June 2, 2003

Our guests for the meeting were
  • Rev. Robert E. Stetson
    Pastor Roslindale Baptist Church
  • Rev. Thomas E. Goldthwaite
    Pastor Central Baptist Church
  • Mr. John Kennedy
    Director Boston Baptist Social Union
  • Mr. David Cloues
    Director Boston Baptist Social Union
As we came into the room. A slide show of pictures from China was being displayed on a large screen in the front of the room. We began our meeting by standing and singing the hymn "Fair Name of Jesus". The hymn was unfamiliar to most of us, but the tune would be familiar to many Chinese. By the fourth stanza we had learned the tune and sang with more gusto.
Rev. Robert E. Stetson, Pastor of the Roslindale Baptist Church led us in a prayer of Invocation. Rev. Stetson said he was happy to be here and reminded us that his father had been a long time member of the Boston Baptist Social Union and served many years as the chairman of the Christian Work Committee.
During dinner Chinese music was played as the slides of China were displayed on the screen. The dinner on this night was extra special as we had the choice of lobster or steak. The meal with a nice salad followed by the traditional New England style clam chowder. Next we surprised with a bowl of steamed clams and drawn butter. The entree was served with asparagus. Dessert was a edible chocolate bowl with a chocolate parfait, drizzled in chocolate syrup.
Ed Hobart introduced the program for the evening. A video produced by Bob Beck showed many scenes from China from their 2002 trip and an earlier one in 1999. In July 2002, five American Baptists from Massachusetts traveled to China to teach English to Chinese Middle School teachers. They were joining 100 other Christians from the United States and England to participate in the Amity Foundation's five week seated left to right: Rev. Wallace, John Jackson, Bob Beck , and  Ed HobartEnglish Summer Program.
Four of the five who went on the trip were with us that evening and fielded questions from the group. We saw some pictures of Christians worshipping in China. We were amazed to learn how much freedom there is to worship in China. We were astonished at the levels of poverty in the western provinces and intrigued at the differences in "public" education. Teachers are paid by the government, but parents have to pay for their children to attend school.
We ended our meeting with a prayer of benediction given by the Rev. Thomas E. Goldthwaite of Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford.