The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, Priest in-Charge
Proclaiming by word and example the Good News, Seeking and Serving Christ in all persons, Striving for justice and peace among all people,
Respecting the dignity of every human being.
The words above are slightly rephrased from the baptismal covenant in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. We make these promises when we are baptized, and the community as a whole reaffirms them at each baptism and on special feast days during the year.
At St. Paul's we especially emphasize “all persons,” “all people,” and “every human being.” We welcome as friends everyone, of any race, gender, creed, denomination, political affiliation, or sexual orientation, for all of us “are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Along with inclusiveness, we emphasize Outreach, helping others, because all of us are made in God’s image and when we help another person we help Christ.
We are a sacramental church, in “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic tradition.” Each Sunday at Holy Eucharist we practice the table fellowship of Jesus and the first Christians, and we welcome everyone to receive Communion.
St. Paul's practices mutual ministry; that is all of us are ministers. We actively encourage lay ministry and leadership: non-clergy chair nearly all of our committees. We have a lay person as Pastoral Assistant in charge of the Pastoral Ministry Team and we have a lay Assistant Homilist, and parishioners preach many times during the year.
As Priest-in-Charge, when I preach I have four responsibilities:
1. help us better understand the Gospel;
2. help us better live out the Gospel;
3. help us see what impedes and obstructs the Gospel, whether it’s in our own lives, our parish, or our society;
4. help us to remove those obstructions and impediments.
Finally, we at St. Paul's strongly agree with this statement by Diana Butler Bass in Strength for the Journey: “The Church is called to make history and not to provide a safe haven from change for people who fear it.” At St. Paul's we are making history through the sacraments, worship, spiritual transformation and growth, inclusiveness, outreach, mutual ministry, and social justice.
Because of all of the above, I believe, St. Paul's has grown from a start-up house church in 2008 with about a dozen people to over 200 parishioners now. Newcomers usually say how welcoming we are and how comfortable they feel. We are more than a parish; we’re family.
We welcome you to join us.
The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, Priest-in-Charge
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Recent Publications by the Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian
The Holy Workshop of Virtue: The Life of Saint John the Little (with Maged S. A. Mikhail) (Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications/Liturgical Press, 2010).
On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good, by Jim Wallis. Levan Humanities Review. Bakersfield College: The Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. http://www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/lhr/2-1/Vivian.html.
“The Bodhisattva in the Desert: Ahimsa in the Desert Fathers,” Cistercian Studies Quarterly 48.1 (2013): 3-26.
“Vindicated by Her Deeds: A Preferential Option for the Dispossessed,” Anglican Theological Review 95:2 (Spring 2013): 311-324.
“Concelebration: The Poetic, Personal, and Political in ‘Human Being’ by Denise Levertov,” Anglican Theological Review 96:3 (Summer 2014): 535-557.
“Wake the Devil from His Dream: Thomas Dudley, Quincy Ewing, Religion, and the ‘Race Problem’ in the Jim Crow South,” Anglican and Episcopal History 83.4 (December 2014): 371-416.
“Kicking at the Darkness: A Meditation on the Life of Apa Matthew the Poor,” The American Benedictine Review 66:1 (March 2015): 56-69.
“To a Few Late Saints of Poetry,” Levan Humanities Review 3:1 (April 2015): 125. Bakersfield College: The Norman Levan Center for the Humanities.http://www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/lhr/2-1/Vivian.html.
“Late Morning, Lake Tahoe: August 6, 2014, Anglican Theological Review 97:3 (Summer 2015): 508.
Tim Vivian received a B.A in English and M.A. in Comparative Literature from UCSB, an M.A. in American Literature at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (Classics, History, Religious Studies) at UC Santa Barbara in 1985. Sponsored by the Diocese of Los Angeles, he received his M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Episcopal) in Berkeley in 1988, then went to Yale Divinity School as a Henry R. Luce Post-Doctoral Fellow from 1988-1990. He is currently a Professor of Religious Studies at CSU, Bakersfield. Tim has published thirteen books and over fifty articles on the history, theology, and spirituality of early Christian monasticism.
Tim has received the St. Shenoute the Archimandrite Coptic Society Annual Award (2005) “for his Significant Contributions to . . . Coptic and Monastic Studies"; the Faculty Research Award (Outstanding Researcher) at California State University Bakersfield (2008); and The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church's 2015 Nelson R. Burr Prize for "Wake the Devil from His Dream: Thomas Dudley, Quincy Ewing, Religion, and the 'Race Problem' in the Jim Crow South," for "that which best exemplifies excellence and innovative scholarship in the field of Anglican and Episcopal history."
Tim was ordained deacon in June 1988 by the Rt. Rev. Frederick Borsch, Bishop of Los Angeles, and priest in December 1988 by the late Rt. Rev. Ted Jones, Bishop of Northern Indiana, and served parishes in Santa Barbara and Connecticut before returning to California in 1990. He was one of the founding members of Remain Episcopal Bakersfield and was appointed Interim Vicar of Grace Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori in December, 2007 and, later, installed as Vicar by The Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb. Tim was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Bakersfield by The Rt. Rev. Chet Talton in July of 2013.
Tim is married to Miriam Raub Vivian, a History professor at CSU Bakersfield. They have three children: Meredith, a graduate in Public Policy from USC (M.A.) who works in Sacramento on behalf of CSU students; John, a doctoral student at UC Santa Cruz in Biomolecular Engineering; and David, a graduate in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and goalkeeper for the men's soccer team, who is applying for grad schools.