This past weekend I got to reconnect with one of the Cornell students who helped plant the Ithaca Vineyard way back in 1999. Dennis Liu began attending the Cornell Vineyard in the Fall 1998 semester, and immediately began attending the Syracuse Vineyard with us.
When we started the Ithaca Vineyard in February of 1999 Dennis was part of the worship team, and involved in a number of various ways at the church. In the summer of 1999, Dennis attended the Vineyard’s national conference with James & me, and while he was there he met the pastor of a Chinese Vineyard church in the LA area.
After graduating Cornell a year later, Dennis moved to LA to attend seminary at Fuller and begin an internship at the Vineyard of Harvest. He soon became the youth pastor of the church and currently serves as the pastor of the English speaking congregation.
While Liz, James and I have been able to connect with Dennis at a few Vineyard events over the past few years, this weekend was the first time I had gotten to spend some extended time with Dennis since he moved out to LA.
On Friday I flew out and attended the annual Summer Retreat for the Vineyard of Harvest’s English congregation. Dennis had invited me out to speak at the retreat last fall and I had a great time hanging out with them.
While I was talking to Dennis, I found out that another of the students who began attending the Vineyard shortly after we began the church, Paul Kim, was also currently serving as a pastor in LA.
One of the tough things about being part of a church in Ithaca is how many people are only passing through. But it was pretty exciting to see that even from an early stage we have people leaving and getting involved in full-time ministry.