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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Harnessing the force of godparents

Plus: 12 ways to connect with your godchild

"The Force is real, you know," my 4-year-old nephew said. He fixes his fierce expression on me. I nod. With increasing urgency, he said, "It really, really is."

For a minute, I wonder: Should I pursue this thought with him? Could I talk about how the Force is like God? It has been awhile since I've seen any part of the Star Wars series. Can I pull off this theological discussion, with a 4-year-old no less?

photodiscThere's added pressure because I'm also my nephew's "Christian Monitor." In other traditions, I'd be called a godmother. But I'm not Roman Catholic, and my sister and brother-in-law are, so I must be called the Christian Monitor. I kind of like that title.

Lately I've been doing more monitoring than guiding or leading. And I've been feeling guilty about that. I had such good intentions. More than that, I took solemn vows.

Even if you're not an official godparent, you've taken vows too. Each time we baptize a child, as a congregation we vow to support that child and family. It's time to think about concrete ways we can do that, whether for our individual godchildren or for the children in our families and churches.


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August issue

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