LA CROSSE, Wis. -

The conflict in Syria may be thousands of miles away, but community members are hoping they can make a difference.

Community members and leaders from various congregations came together at Riverside Park Sunday to offer prayers of peace and sing songs of hope.

Organizers said the gathering wasn't necessarily to advocate for either side in the Syrian civil war.

They said they wanted to provide an opportunity for anyone to come for support.

"To gather people together, feel like we have one another for support, but also that we have power to pray and to petition God for peace as peacemakers in the world is really critical for people to feel like we have power in situations like this," said Pastor Libby Howe of the La Crosse area Synod of the ELCA.

Pastor Howe said a similar prayer vigil was held recently on gun violence.