The BelgianFriar is really just a guy (me) called Paul Baudhuin, a born and bred South Minneapolis boy, who loves his family, baseball, cycling, the misery that is the Minnesota sports scene, and also happens to be the pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in St. Louis Park, MN (aka: THEE Aldersgate UMC). When I’m not doing churchy stuff or hanging with my family, you’ll usually find me riding my bike or at a Twins game… or on really good days, riding my bike to a Twins game. I do not like winter. To quote a good friend, “I just want to be a good pastor, ride my bike, and have a beer.”
In July of 2015 I was appointed to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in St. Louis Park, MN, the town I call home. I am a Licensed Local Pastor in the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and currently seeking an MDiv from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. I have a great passion for both the efficacy and craft of preaching and the spoken word, but mostly recognize that being a pastor is about people loving one another, serving their communities, and opening their lives to the work of God’s spirit together. If you’re in the area, swing by Aldersgate UMC and check us out. We worship at 10:00am on Sundays.
Why The “BelgianFriar”? Well, in no way do I mean any disrespect to actual Belgians nor actual Friars (neither of which I am). I am Belgian in that I have a not-so-well known and hard to pronounce last name (Baudhuin), which is Belgian. So in that sense I am Belgian, but let’s be honest: All I really am is an American with a conglomerate of Western European genes. And in no way shape or form am I a friar. I am, however, a Licensed Local Pastor in the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. As I was pursuing credentials in the UMC and going to our annual conference gatherings, I became slightly amused by all the different orders and people’s interest in (and sometimes obsessions with) them. “What track are you on?” was on honest and common question, and I always wanted to respond, “the friar track”. I do have deep respect for the actual friar order in the Roman Catholic church, but it just seemed amusing to me to answer that way, since titles degrees, and other such accolades mean little to me.
In 2009 I entered the Twittersphere, and it asked me what I wanted my handle to be. There was an endless array of opportunity there, but it came quickly; “I’m the Belgian Friar.” So “@belgianfriar” it was. From there it has simply become a little bit of an online identity for me. Prior to that I had a blog called “Black Coffee”, but I’ve completely fallen away from it, and I am in a very different place now then I was when I created “Black Coffee’ (another story for another day), so I decided to start all over in the blogosphere and create “BelgianFriar.com”. All of that is to say that is why call myself the “BelgianFriar”. In no way do I intend any offense to actual Belgians or actual Friars. My intent is more of an homage. I hope you enjoy my random, not always put together so well, musings!