Sunday, February 22, 2015

Would You Do Me The Honor? A brief handout for prospective godparents?

Would You Do Me The Honor Of Considering Being
One Of My Godparents (For Eldsters)?

What is a Godparent For Eldster?

Each eldster with godparents, and none shall be afraid.

Godparents for Eldsters -- This brief conversation illustrates the benefits. 

CW: Co-worker: What's new? 

CH: Chuck: Godparents for Eldsters. 

(Quizzical look) 

CH: Eldster is a more honoring way than saying oldster. 

CW: How does it work? 

CH: You know how some churches have godparents for an infant being baptized, so if something happens to the parents, there's somebody? This is like that for eldsters. 

CW: Is this established already, or is it your idea? 

CH: As far as I know, it's mine.. 

CW: Get it going, people need it. 

Love in King Jesus, 


What does a Godparent for an Eldster do?  Where’s the Manual?


Where’s the Godparents For Eldsters Manual?  That what a harsh critic asked.

There isn’t one, I replied. Here are 4 things, yea 5, on which to concentrate--and a plan.

Why? Remember the paradigm of a godparent/sponsor for a youngster.  They step in to help when the parents of the youngster aren’t there to help.  Something similar might happen with eldsters.

Because the main thing to know is that something new is needed.  The system must be improved. A new element needs to be added.  Search: Nursing Home Problems. Search: Eldercare Issues.  Search: Elders In Poverty.  Etc.

How can a Godparent For Eldster help, then?

1—A Godparent is that new element.  When Mom was in trouble, and we called around to various agencies, we heard the remark ‘It’s always the daughter-in-law that calls’. This may not always be true, but it is true that there is a distance from the loved one that allows the daughter-in-law to be the one to act, to not deny.

2—A Godparent’s chief first action is prayer.

3—‘First, Do No Harm’ is a Godparent emphasis.  This should prevent much doping up.

4—Concentrate on what the loved one CAN do, not what the loved one CAN NO LONGER do. [That’s a good way to treat everyone, it seems to me].

OK, those are 4 things, what’s the plan.  The plan is, in part, to have a central source of history and information, a website for example, on which Godparents can post situations encountered, actions taken, suggestions for the future.

What’s the ‘yea, 5’?  The 5th is to act BEFORE the crisis.  Prevention, preparation…

O Lord be with (Exodus 3:12)

Charles Howard Hartman

What’s the ceremony for becoming a Godparent for an Eldster?

Here’s one we’ve used. It’s short.

Here’s a transcript.

This VERY short ceremony, 6 minutes, also exhibits the value. 


Witness: ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

Participants: ‘Amen.’ 

Hierarchy: (Witness speaking) 

‘I am Rev. _____, here on this ____ day of ____, A. D. _____, in _________ to witness the establishment of this covenant before God.’ 

‘The participants have been asked by ________ ________ to be ___ Godparents for Eldster (____self), in a way similar to that of Godparents or Sponsors for infants in some churches.’ 

Ethics: (Witness speaking) 

‘James 1: 27: King James Version (KJV) 
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 
Deuteronomy 5: 16: King James Bible 
Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.’ 

Oaths and Sanctions: (Witness speaking, then the One to be Protected) 

Witness: ‘The one to be protected will introduce the Godparents for Eldster to be, after which I, the witness, will ask them to vow to be such, under God:’ 

One to be Protected: ‘I introduce _______________, and _______________ (as many as have been asked).’ 

Witness: ‘Do you ________ accept the commission of Godparent for Eldster for ________, to protect ______ in ______ possible enfeeblement, vulnerability, and befuddlement as ___ ages, or otherwise needs protection, so help you God? ‘ 

Witness: ‘And, do you ________ accept the commission of Godparent for Eldster for ________, to protect ______ in ______ possible enfeeblement, vulnerability, and befuddlement as ___ ages, or otherwise needs protection, so Help you God? ‘ 

Witness: ‘This completes the reference to James 1:27.’ 

Succession: (Witness speaking) 

"Heavenly Father, we thank you for the truth of your Word that nothing in death or life will separate us from your love in Christ Jesus and that whether we live or die we belong to you. By your gracious Spirit strengthen those who have now committed themselves to ____name______ in this confidence and guide them should they face difficult decisions concerning ____his/her_____ care so that their actions may be in agreement with your holy will. Do not forsake them, but uphold and keep them in your love and peace through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen." 

(Witness) ‘Having now completed this covenant that I have witnessed, the Lord be with you. Go in peace.’

Were this more of an official church action, a more particular commissioning based on Matthew 28, and this particular work would have been better. The above script works well when a friend who is a Shepherd helps by witnessing.


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