1. What is your name? Tripp Hudgins.
2. Where do you live? At present we live in Berkeley, CA. I'm working toward a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies and Ethnomusicology. Most recently my wife and I lived in Wilmette, IL. a northern suburb of Chicago. I grew up in Virginia and still think of it as home.
3. What do you do? That is an odd question. I do lots of things. But to follow the colloquial understanding, I am an ordained American Baptist Minister. I most recently pastored the Community Church of Wilmette. I presently serve as the Associate Pastor for Christian Formation at First Baptist Church, Palo Alto. I play a lot of music and spend too much time on Facebook when I should be reading.
4. Explain why you call youself Anglo-Baptist, and what the "Anglo" part represents. Well this is worth a longer answer. I attended an Episcopal seminary where I learned the term "Anglo-Catholic." I had never encountered it before. At any rate, it typically refers to an Episcopalian (Anglican?) who understands the denomination to be a catholic tradition in line with the teachings of the Church throughout the centuries. It is not Protestant like the Baptist tradition is or the Presbyterian tradition is. There is also something about the "apostolic succession" in this as well. For more answers, ask AKMA. The other typing that receives the "Anglo Catholic" label has to do with a preference for high liturgy. The smells and the bells matter. Liturgy, specifically high or elaborate liturgy, is a hallmark of this tradition. When I was in seminary, my fellow students found me a curiosity. A Baptist was enrolled at an Episcopal seminary? How odd! What was perhaps even more odd is that I was studying Liturgy. So, there I was a free-church protestant in an Episcopal seminary studying liturgy. And to top that off, I found myself more and more drawn to the higher church traditions within Anglicanism. I am a high-church Baptist. An Anglo-Baptist if you will. It became a nickname...and it stuck. So what the heck? I am a liturgical, high-church Baptist. (Where are my sanctus bells!? Lord have mercy!) I see the Baptist tradition as stemming from the Anglican. It is not a far stretch to extend back in time and claim that heritage.
5. Married? Kids? Yes. My wife's name is Trish. She is an actor. No kids...cats, instead.
6. Pets? Yes, Two cats named Mike and Lily.
7. You seem almost liberal. How come you are still Baptist? I find that a puzzle myself some days. I think that it can be simply stated that the Baptists claimed me as their own during my college days. I was baptized in an Episcopal (The plot thickens!) church as an infant but we never really attended. There are reasons for that, but a blog is public. Maybe I'll email you if you are nice. Then you can know the nitty gritty. I was somewhat active with the Baptist Student Union during my undergrad years and picked up a BA in Religion. Afterward I went to Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond for about nine months. I was not ready for ministry. My Baptist minister step-grandfather, Rev. Dr. Paul B. Watlington, Jr., had been a profound influence. He taught me how to love the tradition in spite of itself, but I had not yet made up my mind. When I moved to Chicago in '97 I played around for a little but eventually found myself serving as the bass soloist for a local Baptist congregation. My first Sunday the woman who is the pastor there stood in the pulpit and preached from Nouwen's work Wounded Healer. Woman minister? Catholic writings? And yet...smells Baptist. Looks Baptist but it ain't actin' Baptist. My step-grandfather would be thrilled! I joined within a couple of years. Incredible. I love that congregation still. They too love the Baptist tradition in spite of itself and because of itself.
8. Hold on...you sing? Yep. Professionally even! I also play guitar, mandolin and bouzouki. Sometimes I bang on the drum all day, too. I was in a band that rocks the pubs and street corners of Chicago. Every now and again I fly back to Chicago to play.
9. Hold on again! You were baptized as an infant?! Yes. And the congregation I joined claims one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. If I confirm the one as an infant, they do not feel any need to dunk me. So confirmed, I joined the church. Anglo-Baptist, indeed. Welcome to the Church. Confused?
10. Do you ever discuss anything other than religion? All the time. But the purpose of the blog is primarily religious. I love music, dogs, food, and soccer...I used to ride my bike over long distances for many days (500 miles in six days was the most), but those days are gone. I like movies and the theater as well. And there is more, but the blog is more about music, religion and the like. Every so often something will show up here, but it is increasingly rare...or perhaps increasingly integrated so that I can no longer speak about riding my bike 500 miles without speaking about Jesus. Who can say?
Ordination Essays: These are the essay questions I had to answer in partial fulfillment of my ordination process as an ABC minister. I share this stuff so those who need such information about my theology can have it. I wrote these in 2004. Some times has passed since then and I think differently about some of this stuff now, but that's part of the journey of faith. We are transformed every day. Isn't it grand?
1. Please share with us a concise statement of your faith.
2. What philosophical and theological systems underlie the cognitive side of your faith?
3. What is your understanding of the Trinity? How is it relevant to our faith today?
4. What is the nature and mission of the local church?
5. How do you understand the authority of the Bible? In what ways does the Bible function in your life?
6. How do you understand prayer in terms of your personal life and the corporate life of the church?
7. Discuss what you believe the task of the minister to be. How do you see yourself in relationship to various forms of ministry? What are your career goals?
8.As you assess your personal capacities for ministry at this time, what do you consider your strongest points and what do you feel to be the aspects most needing development?
9. What does ordination mean to you? Why have you elected to be ordained to the Gospel ministry or have your ordination recognized in the ABCUSA? What experiences led you to make this choice?
10. How do you see the ABCUSA in relation to the Church universal? What is your understanding of ABC polity and organization?
11. Given the historic Baptist principle of separation of church and state, how do you see the duty of the church toward society?