Friday, December 18, 2009

African Mothers Day celebration was beautiful!

This year's African Mothers Day celebration, the highlight of First Fruits, was 100 times better than last year. Despite the snow storm, we had an awesome, diverse audience. Every woman, young or old, received a rose. The children from the Charles Riley Tutorial Program practiced reciprocity by donating change to the bowl. The Watoto-Lumumba Dancers recited the 'Parable of the Eagle.' The children told folk tales and blew the candles at the end of the program. Kudos to long time Institute supporter Ester Gliwinski for hosting African Mothers Day at the new and improved School #33 on Webster Avenue.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

Today is the first day of traditional First Fruits. First Fruits last until December 26, when we at the Institute celebrate Dr. Karenga's version of Kwanzaa. This is the schedule as of December 1 of our 32 day programs and activities. Please bring your families to as many of these events as possible.
Dec. 1: KWANZAA APPRECIATION PROGRAM 6pm at 219 Hamilton Street--donation collected and a brief introduction on the importance of Kwanzaa and First Fruits
Dec. 2-5, 7-12, 14, 16-19, 21-25: 6 pm at 219 Hamilton Street, where we honor our ancestors with a libation, say prayers and the young people blow candles
Dec. 6, 13, 20: Family Hour from 4- 6 pm, followed by libation and prayer
Dec. 15: AFRICAN MOTHERS DAY-- all women and girls receive flowers to represent their cultural and historical role as the mothers and teachers of all the children in the community, 6 pm at School #33, 500 Webster Av, Rochester NY
Dec. 26: Umoja 6 PM at 219 Hamilton Street
Dec. 27: Kujichagulia 4-6 pm at 219 Hamilton Street
Dec. 28: Ujima 6 pm at 219 Hamilton St
Dec. 29: Ujamaa--6 pm at 219 Hamilton St
Dec. 30: Nia-6 pm at 219 Hamilton St
Dec. 31: Kuumba -- 6 pm at 219 Hamilton
Jan. 1, 2010: Imani--6 pm at 150 Highland Ave (St John's Home)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Fruits/Kwanzaa season is upon us!

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will open its First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebration on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 (6 PM) in a public open ceremony at 219 Hamilton Street. The events, activities and workshops about First Fruits/Kwanzaa will be at the headquarters of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. each evening for the month of December at 6 pm. The only exceptions will be:
The African Mothers Day celebration, which will be held at School No. 33, 500 Webster Avenue, on December 15, 2009 and
The Kwanzaa Feast, which will be held at St. John's Home, 150 Highland Avenue on January 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A wonderful weekend of celebrating Doology!

From October 31 to November 2, the members and supporters of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. celebrated Doology as part of the 39th anniversary of the Institute. On Saturday October 31, we sang an early Happy Birthday to Minister Gerald Evans, before the trustee meeting. Our get together with our Ohio chapter was too short, however.

Sunday morning, November 1, we were treated to an excellent Doology workshop. According to Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, most people are selfish by nature and not very giving. When people get training, they often become extremely giving. Doology tries to balance between selfishness and altruism. Once a person uses Doology in their everyday living, he or she is able to develop self first and his/her community second. Doology also helps you to utilize your time constructively. Doology also improves your social skills.

Minister Evans developed Doology when he was thirteen years old, based on the informal lessons from his mentor and grandmother, Madame Martha Jordan.

At the November 2 lecture, Minister Evans stressed that people make things happen. Because of his grandmother's involvement with the struggle, she was very influential in exposing young Minister Evans to the prominent black leaders of the 1960s. Minister Evans was able to talk to them face to face. Minister Evans recounted about his many attempts to get black churches in Rochester to set up tutorial programs in the 1970s, but he was turned down by all of them; thus he formed his own at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 Day weekend celebration of the 39th Anniversary of the Institute and Ministers Gerald and Lawrance Evans

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. invites you to the three day celebration/fundraiser of the 39th anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. and the birthday of Ministers Lawrance and Gerald Evans:

Saturday 31 October: annual trustee meeting of the First Community Interfaith Institute Board of Trustees, 12pm, 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY, followed by field work and dinner

Sunday, 01 November: Doology workshop 10 am, special Family Hour Worship Service 4 pm, both at 219 Hamilton Street

Monday, 02 November: birthday of twin ministers Gerald and Lawrance Evans, special lecture starting at 6:30 pm, 219 Hamilton Street

Friday, August 28, 2009

Doology Workshop on Aug 23

Minister Evans summarized the main points of PLATE ANEW, one of the tenets of Doology:

PAY: you must pay for what you need and want--how valuable is what you need and want?
LABOR: you must labor for what you want
ASSOCIATE: you must associate with other people with similar values- you need to deal with people more than on a social level
TIME: our most wasted resource
EFFORT: related to ATTITUDE (See below)

ATTITUDE: what you think about a particular issue
NURTURE: you must nurture the right things, as well as yourself
ENERGY: life is about energy; we must focus on what is important
WIN: we must be successful by winning

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Services offered at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

  • Mentorship--Ministry School of Doology
  • Tutoring--Charles Riley Tutorial Program
  • Case management
  • Recycling program--cans and bottles
  • Adult tutorial program
  • Funerals, African weddings, and event organizing
  • AAFRO Festival in Elyria, Ohio
  • Advocacy and organization
  • Political education
  • Doology cards
  • Lowest price, highest quality baked goods

Friday, July 31, 2009

The 30TH Annual FCII Festival 2009 was a success!

The 30th Annual AAFRO Festival, renamed the FCII Festival and Trade Show, was one of the highlights of the year for this blogger. The theme was "Unity in the Community--It is Your Turn!" For the opening day (July 9), Minister Gerald Evans had some participants walk down Cleveland Street in an effort to familiarize us with the local businesses . On July 10, we spent the day at Lorain County Community College for the morning trade show, in which local agencies and businesses promoted themselves, followed by lunch, workshops, and the Elizabeth Coleman dinner, in which various organizations and individuals from Elyria/Lorain area were presented awards for their support of the festival. On July 11, we had Family Unity Community Day at Lorain County Community College which featured recreation. Although we were unable to be outside due to heavy rain, we enjoyed ourselves. In the afternoon there were more workshops, including one about the 2010 census and one about politics.

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans was the keynote speaker at the Martha Jordan Dinner. On Sunday July 12 we had church service outdoors at the Kanisa House, with Minister Akilah Ife Evans as the speaker. The festival came to an all too early end for everyone, and we all anticpate a bigger and better FCII festivakl in 2010. Kudos to Minister Gerald Evans for his outstanding work!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Schedule of events for the 30th Annual AAFRO Festival and Trade Show

On July 9-12, First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio will once again host the 30th Annual AAFRO (African Americans for the Respect of Others)Festival and Trade Show in Elyria, Ohio. Hotel accomodations have yet to be finalized, but here is the complete schedule of events for the four day weekend:

Thursday July 9
8 am: Prefestival meeting-- Kanisa House, 142 Cleveland St, Elyria
1-3 pm: Opening celebration
6-8 pm: Lucy Battle "Unity in the Community Day"--Kanisa House

Friday July 10
9 am: Trade Show--Lorain County Community College, Spitzer Center
12 pm: Trade Show Luncheon--LCCC, Spitzer Center
1:30 pm: Trade Show workshops--LCCC, Spitzer Center
6 pm: Elizabeth Coleman Dinner--LCCC, Spitzer Center (awards presentation and entertainment)

Saturday July 11
9 am: Ruth Hamilton "Family Unity Community Day-- LCCC, Ewing Center (recreation)
12 pm: Ruth Hamilton Luncheon--LCCC, Spitzer Center
1:30 pm: Workshops-- LCCC, Spitzer Center
6 pm-- Martha Jordan Dinner-- LCCC, Spitzer Center (Minister Lawrance Lee Evans is keynote speaker)

Sunday July 12
9-11 am: Gladys Evans activities and Family Worship Hour--Kanisa House

For more information, contact Minister Gerald Evans at

Lorain County Community College:

7/2/09: Update: Accomodations for the AAFRO Festival: Comfort Inn Elyria, 739 Leona St

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Malcolm X observation

On this special Family Hour commemorating the 84th birthday of Brother Malcolm X, Minister Evans noted that black people either like or dislike Malcolm X. We can disagree with a leader's tactics, but we must analyze the total picture in terms of the leader's organizing. In his final days, Malcolm was trying to organize a nationalist power base, but he had little help. His team was waiting for direction while he was out of the country traveling. We let Malcolm die because of our lack of organization. We cannot organize when we are complaining and not performing a self analysis of ourselves. Part of our problem is that we fall in the self-inferiority complex--we allow others to intimidate us. We must encourage intelligent people to be intelligent and teach our young people to organize.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Doology: Prevention of Hopelessness and Homelessness

The first annual "Doology: Prevention of Hopelessness and Homelessness" was a major success! With an attendance of over 100 adults and children, the program featured gospel singing, African dance, award presentations, and a vocal tribute to the late singer Odetta.

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans gave award certificates to the House of Mercy, an organization in northeast Rochester that provides food and temporary housing to people in need; Brother Darryl Porter, a longtime supporter of the Institute, now special assistant to Rochester mayor Robert Duffy; and Sister Ester Gliwinski, a teacher in the Rochester City School District who regularly donates supplies to the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

Minister Evans encouraged the audience to give back to those who helped them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now it is My Time!

Minister Evans pointed out that too often, we often use shortcuts to avoid hard work. When we use shortcuts in this manner, we do not achieve positive outcomes. We must demand that the people in our circle use their intellectual abilities. We must also demand that the same people in our circle do all they can to improve the community. Parents who engage in negative behavior can involve their child in something positive to offset the parent's negative influence.

Please join us this Sunday at St. John's Home, 150 Highland Ave,5 pm, for the special Doology: Prevention of Hopelessness and Homelessness. Minister Evans will be the keynote speaker for this awareness program that will help some of our supporters with housing issues and promote the Charles Riley Tutorial Program. Entertainment and food will be provided.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Meaning of Resurrection

Minister Evans stressed that the concept of Easter or resurrection is related to First Fruits. You can always start over. People who do not believe in resurrection too often hang with negative people. Antisocial behavior keeps people from being productive. The Meaning of Resurrection is all about relationships. If you have a nasty personality, you will have few positive relationships, if at all.

Please come to Family Hour this Sunday (April 19) as Minister Lawrance Lee Evans presents a new topic, "Now It's My Time!"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Doology: How to Read People

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans gave the following pointers on how to read people:
  1. we must do a self-critique of ourselves--in other words, read yourself first (look at yourself) first
 2. listen to people of all ages talk--you can learn from anyone and everyone, from the youth to the elders
 3. never look down on people
 4. know your self-importance
 5. always treat people fairly

We need to learn from sick people-- they often contribute more to society despite tremendous odds because they understand their reality and they have a greater understanding and care deeply about others.

How you spend your time and who you associate with tells a lot about you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Struggle is Not For Crybabies, parts two and three

On March 8, Minister Evans used the story of Jesus walking on water (Biblical reference of Matthew 15) to compare the fear of Jesus' disciples to our modern day fear of handling our personal issues.The opposite sexes cannot use each other as an excuse not to take care of business. Minister Evans used the late Sister Siti Akanke as an example of a woman who took care of home and the Institute. Three months before she joined the ancestors, she donated $3000 to the Institute. From 1979 when she came to the Institute to 2005 when she passed, Sister Siti was committed to the liberation struggle and was a devoted student of Doology. We must confront our problems using Doology.

On March 15, Minister Evans noted that God put us on earth to make things better. Our goal is to make the world better using our God given skills and talents.  We owe so much to the ancestors when we are born. Minister Evans used personal examples of people who he had helped over the years at the Institute who used various "excuses" not to give back to the Institute once they got the assistance they needed. We must show gratitude when people help you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Struggle is not for Crybabies

Adults must be able to communicate to each other by not crying. Using Jesus' disciples as an example, Minister Evans noted that too often we cry to the wrong people, instead of seeking the proper help. Our heroes and sheroes (e.g., Carter G. Woodson, Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Booker T. Washington) were not crybabies, Minister Evans stressed. When they found themselves in a difficult situation, they went on ahead with whatever resources they had and worked to the best of their ability. Crying does not solve your problems. A crybaby mentality prevents us from being involved in organizations. You must spend time with positive people in the community to counteract the negative people in the community.

Reader, you are invited to celebrate the Week of Remembrance in Honor of Sister Siti Akanke from May 8-14.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Doology: Time for Romance and Finance part 4

Using the Biblical reference of Luke 15:8-9, Minister Evans stressed that you must possess knowledge in order to find anything. We must turn on the light-- we must look at ourselves and focus on ourselves before we look at other people. We must be serious about romance and finance. We must study from books and read people. When we come across a human snake, we must keep a  distance from such people to minimize confusion and minimize conflicts.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wrapup of Supporters Day: Doology-Time for Romance and Finance part 3

Paying tribute to dear friend and long time Institute supporter/builder  Charles Riley, who joined the ancestors in January 1997, Minister Evans praised Brother Charles' many talents and contributions to the Institute. According to Minister Evans, Brother Charles understood his priorities. He always bought things the Institute needed when he did his personal shopping. He always asked the Minister if he could donate additional funds when the Institute was in need of something urgent. Brother Charles began as a servant to Minister Evans and gradually became a friend of Minister Evans.

Minister Evans  summarized two main points from the last two Sundays: romance is unconditional love, and finance is the ability to manage a medium of exchange. People are our greatest resources, Minister Evans concluded.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Doology: Time for Romance and Finance part two

Minister Evans stated that finance is how a person manages his/her resources. When a person manages his/her business well, everything will fall in place. People who handle their finances successfully recognize the importance of good people in their lives. Women were the first timekeepers.

If you love someone, noted Minister Evans toward the end of service, you treat him/her with respect and don't pimp him/her.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Doology: Time to Understand Finance and Romance

The primary message given by Minister Lawrance Evans to kickoff Black History Month was that the biggest problem facing our people is time. Time is greater than people and money. Being a friend is greater than being a servant. A true friend brings harmony to confusion. The Biblical reference is Luke 15:8-9.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

By popular demand...

Despite frigid temperatures and NFL playoff games this past Sunday (18 January), we experienced a large turnout for the continuation of Minister Evans' lecture, "Great Leaders are Needed, Recognized or Not." The basis of the lecture was in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's 80th birthday. We invite everyone to attend the lecture this Sunday at 4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street. You will understand what true leadership is all about.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Leaders are Needed, Recognized or Not!

Yesterday (Jan. 15) was Dr. Martin Luther King's 80th birthday. First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. honored Dr. King with a program that featured a display of King books and audio, the children in the tutorial program read books about King, while the adults did a crossword puzzle. The highlight of the evening was a lecture by Minister Evans titled "Great Leaders are Needed,Recognized or Not." The main point Minister Evans stressed during the presentation was that leadership is not about giving orders or directing others. Great leaders such as King, Garvey and Malcolm X were successful because they followed their own orders, performed tasks that they asked their supporters to carry out, and aligned themselves with people who knew more than they did. Great leaders must be able to lead themselves before they lead others. In spite of bone chilling temperatures, Minister Evans spoke to a packed house.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kuumba and Imani

On December 31, the young people along with some of the adults, made red,black and green decorations from construction paper and pipe cleaners. Eleven-year-old India Sizer, daughter of sponsor Sonya Sizer, read an African folktale.

The finale of the First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebration (January 1, 2009) had at least 200 people enjoying the feast. Bishop Herman Dailey, Minister James Muhammad and Rev. Norman Roberts gave invocations to a truly interfaith, diverse audience. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc. attended. All colors within God’s creation came and participated.

Minister Akilah and Sister Shiminege did a great job in working with the organizer, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans. They made sure that all participants enjoy themselves. A special award was given to Bishop Herman Dailey for his outstanding work with the Outreach Community Center.

Brother Corey Tanksley gave a poem that made his godparents very proud. He did something that few people do. He said that he was a graduate of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

Sister Elizabeth Cooper played a special tribute to Odetta.

Gifts were given to participants by J & J Wholesale Plus, and books were given to the children of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program by Commissioner Malik Evans.

The transitioning from First Fruits to Kwanzaa celebration was made possible by Sister Ester Gliwinski, who coordinated African Mothers Day. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. organized the First Fruits/Kwanzaa celebration. The developer of Doology had the celebration at many other locations. Although the finale was the Kwanzaa Feast, he will be doing a Kwanzaa demonstration along with Minister Akilah in January. Call 585.461.0379 for more information.

Memories from the 41st Minister Akilah Ife Evans Festival July 9-12, 2020

Photos were taken by Sister Tyjohnna Snow-Brown