CAN you imagine one hundred thousand envelopes with a purpose proclaiming some phase of the Adventist truth being sent through the mails every day of the year? These envelopes would share significant Adventist happenings such as commemorating anniversaries and calling attention to news worthy current events, evangelistic meetings, and perhaps even prophetic fulfillments. These extra ordinary envelopes would be going to homes and businesses, and would be seen, read, and collected by tens of thousands of people who collect such items and keep them in albums.
There are approximately 16 million stamp collectors in the United States alone, according to the lat est post office surveys. But world wide the figures are in the hundreds of millions. There are no breakdowns that I know of, as to how many of these collect envelopes, but a very large number are involved.
These envelopes with a purpose could be used by Adventist church members, institutions, and conference offices for their regular correspondence, just as readily as ordinary envelopes. The samples accompanying this article show how these envelopes with the story printed on the left side (called a cachet) can be used to proclaim the Adventist message wherever the letters might be sent.
What more simple utilitarian, practical way could be devised for missionary contact than that of using an envelope with a purpose? The cost, if these were printed in large volume, would be less than one cent each.
United States Steel has a slogan that is worth thinking about: "Better Communications Means Better Productivity." Here is another effective but inexpensive way of communicating our message, taking advantage of a simple means that all of us use anyhow nearly every day. Through this means every Adventist can be a broadcaster of truth for this time wherever postal systems are operative around the world.
Cachet envelopes are becoming more and more popular, not only as First Day cover items for collectors, but businesses and organizations are using this device to call attention to the anniversary of some important event with which they are connected. Collectors by the million save these items and often refer to their collections. They also trade these cachets with other collectors.
1974 is a great anniversary year in the Advent Movement. One hundred years ago the first Signs of the Times was published. And the first missionary, J. N. Andrews, left Boston for Europe. It is also the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the American Medical College in Battle Creek and the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of its successor institution in Loma Linda. What a great opportunity this presents for publicizing our movement before the world on envelopes with a purpose.
The University Stamp Club at Loma Linda will commemorate these events for collectors by having envelopes canceled postally on the exact days and in the cities where these great events originated. A special picture story (cachet) will tell about it on the envelope. But what could be far more important than a few Adventists and other collectors getting these envelopes with a purpose would be if thousands of Adventists and hundreds of institutions in this denomination were broadcasting this one-hundredth anniversary daily to a hundred thousand places throughout the world.
Ask yourself the question: "Would I rather use a blank envelope with no message on the outside in my communication or an envelope with a purpose?"
Millions of homes are waiting to be entered this year, 1974. Here is an opportunity to enter them in a friendly way with an item that will call attention to our faith.