UPDATE: At this event $1,300 was collected and donated to the Episcopal Relief and Development to aid Haiti.
DANBURY – How fitting that the congregation together sang out a hymn about integrity and love Thursday night when the Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Krasinski was installed as the new rector of Saint James’ Episcopal Church of Danbury.
“Guide us to justice, truth and love,” they crooned. “May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release.”
Krasinski, an openly gay pastor, who married his husband Jim not too long ago, came to Saint James’ in September, after leading St. Peter’s Trinity Church in Thomaston for 14 years.
In the four months Krasinski has been at the Danbury church, it’s evident that most, if not all of the parishioners have welcomed him with open arms.
“We’ve been having a ball,” he said. “There’s new life and new energy here.”
Parishioners hugged and applauded their new priest Thursday, and with booming voices told Diocesan Bishop Andrew Smith that they were ready to continue their ministry under the guidance of Krasinski, and together Krasinski and his parish renewed their baptismal vows and celebrated their new journey together.
Smith, who inducted Krasinski as rector and delivered the homily at the service, encouraged the parish to love their Danbury community as Jesus would.
“You have been brought together in this community by God,” he said. “Be a people like Mary and Joseph at the epiphany, who welcomed and invited persons into this place, this family, no matter how different they may be…”
He said that Saint James’ has a new beginning and can be a wellspring of refreshment for the city by getting to know the citizens and welcoming all of God’s children into the pews.
Krasinski said in a previous interview that because of his sexual preference, he knows what it’s like to be unwanted.
“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.
When he was selected by the search committee to serve as rector of Saint James, a letter was posted on the church Web site about the decision, stating, “Joseph comes to us at St. James’ with incredible enthusiasm. He envisions working with our parish in the greater Danbury area as a real chance to continue God’s work through our outreach ministries, and to bring more people into our parish.”
Krasinski still has that enthusiasm and said after seeing such a sizeable crowd at his induction, is even more inspired to make 2010 unforgettable.
See our Flickr page for additional pictures of this event.
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