Every morning, more than 20,000 people leave Santa Cruz county and commute to work in Silicon Valley. Even with a large research university and seaside real estate, it’s hard for Santa Cruz to compete with the Valley’s pull on engineers and entrepreneurs. But with a $700 billion industry headquartered over the hill, there’s a lot to be gained from local efforts to stretch Silicon Valley to the beach.
On a cloudy Saturday afternoon in Aptos, the church choirmaster leads a quartet singing the 23rd Psalm. Today, the Episcopal Church of St. John is packed with Catholics. They’re here to support the ordination of a Santa Cruz woman named Christine Fahrenbach. In an anteroom near the altar, she’s busy putting on an alb, traditional garb for Catholic priests.