Saturday, December 29, 2012

Obituary of Patricia Ann Holmes (1942-2012)

The complete obituary of Sister Pat Holmes, who  joined the ancestors on December 23, can be found here. A small but beautiful funeral service was held at Congregation Shema Yisrael in Rochester on December 28. For those unable to attend the funeral, there will be two other opportunities to pay your respects: at the Kwanzaa feast on January 1, 5: 30 pm, 150 Highland Ave, Rochester (at St. John's Home Auditorium), and on January 6, on what would have been her 71st birthday, at 4 pm at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Kwanzaa everyone!

Here at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. we have ended our 25 day First Fruits season, where we learned that the First Fruits belong to God--the first creations and humans belong to God. We begin celebrating the seven day Kwanzaa as popularized by Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Unfortunately, we lost one of strongest supporters at the Institute over the weekend. Sister Patricia Holmes, who was close to the late Minister Akilah, passed on December 23. Sister Holmes was a student of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans and participated in every major Institute function over the past six years. Kwanzaa/First Fruits was  her particularly favorite time of the year. We will publish her obituary in this blog when it becomes available. Please keep her family in your prayers. RIP Sister Holmes.

This is our Kwanzaa schedule for the next seven days:
December 26: 5:30 pm (Umoja)--unity; speaker is Minister Lawrance Lee Evans
December 27: 5:30 pm (Kujichagulia)--self-determination; speaker is Brother Zeb Coleman
December 28: 5:30 pm (Ujima)--collective work and responsibilty; speaker is Brother Brian Griffin
December 29: 12 pm (Ujamaa)--cooperative economics--Minister Evans will participate in a panel at the opening of Respect for Life Bookstore, 569 Jefferson Avenue, Rochester NY
December 30: 4 pm (Nia)--purpose--our weekly Student Doology Hour worship service
December 31: 11am-4 pm (Kuumba)--creativity--Sister Eulla will hold a yard sale and give a presentation at 5:30 pm
January 1: 5:30 pm (Imani)--faith; Kwanzaa feast at St. John Home Auditorium, 150 Highland Ave, Rochester NY; Sisters Shiminege and Uwimana will give their presentations, Dr. John Walker (Brother Talik) will give a 15 minute presentation on Black history, and Minister Myra Brown will be the guest vocalist. Everyone is welcome to bring a nonpork dish to pass.

This video is from African Mothers Day, 12/15/12



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"ROC The Day" for First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. on 12.12.12!

On Wednesday Dec 12, you have 24 hours (from 12 am to 11:59 pm) to log on to the online event http://roctheday.org and make a generous donation as possible to the First Community Interfaith Institute's tutorial program. To save time this is the direct link to the Institute's donation page:


ROC the Day is an opportunity for donors everywhere to choose a nonprofit of their choice  that is based in the Rochester NY metropolitan area in a convenient and secure online mechanism. Your donation is tax deductible and you will receive an immediate notification that you can use when filing your 2012 tax returns. It is the brainchild of the Rochester United Way and sponsored by various Rochester based businesses and organizations, as well as the local government.

The Institute is one of the few African-American nonprofits or churches that is participating in ROC the Day. This is our second year. You will be a "ROCstar" if you donate to us on Dec.12.



 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule




 
Below is our 2012 First Fruits/Kwanzaa Schedule. Ideally we hope you can attend all thirty two days, but if you are unable to, please attend at least one of the three events that are in bold font:

SATURDAY DECEMBER 1--First Fruits Open Ceremony, 1 pm at 219 Hamilton Street--
this is the introduction of our 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season

SUNDAYS at 4 pm (12/2,.12/9, 12/16,12/23, 12/30)--Student Doology Hour. 219 Hamilton Street

MONDAY-FRIDAY at 5:30 pm (12/3-12/7, 12/10-12/14, 12/17-12/21, 12/24-12/28, 12/31)
at 219 Hamilton Street

SATURDAYS at 1 pm at 219 Hamilton Street (12/8, 12/22, 12/29) except for
SATURDAY DECEMBER 15--Ma Akilah's African Mothers Day, 1pm at 500 Webster Av (School #33)

First Fruits is from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25; Kwanzaa is from Dec. 26 to January 1.

The seven days of Kwanzaa are:
December 26 is Umoja (unity)
December 27 is Kujichagulia (self-determination)
December 28 is Ujima (cooperative work and responsibility)
December 29 is Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
December 30 is Nia (purpose)
December 31 is Kuumba (creativity)
JANUARY 1 IS IMANI (Faith)-- we will convene for the final time at the Kwanzaa Feast, 5:30 pm at St. John's Home Auditorium, 150 Highland Avenue
 
 
 
 

Friday, October 26, 2012


Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., the National Minister of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., invites the community, especially those who have benefited from the Charles Riley Tutorial Program over the past forty years, to his 67th birthday celebration and 42nd anniversary of the spiritual and cultural organization plus teaching church he founded on November 2, 1970, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. 

The celebration (featuring a presentation on Doology) will take place on Friday, November 2, 2012 at three separate time slots:  10 AM, 6:30 PM and 8: 00 PM. The venue for  all three presentations is 219 Hamilton Street, off South Ave, in the South Wedge. Doology is the cultural and academic discipline used by First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.


The anniversary/birthday celebration has always been a major fundraiser for the Charles Riley Tutorial Program, the Institute's renowned after school program. Although Minister Evans has been the master teacher and major financial sponsor/contributor of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program since 1970, he nevertheless appreciates those many individuals who have also helped financially. The financial contributions and moral support of many individuals (over the years) have enabled the Charles Riley Tutorial Program to be a resource for students, young and adult.  In the past years, eighty percent of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans’ personal income has been used to fund the Charles Riley Tutorial Program.

Our goal is, and always has been, to aid in the development of academic and leadership skills of leaders. This benefit will help First Community interfaith Institute Inc. fund the Charles Riley Tutorial Program, which is the tributary to the cultural and academic programs. These programs help to develop outstanding citizens.

Suggested donation for the fundraiser is $50.00, or donation of 1,000 NYS cans and bottles or a combination of both. In addition, if you want to help us with this event, please call 585-461-0379 or email fciirochester@gmail.com,  or come to our Students Doology Hour on Sunday at 4 pm. 




Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wrap up of Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza


Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. spent a great amount of time planning for “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza,” which took place on September 23, 2012, on what would have been the 45th wedding anniversary of the Ministers Evans. We are now planning for the 2013 “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza.”

Minister Evans felt that it was appropriate to bring back the Cultural Extravaganza after a twenty year hiatus in memory of his recently departed beloved spouse, Minister Akilah, who joined the ancestors on June 26, 2012.

The first “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza” featured remarks by Sister Ester Gliwinski, City Councilwoman Elaine Spaull, Dr. John Walker (aka Brother Talik), and Father Robert Werth; gospel songs from soloist Minister Myra Brown; and poems by Sister Serwa Balkum, Sister Rajeena Bolivar and Sister Deb-Maisha. We began the program with Minister Evans’ adult students giving basic African history on various African nations such as Ibo, Akan and Yoruba, and give libation to figures from those nations. The audience was very impressed by the students. This introductory event is the template by which “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza” will be based in 2013. Next year, we hope to make “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza” longer than three hours (the actual length of the Sept. 23 program, which was originally scheduled to last just two hours).

In respect to Minister Akilah’s wishes, we planned to have “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza” outside First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. We began to have the program outdoors, but we were not prepared to be out in 50 degree weather. When the temperature dropped, participants and observers went inside to enjoy the rest of the extravaganza. Indeed, “Ma Akilah’s Cultural Extravaganza” is in memory of Minister Akllah Ife (AKA Gwendolyn V. Evans).

The event definitely helped to uplift those who were still grieving for Ma Akilah.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza" is coming and update of Uhuru Week

On Sunday, Sept. 23, four days after the birthday of the late Minster Akilah Evans and on what would have been the 45th anniversary of the Ministers Evans, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will bring back after a long absence the "Cultural Extravaganza." Now renamed "Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza," the outdoor event, beginning at 4 pm outside 219 Hamilton Street,  will feature cultural events such as an African fashion show by Minister Lawrance Evans' adult students.

Here are a couple of videos from the successful August 21 Doology lecture by Minister Evans, and the video at the bottom of this post is from the August 24 Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial Lecture.
 
 





Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Uhuru Week 2012 schedule

Here is this year's schedule for Uhuru Week in honor of the Honorable Marcus Garvey. All events for Uhuru Week take place at the headquarters of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street.

August 17 (actual birthday of Marcus Garvey): presentation on the Honorable Marcus Garvey, 6:30 pm

August 18: Bottle Campaign Exuberant--bring your NYS nickel deposit cans and bottles to 219 Hamilton Street during the hours of 1-5 pm, or arrange for a pickup from home or work by calling 585-461-0379

August 19: Cultural Extravaganza-- outdoor presentation of cultural performances, 4 pm

August 20:  Citizenship--presentation by Political Education Task Force students, 7 pm

August 21: Special Presentation on Doology--by Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., 7 pm

August 22: Black Koptic Press Release Day-- students, members will sell the church newsletter "Black Koptic Press Release" in the community

August 23: Orientation of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program--by appointment only; sign up for group or individual/private tutoring sessions that begin in September. Call 585-461-0379 to make appointment

August 24: Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial Lecture-- annual remembrance of father and daughter killed in August 1986 in front of what is now known as Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort by a firefighter not going to an emergency, 6:30 pm

For the August 21 lecture, the suggested donation is $100. Scholarships are available to those who are unable to afford the suggested donation.

We hope to see you at one, if not all, of the Uhuru Week events.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 33rd FCII Festival begins in 7 days!

The Ohio chapter is preparing once again to host the 33rd Annual FCII Festival in Elyria Ohio from July 12 to July 15. The majority of the activities will take place at Lorain County Community College.

First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio is the only organization in the Elyria/Lorain area that provides African-American cultural activities, and the Festival is their largest annual event for African and African American culture. In these four days, there will be storytelling, recreation activities for the young and young at heart, workshops, music therapy, two dinners, concluding with worship service at the Kanisa House on July 15. The theme for this year's Festival is "Collaborate, Cooperate, Connect..."

Follow this link for the complete schedule.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Minister Akilah's homegoing was beautiful!


Minister Akilah Evans, also lovingly referred to as "Ma Akilah" by the children of the Charles Riley Tutorial  Program, had a celebration of life fit for a queen on July 3 at Aenon Baptist Church. The celebration of life was the culmination of a three day remembrance. On Sunday July 1, the students of the Ministry School of Doology (adult students of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans) poured libation in an outdoor ceremony and discussed how this mighty woman contributed to their individual lives. On Monday July 2, people from all walks of life, from former students of the tutorial program to the political elite of Rochester, made their way to Aenon Baptist Church for the viewing. At the  homegoing, her children praised her, old friends described her business acumen and contributions to the Institute. Minister Evans gave a glowing eulogy that earned him a standing ovation from the full house. She was entombed above the ground in a crypt at Riverside Cemetery. Ma Akilah's legacy definitely lives on at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc!

Gwendolyn Vivian Dawson Evans, known affectionately as "Ma Akilah," was born September 19, 1946 in Youngstown OH to the late Earnest and Celeste Dawson. She departed this life on June 26, 2012.

The obituary continues here:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Funeral information for Minister Akilah Ife

On Sunday July 1, 2012 at 4 pm there will be a special libation service in honor of Minister Akilah Ife Evans at the headquarters of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY.

The wake is on Monday July 2 from 5-8 pm at Aenon Baptist Church, 175 Genesee Street, Rochester NY. The celebration of life service is on Tuesday July 3 at 11 am, Aenon Baptist Church.

Minister Akilah Evans (1946-2012)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mama Akilah Evans is now with the ancestors!

Minister Akilah Ife Evans, the life partner and wife of our National Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr., passed this morning at Highland Hospital in Rochester NY. She was 65 years young, and she played a pivotal role in the administration and fundraising activities of the First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. She was one of the original organizers of what is now the FCII Festival (coming up July 12-15). Mama Akilah was the proud and loving mother to six beautiful children and Nana to five grandchildren and one on the way this fall. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Four of our students graduated this week!


Jazzmin Kamau, 18
graduated from Northeast College Prep High School 22 June 2012
She will enter Monroe Community College in the fall


Jay Simms Jr, 12  (on right wearing blue shirt)
graduated from School #7 19 June 2012
He will enter seventh grade in the fall


Kenneth Warner, 5
graduated from Communication Center for Hearing and Speech 21 June 2012
He will enter kindergarten in the fall

Not pictured but also entering kindergarten in the fall is Zion Parson, 5 years old.

Congratulations to all of our Charles Riley Tutorial Program students on their graduations this week! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Legacy Day 2012

This Sunday, June 10,  as part of our annual Legacy Day celebration, we will salute three special supporters of the Institute who exemplify Doology: Robertta Bradley, Renee Vick and Ester Gliwinski.

Doors open at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. Weather permitting, we will be outdoors, Dinner will be served.

Legacy Day is the Institute's annual tribute to Minister Lawrance Lee Evans' mentor and grandmother, Madame Martha Jordan, a practicing diviner and expert on African history and culture...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Join us for our Malcolm X Commemoration!

On Sunday May 20, 2012, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.will celebrate Brother Malcolm X's 87th birthday. Doors open at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY. Weather permitting, we will have an outdoor cookout. Minister Evans will give the keynote presentation and the adult students in the Ministry School of Doology will pour libation to various deceased heroes and sheroes who were either contemporaries of Malcolm X or related to him. We hope you take a moment to honor Malcolm X's memory and spend the afternoon of May 20 with us!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Meaning of Resurrection

At First Community Interfaith Institute, we recently had a successful five day 'Meaning of Resurrection" observance (April 6-April 10). Minister Evans encouraged his students to read John Jackson's Christianity and George James' Stolen Legacy. Minister Evans also initiated five new adult students into the Ministry School of Doology.

We encourage you to visit us on Sunday at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street for more of Minister Evans' lessons on the "Meaning of Resurrection" for the month of April. One core principle of the Meaning of Resurrection, as stated by Minister Evans on April 15, is that God will not let evil escape.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Meaning of Resurrection

On April 8, 2012, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. will deal with "The Meaning of Resurrection" from not only a theological perspective, but also from a universal/cultural/humanistic perspective.

Doors open each Sunday at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street, the headquarters of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. Come hear Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. teach about the birthmark of humanity--you will find a blessing and a healing in Minister Evans' presentation. All faiths are welcome.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Choices: William Still of the Underground Railroad or Everyday Jones of Neverland"

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, National Minister of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., will continue his March teachings with the topic " Choices: William Still of the Underground Railroad or Everyday Jones of Neverland" on Sundays (March 18 and 25)  at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street, the home of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.

Doors open at 4 pm; dinner will be served during service. If you want to meet Minister Evans privately after service, RSVP at either 585-461-0379 or emailing fciirochester@gmail.com.

Our case management services have been renamed the Elizabeth R. Price Case Management Services.

See you Sunday. All faiths and all people are welcome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Congratulations Jay Simms Jr and summary of Elizabeth Price memorial



At First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. we have had a blessed Black History Month. On February 16, we witnessed 11 year old Jay Simms Jr., Minister Lawrance Evans' protege student, receive an award for perfect attendance at his current school (school #7). Only two children in the Rochester City School District received this award. We congratulate Brother Jay Jr. and hope he continues to be a successful student as he transitions to high school in September.

For this year's Supporter Day program (our annual Black History Month event),  we included a memorial for a long time bottle campaign donor, the late Elizabeth Ruth Price, who passed earlier this month at age 88. As Sister Price was a foster mother in her younger days and continued to help family and friends into her golden years, Minister Evans has renamed his case management services the Elizabeth Price Case Management Services. Sister Price was a problem solver, and she loved herself. With that self-love she was able to help others.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

By popular demand...

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will continue his analytic collective review of four classic books divided as four chapters :Black Bourgeoisie by E. Franklin Frazier (chapter 1), Miseducation of the Negro by Dr. Carter G. Woodson (chapter 2), Long White Con by Iceberg Slim (chapter 3), and Strength to Love by Dr. Martin Luther King (chapter 4). Minister Evans invites everyone to hear him speak at 4 pm, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street, Rochester NY. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Please check out our Ohio chapter website

Our Ohio chapter, headed under the direction of Minster Lawrance Lee Evans' twin brother Gerald, has a brand new web page. Please visit First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio at www.fciiohio.org. They also have a Facebook page as well. For information about their activities, especially the upcoming 33rd Festival in July, be sure to regularly visit our Ohio counterpart's web site and "like" FCII of Ohio on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Come join us for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King program

On Dr. King's 83rd birthday, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will give a collective analytical review of four classic black historical and culutral books, all written by black men:
  • Black Bourgeoisie by E. Franklin Frazier
  • The Miseducation of the Negro by Dr. Carter G. Woodson
  • Long White Con by Iceberg Slim
  • Strength to Love by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This special event, which is also a fundraiser for our current Kwanzaa Appeal fundraiser, will take place on Sunday January 15 (doors open at 4 pm), 219 Hamilton Street. Dinner will be served.