The P.R.A.Y. Religious Emblem Program Has a New Look

This fresh new look is a blend of the traditional and contemporary. The recognitions retain the cross on the shield, but they feature a new color-coded design to symbolize how the four programs come together to build a foundation of faith for young people. The four colors represent the four levels in the P.R.A.Y. series, i.e. God and Me (red), God and Family (yellow), God and Church (blue), and God and Life (green). The four colors converge into a point to create an “X” at the center of the cross. “X” is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ, and it is symbolic of how Christ should be at the center of our lives.

This new look coincides with a name change. Rather than referring to the curriculum as the “God and Country” series, it will now be called “The PRAY Program,” and the individual medals will no longer say “God and Country” but rather the specific program name, i.e. God and Me, God and Family, etc.

These changes come a great deal sooner than originally anticipated. The new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and subsequent regulations and mandatory testing of children’s jewelry, forced P.R.A.Y. to not only accelerate the implementation of the new name and new look, but to also revamp its entire line of awards and reduce the number of items offered.

One thing that has not changed, however, is the actual content. The curriculum content and program requirements (i.e. GAMEBoxes, Pizza, Bible lessons, etc.) are still the same. The “old” books are not obsolete: you may continue to use them. However, you will need to print new order forms with correct prices to order recognitions (all recognitions will be the new style).

We know you will have questions about these changes! We hope you take the time to read through some of the more detailed explanations below. We appreciate your patience as we implement these changes. Thank you for your ministry to youth through the P.R.A.Y. program!

Rationale – letter from CEO

P.R.A.Y. – the staff, the board of directors, member denominations, and member agencies – have been discussing the usage of the God and Country program (or lack of it) for several years. An increasingly common thread emerged: the name “God and Country” was holding us back. “God and Country” was perceived as a BSA program written by them for use by their members only. “God and Country” also inferred that the curriculum included a “country” component with emphasis on national heritage. This created confusion among the denominations and other youth agencies. “God and Country” also created confusion among individual customers who thought they were ordering a God and Me medal, only to call the P.R.A.Y. office about the incorrect “God and Country” medal they thought they received in error.

The board instructed staff to research renaming the program and the possibility of creating a new look. We found both and had decided to test market the new concept and roll it out over the next year with the launch to be in 2010. Then the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 became law with the cost of testing each batch of items. Rather than pay for more dies and tests we jumped the plan ahead to June 2009.

All our items are in compliance with the CPSIA. The real impact of the CPSIA has been the mandatory testing which has forced us to reduce the number of items we offer and to change the way we order (especially in terms of quantity and frequency). The good news out of all of this is that we were able to maintain most prices and in the case of the ¾ pin actually reduce the price.

We’re excited about the new look for the P.R.A.Y. Program and the new focus it puts on our ministry. Thank you for partnering with us as together we work toward Building Faith in Youth!

Transition
Although it is impossible to hold double inventory, P.R.A.Y. will make the old style recognitions available for a limited time. Here are our thoughts:

Our primary concern is for the older youth who have already completed 2 of the four programs. We want them to be able to continue with the series and end up with a matching set of medals. We anticipate making the old God and Church medallion available for 2 or 3 years, and the old God and Life medallion available even past that. However, our commitment extends only to the standard Protestant medallions, not the supplemental items such as charms and pins. These supplemental items will be available only as long as supply lasts (when they run out, they will not be re-ordered).

We are launching the new medals on July 6th, and new medals will automatically be shipped on all orders unless the customer requests the “old” style recognitions at the God and Church and God and Life levels. Requests must be in writing directly on the application form (use red ink or a post-it to add “Old Style” to the form).

You can check out the full line of P.R.A.Y. Publishing recognition items and learn more about the medals and prices at:
http://www.praypub.org/new_look.htm

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