Elizabeth Li (and Pascal the dog)
“I’ve been a member of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church since before I could form memories. It’s always been a part of my family and I didn’t really know how much a part of my life it was until I moved away. The strength that I found from this silent family was gone. First we lived in Maryland and then we moved to Chicago and we went to different masses - it just wasn’t the same. A lot of what we’re doing like posting sermons on Facebook and sharing photos across states...it makes me feel like I’m still there and never really left. That’s what’s more important to me than any church service or waking up every Sunday morning and going to a building out of ritual. It’s not as meaningful as the connections I’ve made my whole life.
Almost two years ago my fiance and I adopted a dog. It was a major step for us, mostly because our dog, when you adopt a dog, you don’t know the history - it has challenging moments. It was hard at times to see him hurt as a dog and us not knowing what to do or have people around to tell him it’s okay and tell us it’s okay. Growing up, having the blessing of the pets was always super fun, but we never had a pet growing up so I didn’t really get it until we had this dog that had “inner demons” or a past life that just made him anxious. The blessing of the pets was something that I finally got. And yeah, he needs this. With everything else in my faith, state borders haven’t prevented me from getting that connection, so why should it now? So, I emailed or Facebooked Keith and told him I had a pet that needed an exorcism, but a blessing will do. So, we got on Skype during the Blessing of the Pets ceremony and did it. My mom was at the beach and she skyped in too so we had this three-way Skype. It was ridiculous, but it was the ridiculousness that meant so much. It was so little and so small to hop on the computer for five minutes but it made such a difference in the way I approached Pascal (our dog) - he was in this family, this church family now, you have support, you have love. This year, my mom didn’t tell me it was pet Sunday, so she Skyped me in the middle of the church service and whispered “it’s the sermon right now, but it’s almost time…” We were in Chicago, so there was a time difference. She carried her phone up the aisle to the altar and blessed Pascal for the second time. It was so nice. It just goes to show you that faith knows no bounds and the love of our church has no boundaries.”