The name Timothy comes from the Greek Timotheos meaning “honoring God”. It is derived from the Greek words “timao” meaning “to honour” and “theos” or “God”.
Timothy was a “follower of Paul” who made him bishop of Ephesus in the first century AD. His father was Greek but his mother was thought to have been a Jewish Christian. This mixed parentage made him suspect to the faithful not knowing whether he was more Jew than Christian. As Timothy’s relationship with Paul continued Paul himself is said to have circumcised Timothy to demonstrate to the faithful that he was a true disciple. Timothy was ordained by Paul and went with Paul on his journeys to preach the Good News. Timothy served as bishop of Ephesus for 15 years before being stoned to death for trying to stop a pagan procession by preaching the gospel. He is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church as well as our Episcopal Church.
Our parish is named for St. Timothy’s because it was planted by St. Paul’s Walnut Creek in 1953. As Timothy was a follower of Paul so St. Timothy’s Danville follows in an unbroken chain of faith from that simple letter from Bishop Shires to the Rector of St. Paul’s Walnut Creek to go down the road in the San Ramon Valley and set up a mission church. And one month later services began in the homes of the faithful Rev Hodgkin had gathered.
As part of the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Timothy’s parish, the Vestry adopted a goal of preserving that unbroken chain of faith by committing the parish to pass it on in the form of planting a new mission church of our own. What form that church planting takes and when we are able to live into this goal is yet to be decided.
I believe that there is an unbroken chain of faith from God to the Bishop of California to St Paul’s Walnut Creek to St. Timothy’s Danville to serve God by advancing the mission of the church. Our Vision 2020 process and the calling of a new rector give our parish fresh opportunities to live into that unbroken chain.
What is God calling us to be?
That is the question we are being asked. How we answer it will guide St. Timothy’s future both in finding a new shepherd for this sometimes unruly flock as well as living into our vows to follow Paul along that unbroken chain of faith that is our own faith journey.