As summer slowly fades away and fall creeps in, schools in Austin started back with the help of Greater St. John Bible Church’s “Unity in the Community Picnic” on Sept. 2.

This was Greater St. John Bible Church’s 18th annual community picnic, which took place at LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie.

Austin neighborhood kids will be better equipped when going to school this semester as the church passed out more than 100 book bags with notebooks, pens, paper, pencils, and crayons. The line of students was very long, but moved quickly as the teens of the church serviced the kids.

DJ Big Al played all types of music from traditional gospel to the modern gospel artists such as Kirk Franklin. Speakers were placed in a certain angles so the music could sweep over the park.

Different people in the park there for various reasons came over to the picnic to get a plate or something cold to drink. They were welcomed with a friendly hug and shown to the different activities.

Participants dined on a menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, green beans, spaghetti, cole slaw, potato salad and much more. Also there were two tables full of deserts such as apple pie, cookies, and different types of cakes.

The community affair had several age-related activities like face painting for kids, and an adult softball game.

Pastor Ira Acree, dressed down in gym shorts and the church’s burgundy T-shirt, even took part in some of the activities.

“This is for the community,” said Acree, as he pointed to the area where the different activities were happening.

A volley ball net was secured safely in the dirt for those wanting to play a game. Lafayette basketball court wasn’t far away for men or women to get a quick game of b-ball. And the music was just right for a group of dancers to start the Cha-Cha Slide.

Children jumping and interacting with a clown hired for the occasion, and participating in traditional picnic games such as a one-foot hop race. The clown blew up colorful balloons that were shaped as swords, hats, hearts and even poodles.

As the children walked away with their bag of goodies one little boy said, “I hope they do this again next year.”

Sister Pat Moore who has been a member of the church for more than two years said, “Every year we get more and more people. We are hear to have fun and fellowship with the community.”

Greater St. John Bible Church is located on 1256 N. Waller, and has two Sunday morning services. For more information call 773/378-3300.