Three International Day of Prayer for Peace events are being planned in the area.
The Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona will hold a Christian service of prayer at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Twenty-eighth Street Church of the Brethren, 2800 Union Ave.
The theme is "Light in the Darkness."
The Rev. Marlys Hershberger, pastor of Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren, said the prayer time is meaningful because of its international emphasis.
"All kinds of people around the world are praying for peace within the same 24-hour period," she said.
She said the day is important because "we often feel overwhelmed by the contention and violence in the world and sometimes think of prayer as a last resort.
"We think, 'what can we do' when it hits us that praying should be the first thing we do."
She said the service will emphasis peace at all levels, including peace with God and with neighbors in the community and around the world.
One of the participants is the Rev. Michael Rhyne, pastor of Newry and Geeseytown Lutheran churches. He will talk about having peace with God and share about a time in his life when he drifted away from his faith.
"God does not give up on us," he said.
"So many people fall away from church and think God is going to be mad, but Jesus leaves us with his peace," Rhyne said.
Other participants include: Father Daniel Sinisi, chaplain of St. Francis University and the Rev. Towanda Acey, pastor of Jaggard-First and Lakemont United Methodist churches
Music will be provided by Earla Reffner and Dorothy Liller.
The Day of Prayer is one of the initiatives of the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence to coincide with the United Nations' International Day of Peace.
At Penn State Altoona, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity will present the "International Day of Peace" from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Eve Chapel sanctuary.
The event will include singing, dancing and poetry reading. An "Intro to Buddhist Meditation" will be held at 4 p.m. and a "Drum Chant Peace Circle" at 5 p.m.
The Interfaith Initiative Centre County and the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs at Penn State University in State College also will hold a program.
Zainab al-Suwaij, co-founder of the American Islamic Congress, will speak on "Interfaith Dialogue" at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on campus. A reception will be held from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.
An interfaith panel will speak on "Reaching In, Reaching Out: Visions of a Just and Peaceful Society from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Memorial Lounge. Members of the panel are al-Suwaij, Rabbi David Ostrich of Congregation Brit Shalom and the Rev. David Witkovsky, chaplain of Juniata College.