There will be a time for prayer in Johnstown’s Central Park on Aug. 18.
Prayers in the Park organizer Paul Rinker believes the event will draw attention to the issue of violence in schools. The service is scheduled for 5 to 6:30 p.m.
“I’m hoping that if we have enough people praying, that maybe God, in his mysterious ways, will bring an end to the school violence,” said Rinker, a downtown Johnstown resident.
Rinker wants to bring together local Protestant, Catholic and Jewish leaders, along with elected officials.
An invitation has been extended to individuals from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, where a mass stabbing incident took place in April.
“I don’t expect 50,000 people from Murrysville to come rushing to Johnstown, but I would really like to see them come, because I think the prayers would really aid in their healing process,” Rinker said.
He hopes as many as 300 worshippers attend.
“I don’t think that would be too many people for the park,” Rinker said. “That would be just a nice number. I hope everybody enjoys themselves, but it’s a serious deal.
“I’m hoping that there are a lot of believers out there that believe like I do that the school violence has got to stop. I feel that when all else fails, prayer works.”
Rinker is looking for volunteers to help with the event or donate supplies, such as water. Anybody interested in assisting can call him at 410-3877.
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.