Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today marks the first day of First Fruits!

Earlier this evening First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. began the annual 32 day celebration of First Fruits/Kwanzaa. First Fruits, Minister Evans explained, is an African tradition involving the first food harvest that is celebrated all throughout the African continent. In some African cultures, the men celebrate First Fruits separate from the women and in other African cultures both sexes celebrate First Fruits together. First Fruits is also mentioned in the Old Testament. At the conclusion of Minister Evans' story, he instructed the students to look up what is the final organ that is developed in the fetus. The three children in attendance blew the seven candles. At the Institute, First Fruits is celebrated from Dec. 1-25, followed by Kwanzaa from Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule as observed by the Institute

In addition to the three major public First Fruits/Kwanzaa events (see November 17 post), we will have daily small prayer/folktale sessions all through December at 219 Hamilton Street. These gatherings are open to the public as well.
Dec. 1-3, 6-10, 13-14, 16-17, 20-24: 6 pm
Dec. 4, 11, 18, 25: 7 pm

December 26 (Umoja): 4 pm
December 27 (Kujichagulia): 6 pm
December 28 (Ujima): 6 pm
December 29 (Ujamaa): 6 pm
December 30 (Nia): 6 pm
December 31 (Kuumba) 6 pm

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Show some gratitude regardless of your situation!

At First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. we learn to show and express gratitude for the simplest things. Despite the multiple challenges black people all over the Diaspora have gone through and continue to undergo, there is always room to be grateful for what you do have.  This is a clip I happen to run into from the Smiley and West radio show:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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

2010 First Fruits/Kwanzaa Schedule

First Fruits is the more traditional African celebration observed in the first 25 days of December, where the students and members of the Institute light candles and tell African or African-American folktales. Our major First Fruits events are:
December 5: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program,  4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY 14620
December 15: African Mothers Day, 6 pm, 500 Webster Avenue, Rochester NY 14609
January 1, 2011: Kwanzaa Feast (final day of Kwanzaa, known as Imani), 6 pm, 150 Highland Ave, Rochester NY 14620
On December 1, members of the Institute, youth and adults, are to bring a portion of the money they saved during November, Constructive Action Month. On December 15, the women and girls receive a lovely tribute including the presentation of roses by the men.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Hour is now Students Doology Hour!

Since 1970, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. called its weekly fellowship and worship service "Family Hour," because it was designed for families to spend at least an hour in church together and study God's word. This past year, Minister Evans has noted that the majority of Family Hour attendees do not bring their families to worship, or the families of those who support the Institute do not accompany the active Institute student/supporter. As of October 31, 2010, Minister Evans has changed the name of the Sunday afternoon service from Family Hour to Students Doology Hour. Minister Evans' lessons of giving back and being more aware of our African heritage are primarily geared to his core group of students, but guests and others are still welcome to fellowship and eat with us on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wrap-up of 40th anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

On October 30, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. hosted our Ohio chapter for the Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Luncheon. Hosted by Brother Anthony Giordano, the Luncheon featured the Charles Riley Tutorial Program students performing "Reciprocity," their daily ritual honoring important figures in Black history; Minister Evans' adult students performing libation; a review of the financial reports from both the Ohio office and Rochester office, a summary of the 2009-2010 fiscal year programs and activities from both chapters, and a lecture by Minister Evans. We also celebrated the birthdays of Minister Gerald Evans and his granddaughter Afiya Evans.

On November 7, to a packed house,  we celebrated Minister Lawrance Evans'' birthday and the Institute's 40th anniversary. Halfway through what is now "Students' Doology Hour," Sister Ester Gliwinski, a long time Institute supporter and family friend of the Evans', gave a dynamic presentation of what First Community Interfaith Institute is all about. She used a box of items donated to our needs corner to describe what the Institute represents:  a water bottle to talk about our recycling program, a pack of batteries to represent the never ending work the Ministers Evans do every day; a fluorescent bulb to demonstrate the importance of being up to date on technology; a bottle of white out to show that we learn from mistakes and start over; a magnifying glass to show that students at the Institute learn to examine everything carefully; a bottle of glue to represent how Minister Akilah, Minister Lawrance's wife of 43 years and the Regional Minister, is the glue that has held the Institute together since 1970; a box of graham crackers to represent our healthy eating program; and a box of tissues to show that we are not crybabies at the Institute. Minister Evans had nothing but praise for Sister Gliwinski for the duration of service.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Join us in celebrating First Community Interfaith Institute's 40th anniversary!

On Saturday, October 30, 2010, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will host the Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Luncheon starting at 1 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. Our Ohio chapter, headed by CEO Minister Gerald J. Evans, will be our special guests. All of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans' adult and youth students will be there to pay libation to the ancestors, or give back to the Institute by performing reciprocity. The trustees of the Institute will get together to discuss the past fiscal year activities of the organization as a whole, and set goals for the upcoming fiscal year, which began October 1.

You can be a sponsor by making a financial contribution to First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. Our two sponsors are Brother Anthony Giordano and LLWE Business Services Plus. In addition, we will be celebrating Minister Gerald Evans' birthday three days early.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 24th Annual Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial Lecture

On August 30, 1986, a day that was supposed to be an afternoon of fun at Darien Lake Park (NY) for 37 year old Sylvester Johnson, his eight year old daughter Stacey and her friend Stephanie Kozuch, turned into major tragedy. A fire truck ran a red light (it was not going to an emergency; the truck was on standby at the Darien firehall) and slammed into Sylvester's car at the entrance of the park, killing all three passengers in Mr. Johnson's Plymouth sedan. The volunteer fire truck driver, age 21 at the time, survived the accident, and he was eventually fined ten dollars in April 1987 without serving jail time.

Ever since September 1986, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, with the blessing of the late Sister Siti Akanke, the mother and grandmother of Sylvester and Stacey respectively, has held a memorial to honor the Johnsons and to bring attention to the issues of emergency vehicles running red lights under questionable circumstances. Sister Siti's eldest daughter, Sister Shiminege, the Institute's promoter of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program,  is sponsoring this year's memorial , to be held on Sunday, September 12 at 4 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street. All are invited; dinner will be served.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wrap up of Uhuru Week (Aug 14-15)

It was a beautiful weekend to celebrate Marcus Garvey's birthday with First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. On August 14, Anthony Giordano served as MC for the rally, and he did an outstanding job promoting the good works of the Institute and Minister Lawrance Lee Evans. Brother Bernard Holmes, who is managed by Minister Evans, gave an outstanding rap to the vocals of 50Cent.

But the grand finale on Sunday the 15th was a treat. Our Charles Riley Tutorial Program , with students ranging in age from 3 to 16, spoke about various heroes and sheroes from black history, and recited from Marcus Garvey's Atlanta prison speech as well. But the big treat was hearing Minister Myra Brown sing songs of praise with her band. Minister Brown was honored by the Institute for her work in obtaining funds for the tutorial program. The sister also received one half of the funds raised by our raffle. Three of the students presented Minister Brown with gifts and a collage. Needless to say, the sister was teary eyed and was very appreciative.

Also, kudos to Sister Shiminege for being an excellent mistress of ceremonies.
Sister Myra, everyone raved about you. Hope you enjoyed your tribute!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Schedule of Uhuru Week Events in honor of Marcus Garvey

August 11, 12, 13 2010: rehearsal at 5:15 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
poets and singers are welcome to join us for the show on August 14 and August 15

August 14 2010: bottle campaign/yard sale/rehearsal at 1 pm, 219 Hamilton Street

and at 7 pm, 219 Hamilton Street:



speakers, entertainment, music and information

August 15 2010 at 1600 East Avenue


by invitation only


Reception at 3 pm; Program begins at 4 pm

August 16 2010: Doology workshop 5:15 pm at 219 Hamilton Street
August 17 2010: LIBATION TO THE HONORABLE MARCUS GARVEY, 5:15 pm, 219 Hamilton Street

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Legacy Day weekend summary

On Saturday, June 5, Minister Evans primarily addressed his adult students in his Doology workshop. He summarized the nine points of PLATE ANEW (pay, labor, associates, time, effort, attitude, nurture, energy, win). We must associate with people who can provide us with things we need and we can provide them with things they need. We must minimize contact with "toxic" people, or those who cannot serve us beneficially.

On Sunday, June 6, Minister Evans spoke to a packed Family Hour worship service. One point he stressed was that God is the god of the living. Immediately after service, we went outside for the Watoto-Lumumba Dancers performance and the fashion show featuring the young students of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program and Minister Evans' adult students.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Join us in celebrating Legacy Day!

On the first weekend in June, First Community Interfaith Institute is hosting a 3 day weekend fundraiser for our annual trip to Elyria, OH. June 6 is the birthday of the inspiration behind the Institute, Madame Martha Jordan.

June 4 (Friday) Ice Cream Social with the theme "Steps for children to Succeed" 6pm at 219 Hamilton Street

June 5 (Saturday) Doology workshop/brunch with the theme "Making our Lives Better" 11 am at 219 Hamilton Street

June 6 (Sunday) Family Hour Worship Service with African Fashion Show 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. Family Hour from 4-6 pm, followed by "Education is Always in Fashion show beginning at 6 pm

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Malcolm X's birthday...

Malcolm X was, among other things, an organizer. He did what he could to make his community a better place.Malcolm did not betray his people. Minister Lawrance Evans had met with Malcolm X at least once and uses Doology to make his community of Rochester NY a better place. Take a moment to read or listen or watch one of Brother Malcolm's speeches.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Join us in celebrating Malcolm X's birthday

Sunday May 16 at 4 pm, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will be hosting its annual tribute to Brother Malcolm X. Our special Family Hour in honor of Malcolm X will take place at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy birthday Sister Siti!

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will be honoring the memory of Sister Siti Akanke on Sunday, March 14 at 4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street. For all those who knew and loved our Queen Mother, you don't want to miss this special Family Hour Worship Service.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Supporters Day 2010

On what would have been Brother Charles Riley's 52nd birthday, Minister Lawrance Evans praised him for his intelligence and insight on the benefits of First Community Interfaith Institute. He performed his responsibilities more on a member basis than a supporter. He never applied to be a member. He realized early on during his almost 20 year affiliation with the Institute that time is more important than money. A quiet warrior who was a devoted volunteer tutor, he is credited for two of our current fundraisers: our penny drive and our bottle campaign.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black History Month

We invite you to celebrate Black History Month on Wednesday, February 17 at 6 pm. "Supporters Day," in honor of the late Charles Riley, the namesake of our tutoring program, will be held at 219 Hamilton Street.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Come to Family Hour this Sunday for an alternative viewpoint!

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. has taught many of the leaders who oppose “mayoral control” of the Rochester City School District. On Sunday, Minister Evans will address some of those leaders, as well as his future leaders, at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street.

Minister Evans will speak to the rambling nature of “Mayoral Control.” He will dissect the infantile philosophy of “Mayoral Control” into its feudalistic elements. Minister Evans will
speak on PREVARICATION OF MAYORAL CONTROL this Sunday, 4 pm, 219 Hamilton Street.

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. is a teacher of citizenship, cooperative capitalism, religious tolerance, empowerment and education. He trains leaders by his philosophy called Doology.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Celebrate Dr.King's birthday!

To a capacity audience, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. gave the initial installment of "The Mainstream Media: A Betrayal or Portrayal of Dr. King's Leadership" on the 81st birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. Minister Evans stressed that the mainstream media operates primarily from a business model, meaning that they primarily promote negative events to make a profit. The Northern news organizations promoted Dr. King positively, while the Southern news organizations would sell papers to appeal to their anti-King readers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Mainstream Media: A Betrayal or Portrayal of Dr. King’s Leadership”

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will speak on January 15, 2010 on the 81st birthday of Dr. King, 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street. He will discuss the mainstream media's relationship with Dr. King. The program will include libation to our heroes and sheroes who are among the ancestors. We invite the whole community to be a part of this great celebration.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Summary of our final seven days of Kwanzaa

From the birthday celebration of supporter Anthony Giordano ("Mr. G"), to a powerful tribute to Minister Evans' mentor (his grandmother) on the 40th anniversary of her passing, from financial education to a spoken word tribute on Nia, from a presentation on legal scholars to the wonderful feast on Imani, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. concluded another Kwanzaa season with a bang! What more is there to say! Enjoy the video and the pictures.