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Be a "ROCstar" by donating to the Institute on 12.11.13!

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, you have the opportunity to be part of the third annual "ROCtheDay," organized by the United Way of Greater Rochester and co-sponsored by the City of Rochester, the County of Monroe, the Rochester Area Community Foundation and other groups. ROCtheDay is a 24 hour period of community members (you don't have to live in Rochester or the surrounding areas)  making a tax-deductible donation  to one or more of the 600 plus nonprofits participating this year. First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is one of the few Afrocentric nonprofits who is seeking donors (or 'ROCstars") to be as generous as possible. The direct link to the Institute donation page is here. You get an immediate email confirmation after your donation is accepted; the email can be used as your income tax documentation for charitable contributions. First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is hosting an open house on Dec. 11 from 3-7 pm to encourage donors to visit …

Be a part of ROCTHEDAY on Dec. 11, 2013!

For the third consecutive year, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is one of the Greater Rochester NY nonprofits participating in the United Way of Greater Rochester sponsored 'ROCTHEDAY.' This is an online platform where donors have 24 hours on Dec. 11 (from midnight to 11:59 pm) to donate to how many agencies they desire.  You can get more info on the ROCTHEDAY Facebook page.  First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.'s direct donation page for ROCTHEDAY is here. Your donations are handled securely, you receive immediate confirmation of your gift via email (you can use the email for your 2013 income tax documentation), and you will be helping a very worthwhile cause. Our Charles Riley Tutorial Program is still going strong and your gifts will help us provide more after school help to children (as well as adults) in Rochester.

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.'s First Fruits/Kwanzaa schedule

Below is the schedule for 2013 First Fruits/Kwanzaa as celebrated at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. in  Rochester. All events take place at 219 Hamilton Street unless otherwise noted.

FIRST FRUITS (Dec 1-25)   Sunday, December 1: Kwanzaa Appreciation Program, 4 pm: Minister Evans' adult students will promote their events that will take place Dec. 26-January 1. We will discuss what First Fruits and Kwanzaa are all about, and start the 32 day long ritual of candle lighting and storytelling. We will also discuss what ROCtheday is and how people can help the Institute. Donations will be collected.During the week (Monday-Saturday) there will be a daily storytelling, prayers and candle lighting session at 5:30 pm. Prayers and candle lighting are included at the end of Sunday's Student Doology hour on Sundays (12/8, 12/15, 12/22).Sunday, December 15: African Mothers Day, 11 am and 4 pm: 11 AM program is sponsored by longtime Institute supporter, Ester Gliwinski, and will …

The 43rd anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is coming up!

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. invites the community of Rochester to join him between October 31 and November 3 to celebrate the anniversary of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.  and his birthday. All events will take place at 219 Hamilton Street.The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 31: General consultation for Minister Evans' adult students, guest speaker TBA. Time: 5:30 pm

Friday, November 1: Charles Riley Tutorial Program presents "Reciprocity," Our youth students give presentations on heroes and sheroes in Black History. Time: 6 pm, dinner will be served

Saturday November 2: all day fall bottle campaign drive-- we collect NYS nickel cans and bottles. We can pick up your cans and bottles from your home or business Saturday morning, or you can drop off your cans and bottles at 219 Hamilton Street. The money raised go towards the Charles Riley Tutorial Program. The more bottles we get, the better.

NOVEMBER 2 IS ALSO THE BIRTHDAY OF OUR TWIN BROTHER MINISTE…

Minister Lawrance Evans returns to Youngstown!

Minister Lawrance Evans will make his second appearance in Youngstown OH this year on Monday, October 14 at 7 pm. He will give a second seminar on Doology at the New Bethel Baptist Church, located at 1507 Hillman Street.Before the Doology seminar, the Institute chapters in both Rochester NY and Elyria OH will hold its annual trustee meeting to review the finances and events that transpired in the 2012-13 fiscal year (October 2012-September 2013) and to preview activities for the new fiscal year of 2013-14 (October 2013-September 2014).

Below are some pics from the recent Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza, where we celebrated the birthday of our beloved ancestor Minister Akilah Ife Evans, the wife of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans.


Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza is coming up!

First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. invites the community to celebrate the life of our beloved ancestor, Minister Akilah Ife, on Sunday, September 22, for "Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza," 4 pm, at 219 Hamilton Street. The theme for this year's Ma Akilah's Cultural Extravaganza" is "Doology: Show Yourself Some Love."  There will be entertainment, plenty of food and edutainment from Minister Lawrance Lee Evans' adult students.

September 19 is Minister Akilah's birthday, and September 23 would have been the 46th anniversary of Ministers Lawrance and Akilah Evans.

Uhuru Week schedule (in honor of Marcus Garvey)

Once again, First Community Interfaith Institute invites the general public to our annual Uhuru Week events beginning August 11 and concluding August 17. All Uhuru Week events will take place at 219 Hamilton Street.

SUNDAY AUGUST 11: 4 pm-- Sylvester and Stacey Johnson Memorial/Student Doology Hour

MONDAY AUGUST 12: 5:30 pm--Brother Zeb Coleman will present a workshop on the Akan nation
                                           6:30 pm--Brother Leo White will present a workshop on the Igbo nation

TUESDAY AUGUST 13: 5:30 pm--Sister Nia will do libation on Louise Little and promote our Bottle Campaign (recycling program)

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14: 5:30 pm--Sister Joyce Serwa Balkum, author of Why Should I Cry!, does a book review

                                                 6:30 pm--Sister Kim Archie will present a workshop on the Sheba Nation

THURSDAY AUGUST 15: 5:30 pm--Sister Uwimana will present a workshop on the Yoruba nation
                                               6:30 pm--Brother A…

We're praying for you, Brother Monroe Brown!

On June 26, Minister Evans and I had the pleasure of going to True South Bookstore, owned by sole proprietor Monroe Brown from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. We were impressed by the amount of African and African American books, fiction and nonfiction, in the store. We spent almost an hour interacting with the brother, and we ended up purchasing a book for Minister Evans' two year old grandson for a birthday gift.

We were extremely shocked when we learned that Brother Brown had had a severe stroke and brain aneurysm last week (from the blog Bed-Stuy Patch). We learned too late of the store's fundraiser to attend it yesterday, but we are keeping the family and community in our prayers. We can't afford to lose another independent, grassroots business.I hope the family will be able to keep True South Bookstore going for a  long time.

The 34th Annual FCII Festival begins next week!

Our Ohio chapter in Elyria is sponsoring the 34th Annual FCII Festival. If you are interested in a positive, family oriented weekend of activities, this is the place to be next weekend. The FCII Festival is always held the second weekend in July. Elyria is a town just west of Cleveland. The Festival's theme this year is "Building a Loving Community."

Below is the schedule of events:
34th ANNUAL FCII FESTIVAL “Building a Loving Community”
THURSDAY JULY 11
6-8 PM at the Kanisa House: Lucy Battle Cookout
FRIDAY JULY 12 all events for the day at the LCCC College Center 9 am-12 pm: various activities (e.g., arts and crafts, movie, music) 12 pm: lunch 1 pm: talent show 6 pm: Elizabeth Coleman Dinner

SATURDAY JULY 13 9 am-12 pm: recreation at LCCC Ewing Center 12 pm: Ruth Hamilton lunch 1 pm: Martha's trivia 6 pm: Martha Jordan Dinner--keynote speaker is Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr.
SUNDAY JULY 14 all events for the day at Kanisa House 10 am:fellowship, refreshments 11 am: Family Worship Ho…

Two Doology seminars back to back this week!

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will be traveling to Brooklyn on Monday, the prospective home of a new chapter of the Institute. On Thursday June 27 at 11 AM he will hold one Doology seminar at 4809 Snyder Ave #1F. On Friday Minister Evans will depart from Brooklyn to host a second Doology seminar at the Institute headquarters, 219 Hamilton Street. Both seminars are fundraisers for the trip to the 34th Annual FCII festival . Please show your support for one or both seminars.

Updates from the Big Lunch, Legacy Day and Rochester Institute of Technology

On June 1, the South Wedge community of Rochester paid homage to 5 older South Wedge residents who played pivotal roles in the improvement of the neighborhood in the 1970s. Minister Lawrance Lee Evans was the only African-American pioneer in the group. The artwork pictured above was the award given to Minister Evans.



June 9 was the first Legacy Day without Minister Akilah. The adult students poured libation, two young students in our Charles Riley Tutorial Program performed "Reciprocity," and Sister Serwa Balkum, one of Minister Evans' former students, promoted  her latest book, Why Should I Cry! Prior to Minister Evans' presentation, Sister Veronica Howard, a newcomer to the Institute, gave an excellent presentation on her two year assignment as a Peace Corps worker in an Ashanti rural village in Ghana. She was given the name of Queen Mother Nana Akua Asantewaa by the matriarchal leadership of the community, and also displayed two stools from Ghana during her prese…

Legacy Day is this Sunday June 9!

LEGACY DAY Sunday, June 9, 2013
4 pm
219 Hamilton Street (off South Av)
Legacy Day is a fundraiser for the Institute's annual trip to Elyria, OH for the 34th FCII Festival. We will be honoring the memory of Minister Evans' grandmother.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MINISTER LAWRANCE LEE EVANS SR.
ALSO FEATURED ARE: Queen Mother Nana Akua Asantewaa (aka Veronica Howard)Author Joyce Serwa BalkumCharles Riley Tutorial Program students Jaden and Jay Simms Jr.--"Reciprocity"Students from the Ministry School of Doology-- libation  We hope to see you on June 9 at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc.!

The Grapevine Festival was a success, in spite of!

Sister Elizabeth McGriff
On a windy Saturday evening (May 25), First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. held the Grapevine Festival outside the church, but due to audience demand, was moved indoors. Regardless, the McGriff Singers put on a great show. Minister Evans' adult students poured libation to the various heroes and sheroes. The Charles Riley Tutorial Program young students performed "Reciprocity" and paid homage to the ancestors as well. Sister Mireille Efinda was the representative for the primary sponsor, Sister Veronica Howard. Sister Mireille spoke several times during the program  about growing up in the Congo and  generally put Africa in a positive spotlight. She reminded us that by reading books, we become better speakers. Sister Mireille is a recent Master's graduate of Sr. John Fisher College. We thank Queen Mother Nana Akua Asantewaa (Sister Veronica Howard) for being the primary sponsor of the Grapevine Festival!

Minister Lawrance Lee Evans and S…

Join us for the Grapevine Festival!

On Saturday May 25 the Institute will host the 1st Grapevine Festival. Starting at 6 pm and lasting all night, the Festival is a time for people to learn about First Community Interfaith Institute, eat good food and listen to various speakers. The Grapevine Festival is the culmination of Malcolm X Week, which begins on Sunday May 19.

The Meaning of Resurrection

On March 31, Minister Evans spoke to a packed house about the transformation of the late William Bray (1945-2013) from an illiterate man to a man who could read medical books. Minister Evans stated that both men and women have an equal role in the liberation and building process.

But the highlight of the evening was the naming ceremony for Brother Julius Porter, one of Minister Evans' adult students. Brother Porter, the promoter of the Ministry School of Doology, was given the name "Atiba," a Yoruba name meaning understanding. The ceremony also featured two male drummers.

Below is a shortened version of the ceremony:




The Meaning of Resurrection

On Sunday March 31 ("Easter"), you are invited to hear Minister Lawrance Lee Evans Sr. speak at the "Meaning of Resurrection," 4 pm at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., 219 Hamilton Street. At this year's service, we will also have a memorial for the late William Bray, one of Minister Evans' earliest supporters and students, and a naming ceremony in which one of the current adult students will receive an African name.

Doology workshop on Sunday Mar 10

In honor of Women's History Month, Minister Lawrance Lee Evans will present a Doology Workshop on what would have been the 81st birthday of his trustee and student Sister Siti Akanke (aka Mary Bailey).

The workshop is titled "The Correct Struggle Against the Declaration of Inferiority." It will take place at 4 pm on Sunday March 10 at 219 Hamilton Street.

The workshop will answer such questions as: What can be done to help individuals fight against poverty, hopelessness and deprivation? What are the many "con" games that fleece the community and how can individuals protect themselves  from these flimsy programs and activities?

Please RSVP by emailing fciirochester@gmail.com or by calling 585-461-0379.

Join us for Supporters Day

JANUARY 31, 2013 First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. Presents "Supporters Day" for Black History Month
On Sunday, February 17, 2013, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., the spiritual and cultural organization plus a teaching church based in southeast Rochester. will hold its annual Black History Month program, called "Supporters Day in Honor of Brother Charles Riley" at two special services (9:00 am and 4:00 pm). Minister Lawrance Lee Evans, National Minister of First Community Interfaith Institute Inc., said that the two special services  will allow us to "promote the positive elements of our community that are seldom elevated above the negative elements in our community."

The first service will be at 9 am at 219 Hamilton Street. The hosts of the morning service are the junior adult students of the Ministry School of Doology. Breakfast will be served. The second service will be at 4 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. The hosts of the evening service ar…

Martin Luther King celebtation on Jan 15!

On Tuesday, January 15, at 5:30 pm,  on what would be Dr.Martin Luther King's 84th birthday, all of Minister Evans' students, from the youth in the Charles Riley Tutorial Program to the adults in the Ministry School of Doology will give presentations about Dr. King. The program will take place at the Institute headquarters, 219 Hamilton Street. Please come out and support us!

Here are some pictures from our recent Kwanzaa season.