Emerald Hills Institute

SOUTH SALT LAKE — When the South Salt Lake Interfaith Council was established two years ago, its primary objective was to help residents, especially refugees and immigrants, to feel welcome and safe.

“The goal was for residents to feel a sense of belonging,” said Lauren Levorsen, who serves as the council’s co-chairwoman.

The council felt progress toward this goal was achieved last week through a musical and cultural celebration that drew more than 250 people — much more than anticipated and standing room only, according the Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church.

“The event ... was a huge step in helping the city of South Salt Lake to engage various cultural groups within the city and help them to feel a part of the community,” Pastor McVickers said. “Also for the various groups to share with all of the participants and the larger community about their culture and values.”