Introducing the Rev. Deacon Tim Ervolina: A Heart for Justice
By: The Rev. Deacon Clare Barry
Deacon Tim hails from Florida. He attended college at South Eastern University in Lakeland, Florida where he earned a degree in Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology. Later Tim graduated from Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary where he completed a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry. While in college, Tim said that he was involved in homeless ministry especially caring for the poor and the poorest of the poor. He stated that, “I came out of the far right evangelical movement. The more I studied Scripture, the less the Evangelicals could explain things adequately. I couldn’t stay in the Evangelical Movement and keep my faith.”
In the early nineties, Tim found himself doing College and Young Ministries at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida. There Tim experienced the “gentle nudge of the Spirit.” His rector asked Tim to attend Diocesan discernment day. This commenced a very long process, in fact; a seven year process of formal and of informal discernment. Tim knew his call was to “do justice. I knew that I wasn’t called to become a priest.” He felt that he was called to be “immersed between the Church and the world.” Not surprisingly, in 1999 The Right Rev. John Howe ordained Tim to the Diaconate at the Cathedral in Orlando. “Bishop Howe had a deep vision and commitment to the Diaconate.” Even though Tim had already studied many of the areas covered in the Deacon formation during college, Tim said, “I was very glad I took the program because the Anglican vision of Scripture, Reason and Tradition is very different from the way I learned it in school. I unlearned a bunch of things that I learned in school.” Tim’s formation program lasted three years, and he has been ordained for twenty years.
Tim worked with the United Way in South Carolina and then moved to Columbia where he became the State Director. He served as a Deacon at Church of the Resurrection in Greenwood, South Carolina followed by at St. Martins in the Fields in Columbia. For his Diaconal ministry, Tim represented his diocese in South Carolina on the National Episcopal Church’s Episcopal Relief and Development program. He advocated for the homeless in Columbia. He lead formation groups in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and now teaches New Testament, Community Organizing and Homiletics in the Diocese of Washington, DC to Deacon’s in formation. In 2018 Tim’s wife was offered a position as a rehabilitation specialist, so they moved to Asheville.
When Tim arrived in Asheville, Bishop Jose’ asked him to describe his passion. Tim stated that his passions, “were and continue to be social justice and caring for people no one wants to care for.” Tim was assigned to Church of the Advocate and Trinity. His ministry at Church of the Advocate involves, “working to get food donations and serving liturgically at the altar.” Besides serving liturgically at both parishes, Tim also works with the Outreach Committee at Trinity. Tim seems really enthusiastic about being the clergy liaison to the Diversity Initiative at Trinity. He looks forward to seeing the focus “on openness and inclusion weaving into everything that Trinity is doing in Ministry. You don’t just say it, but you actually do it.”
When asked about self care, Tim states,“ I spend a great deal of time in prayer and meditation.” He also does a lot of hiking. During the pandemic, Tim craves “simple quiet space.” Tim also enjoys reading on a Kindle.
Near the conclusion of our interview, Tim identified his favorite quotation as: “Amos 5:24 Let Justice Roll Down like a River.” May Deacons like Tim give us all a heart for justice.