Are They Necessary?

Seventh-day Adventists, like any other organization, do certain things so much and so long that they become traditions that are seemingly unbreakable. Among these is the use of Ingathering award ribbons. . .

Seventh-day Adventists, like any other organization, do certain things so much and so long that they become traditions that are seemingly unbreakable. Among these is the use of Ingathering award ribbons.

On July 11, 1969, an article entitled "To Be or Not to Be" was placed in the Columbia Union Visitor, which called for church members' response to the time-worn use of Ingathering award ribbons. The article stated the amount spent on them and asked readers if they desired the practice to continue or not. In response to the article a woman from Pennsylvania wrote, "I say Amen to discontinuing the Ingathering award ribbons. Our family is in full agreement. This last year all four members of our family got Jasper Wayne awards. The children have gone Ingathering since they were three and they did it because they love the Lord and want Him to come soon. That is reward enough."

Another lady wrote, "I hasten to say, No, I do not want any ribbons. . . . We do not give or gather that money to be spent on ribbons. I have always felt like refusing mine."

A church in New Jersey sent in a list of 62 signatures requesting that the practice be discontinued as did several other churches throughout the union.

Of those who responded to this article roughly 90 percent favored discontinuing the practice and spending the money for more direct and productive church work. Almost everyone indicated he en joyed receiving them but readily admitted that they never used them and probably wouldn't miss them if they were never offered again. This is not to say that the Columbia Union is "kicking the habit," for we are not, at least for now. But we do think some of the saints would heartily approve if we did. And who knows, someone may just try it someday and discover the practice wasn't as essential as we thought for all these years.


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February 1970

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