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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



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Complete First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule

Here is the 32 day long First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule of events as celebrated in Rochester Unless specifically stated otherwise, all events take place at 219 Hamilton Street at 5:30 PM
December 1: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program--open house, kickoff of 32 day First Fruits/Kwanzaa season; dinner will be served December 2-3, 5-10, 12-14, 16-17, 19-24: First Fruits storytelling, prayer and lighting of candles December 4, 11, 18, 25: Student Doology Hour--4 pm Sunday service, prayer after service; dinner will be served December 15: African Mothers Day--500 Webster Ave (School #33)-- females will receive flowers from men; program begins at 5:30 PM; refreshments available December 26: Umoja December 27: Kujichagulia December 28: Ujima December 29: Ujamaa December 30: Nia December 31: Kuumba January 1, 2017: Imani-Kwanzaa feast-- 150 Highland Ave (St Johns Home)--exchange gifts, bring dish to pass (non pork), entertainment; starts at 5:30 PM

We had a succesful First Fruits/Kwanzaa!

In Rochester, we just concluded a wonderful Kwanzaa season. From the folktales  and proverbs told during the 25 day First Fruits celebration; the African Mothers Day program on December 15 where the men presented the girls and women with flowers amid a last minute venue change due to inclement weather; to the stories about the various African nations told by Minister Evans' adult students between Dec. 27-30,;to Minister Evans' daughter Sasha Eloi-Evans' talk about her educational journey from Dominica to the US Virgin Islands to the mainland US, ulltimately ending up at the University of Rochester, where she is currently employed and working on her PhD, and to the finale on January 1 (our Kwanzaa feast), where we enjoyed some delicious food, exchanged gifts and a surprise donation of $1000 was given to the Institute! We thank all those who came to the Institute and/or St. Johns Home during the past 32 days, whether it was one time or from December 1 to January 1.




ALL NIGHT LONG!

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. will close its fiscal year with the annual "Minister Akilah Ife's Cultural Extravaganza" on Friday, September 23 at 219 Hamilton Street. September 23 is the 49th anniversary of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans and his late wife, Minister Akilah. The Cultural Extravaganza begins at 6 PM and will last the entire evening. Entertainment and dinner will be provided. "All Night Long: Minister Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza" is a fundraiser for the Institute's cultural and educational programs. Suggested donation is $150. There are five scholarships available for those who are unable to give $150.00.