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
Publications by the Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian
“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.
Tim Vivian received 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 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 Bishop 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 graduate student at UC Santa Cruz in Bimolecular Engineering who works in the school's IT department; and David, a junior Literature major at UC Santa Cruz and a goalkeeper for the men's soccer team.