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First Fruits and Kwanzaa season starts next week!



For the fourth consecutive year, First Community Interfaith Institute Inc. is participating in the online fundraising vehicle known as "ROCTHEDAY," where people from everywhere can donate securely to the Rochester based nonprofit(s) of their choice. This year "ROCTHEDAY" falls a little earlier than usual, on December 2. You have from midnight December 2 to 11:59 pm December 2 to use your credit or debit card to make a tax deductible donation to our educational programs here at the Institute. If you have benefited from the Institute's services in the past, we are hoping that this will be a good and easy way to give back. The direct link to our donation page is https://www.roctheday.org/FIRSTCOMMUNITYINTERFAITHINSTITUTEINC.

First Fruits begins on Monday December 1. We at the Institute celebrate First Fruits from December 1 to December 25. From December 26 to January 1 we switch gears to celebrate Kwanzaa as popularized by Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Here are the primary events for this year's First Fruits/Kwanzaa season:

  •  December 1 is the Kwanzaa Appreciation Program, 5:30 pm at 219 Hamilton Street. This is the introductory event that explains what Kwanzaa and First Fruits is all about. We conclude with the children blowing the seven candles.
  • December 15 is African Mothers Day, 6 pm, School #33, 500 Webster Avenue. This is when all girls and women receive flowers from the men and boys. We also have dinner and a brief program coordinated by longtime Institute supporter Ester Gliwinski.
  • December 26 is Umoja (unity), 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
  • December 27 is Kujichagulia (self-determination), 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
  • December 28 is Ujima (collective work and responsibility), 4pm, 219 Hamilton Street (Student Doology Hour, the weekly church service)
  • December 29 is Ujamaa (cooperative economics), 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
  • December 30 is Nia (purpose), 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
  • December 31 is Kuumba (creativity), 6 pm, 219 Hamilton Street
  • January 1, 2015 is Imani (faith), 6 pm, St John's Home, 150 Highland Avenue. This is the Karamu, or Kwanzaa feast, where we exchange gifts, the children receive books, and we bring a dish to pass (no pork). We conclude the 32 day Kwanzaa season with the chant "HARAMBEE!"

Hope to see you at our First Fruits/Kwanzaa events!

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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.