The Starfire Singers high school choir presents the world premiere of CJ Cafe: Building on Our Dreams (Quarantine Edition), an original musical by Dirk and Carol Damonte, on Friday, August 21, at 7:30pm. This premiere, a reworking of the stage show presented last summer, will be an online live-stream event with an opportunity for fellowship and conversation following the show.
CJ Cafe, first dreamed up in 1999 and “resurrected” with a sequel in 2019, offers a vision out of isolation and into collaboration and community. This summer’s story is a reimagination of the 2019 version, which was a continuation of the café that opened 21 years ago—which itself is a manifestation of a radically inclusive vision of community that was cast 2,000 years ago.
In the spring, Starfire found it was dealing with a global pandemic, a shelter-in-place order, a canceled summer tour, and no way to rehearse and perform a stage show. And yet, today the group is so grateful to still be sharing the message of God’s love with you and with this world. Despite the challenges, Starfire presents to you a virtual performance, complete with professional recordings of the show’s original music and video footage of a storyline that rings true in today’s bizarre reality.
This summer, the offering received during the show will support a new organization that embodies God’s call to be a changemaking people. Art Changes Us, directed by Carol Damonte, is a new program whose goal is provide Silicon Valley youth with work in the creative arts to develop compassion, self-sufficiency, and real-world skills. ACU believes that engagement in the creative process is a powerful force for social change and provides a life-changing opportunity for young people—especially when working together. ACU reaches across economic, racial, and social divisions and enriches our community by introducing local youth and their creative work to the business community in the greater Mountain View-Los Altos area. Having planned to launch in June, ACU jumped at the opportunity to fill voids created by the pandemic-mandated isolation and was able to launch in April 2020. Since then, ACU has successfully completed two sessions of beginning photography and one advanced photography class. ACU’s work of co-creating with God, of connection, and of innovation is central to the call we hear at the CJ Cafe. We hope you will give generously to support this new ministry.
Our world needs the message of CJ Café now more than ever. Our way of gathering may have changed. But our need for community, for each other, for connection, and for hope is more real than ever. Welcome home. Welcome to the CJ Café!