Anthony Hutchinson: You can call him 'Father Tony'

His proper title is the Rev. Dr. Anthony Hutchinson, but you can call him "Father Tony."

Hutchinson is the senior pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland. He moved here last year from Beijing, China.

He was a diplomat for the U.S. Department of State for 25 years with an expertise in Chinese culture. He served as director of China analysis for the State Department as well as cultural counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for Ambassadors Jon Huntsman and Gary Locke.

In 2008, he was ordained in the Hong Kong Anglican Church, where he served as chaplain at St. John's Cathedral and professor of biblical languages and literatures at Ming Hua Theological Seminary. After that, he was an assisting pastor at the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing, China.

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the rector will give a free presentation on progressive Christianity from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus.

What will you talk about in your presentation?: This is an overview to the various movements in contemporary Christianity that present themselves as progressive or emergent, and how they distinguish themselves from more theologically and socially traditional, conservative and fundamentalist.

The lecture hopes to give background to prepare people new to these ideas for the March lectures that will be given by Marcus Borg, one of the founders of the Jesus Seminar at Southern Oregon University.

What fact about your topic gets your audience's attention?: The fact that "progressive Christianity" is not a contradiction in terms and that "literal, Bible believing Christianity" usually is.

How do you first introduce yourself to your audience?: With a smile.

What's your favorite aspect about Ashland?: The fact that in many ways it is an intentional community. Those who are here generally have chosen to be here.

What do you like to do in Ashland during your time off?: Walk, garden, read, play Celtic harp.

How can we learn more about you?: My blog at

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