Susan Sinju
Interfaith Choirs rehearse at the First United Methodist Church on Sept. 22. They will perform at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept.27.

SALT LAKE CITY — The First United Methodist Church will host the Celebration of Faith, the 10th anniversary of Interfaith Choirs, at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. The event will also honor First Methodist's historic pipe organ installed in 1906, which the church is preparing to raise funds to renovate.

Music director Scott Mills said the choirs were formed a few years after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. "It all started because we, the old downtown churches, needed to come together at a difficult time in singing, praying and worshipping God together."

Choirs participating in the event come from the Cathedral of the Madeleine, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, First United Methodist Church, the LDS Ensign and Emigration Stakes and First Presbyterian Church.

The evening will include short talks given by a priest from each church, or a stake president, as is the case with the stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, followed by a musical performance from the choir of that church, as well as music provided by the combined choirs.

The downtown churches have all rotated in hosting this yearly event; St. Mark's hosted last year.

Lynn Aimes, who was the Ensign Stake president for nine and a half years, was one of those who helped create the Community Celebration of Faith in 2004. "Interfaith Choirs was started as a way to break down barriers and make friends with churches in downtown," he said.

The Ensign Stake's Barbara Cramer added, "It is a way to build friendships between churches in the downtown area."

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Cristy Valentine has been with Interfaith Choirs for 10 years. She remembers the Ensign Stake hosting the first celebration. "People I see year after year at Interfaith Choirs have become my friends," she said.

The highlight of the event will be when all five choirs, directed by Mills, join together to sing Martin Shaw's "With a Voice of Singing" and Thomas Ken and Thomas Tallis' "All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night."

The event is open to the public and admission is free. First United Methodist Church is at 203 S. 200 East in Salt Lake City.

A graduate of BYU School of Journalism, Susan can be reached at Susan is also a member of the Ensign Stake Choir and participates in interfaith choirs and has been for several years. She contributed to this story, loves music.