomenal ministry on their own. I want to support that ministry in whatever way I can and help them expand their ministries. They are ready to take off. I want to open the flood gates,” he said.
Krasinski is aware, though, that at least one family has written Saint James’ to say they are leaving the parish because they oppose homosexuality. He said the news was disheartening, but knows he and his husband, Jim, can’t take it personally. They’ve been through it before and Krasinski said it’s made him a better minister.
“I think I have a better understanding of what it’s like to be rejected, so that when I talk with people, I can empathize rather than sympathize,” he said.
Denise Holl and Kevin Morgan, wardens of Saint James’, wrote the parish a letter addressing any worries some may have.
“For those of you who may have concerns about the call, we ask that you wait and see,” they wrote.
Carol Kissh, of Thomaston, has attended St. Peter’s for five decades and said she can speak to the leadership of Krasinski.
She was devastated when she learned that he had accepted a new position.
“When he first came in, he changed everything and I was very insulted,” she said. “But he challenged us and we rose to the challenge.”
She said he’s a strong leader because he understands what obstacles people are facing and has compassion for his parishioners.
Kissh said she understands that her pastor is being called somewhere else and said she’s become a more accepting person because of him.
Krasinski will speak to the parish for the first time Saturday at 5 p.m. at Saint James’, 25 West St., Danbury.
For information call (203) 748-3561.