’80s nostalgia is everywhere these days, but one American Baptist preacher has taken it to another level. Tripp Hudgins, the 37-year-old pastor of the Community Church of Wilmette near Chicago, was looking for a way to help boost summer attendance. So he created a sermon series in which he discusses the spiritual themes that are woven into the films of John Hughes.
Hughes’ oeuvre includes the now-classic teen movies Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science—and many others, but these four were the focus of the series. Hudgins, who blogs as the Anglobaptist, screened the movies on Wednesdays and then discussed them on Sundays. Then on Monday, he’d videoblog on the sermon. He describes how this was an attempt to help people see that sermons aren’t something delivered from on high but rather something that happens in a congregation’s midst.
In a write-up for the Chicago Sun Times that was also picked up by the Huffington Post, Cathleen Falsani provides an overview of what Hudgins and his congregation discovered during the series. These observations, for instance, tie in with my personal favorite, The Breakfast Club.
In that 1985 film, which follows five teens — a jock, a burnout, a geek, a Goth girl, and a prissy rich chick — imprisoned in the school library for a Saturday detention, Hudgins found parallels to a story from the New Testament. In the Book of Galatians, St. Paul writes to the church in Galatia, which is struggling with infighting about whether new converts had to first become Jews before they could become Christians.
St. Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Likewise, in the letter Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) writes to the detention master on behalf of the group, he says, “We are all a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.”
Here’s the accompanying videoblog:
You can find additional “Monday Videoblogs” on the other movies at Hudgins’ YouTube Channel.