Planning a worship service takes effort, creativity, and often a good amount of time.  In order to help make your worship planning a little easier, we have gathered some resources here.  We hope that these holidays and events, arranged by month based on the span of our campaign, will spark some wonderful liturgical ideas.

 

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Ash Wednesday is on February 13th this year.

February 14 is Valentine’s Day.

February 17th FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13
At the time of common celebrations (The first fruits in Deut 26:10-11) it is God’s intention that the outsider be welcomed to the table.
In the Romans passage, it gives the way to salvation – which says Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no caveat for sexual or gender identity. Everyone means everyone.

February 24th is Purim – one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar (HebCal)  This holiday celebrates the survival of the Jewish people. It is commemorated by reading the Book of Esther, exchanging holiday packages, contributing to charity, a festive meal and dressing up. Purim is a holiday when things should be turned upside down!

February 24th SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18, Psalm 27, Philipians 3:17-4:1, Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-36,(37-43a)
The Psalm passage talks about that God will be a parent to those whose mother and father has abandoned them. This is good news for LGBT people when they are banned from their family – God will be with them.
The Luke 9 passage is about the transfiguration of Christ. The glorified Christ is substituted for humankind and places each of us on an equal plane. We cannot put anyone down, when God is the one who is the ultimate judge and transforms the heart towards heaven.

Shabbat Sermon THE TRADITION OF FORGIVENESS
The link above is a sermon by Rabbi Eleanor Steinman.

March 3rd THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9
LGBT people thirst for equality and inclusion. Isaiah teaches that everyone who thirsts for what they need should come to God.
Psalms 63 also speaks about the thirsty soul. Anyone who thirsts (or has a heart for God) will be satisfied, including LGBT people.

March 10th FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
The Luke passage explains the great lengths the Father (God in this story) will go to in order to have unity in his family. As with the lost sheep (15:3) and the lost coin (15:8), the value of what was lost is great. How much more value are our family members who are LGBT than sheep and coins?

March 17th FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 126, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8
Each of the readings deal with the theme of restoration. Many LGBT people have been estranged from their families and faith communities and everyone needs a restoring of lost relationships. The John passage highlights the value of relationship over protocols or pretense of holiness (such as Judas objecting to the perfume being sold to give money to the poor).

Spring Equinox this year falls on March 20th and is the time when Pagans* celebrate the beginning of Spring. During the equinox, there is a balance between the hours of light and hours of darkness.  This is a time of planting, new opportunities, growth, and discovery. To incorporate pagan themes into your services in March, consider focusing on the symbols of spring, planting, balance,  hope, and newness.

March 24th PALM SUNDAY – LITURGY OF THE PASSION – SIXTH SUNDAY IN LENT
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49
Philippians teaches how Christ humbled himself on the level of humankind. How wrong it is for any of us to exalt ourselves above anyone else – like feeling we are superior to LGBT people.
Luke 22 passage is about the Last Supper. Most Christian churches commemorate this event and we need to examine ourselves to ask is anyone really worthy of the table and thus should anyone be excluded from it – especially those LGBT people who desire to partake? The only requirement to be worthy of the table is a heart for God (the inward), not outward expressions of your sexual or gender identity.

Pesach (Passover) Begins March 25th. One of three pilgrimage and harvest holidays, Passover commemorates the Exodus of the Israelite people from Egypt as told in the book of Exodus in the Hebrew bible. During the first two evenings of this holiday – this is a week long celebration – Jews gather and share a seder meal where the story of the Exodus is retold using special symbolic foods, stories, and learning. For one week Jews do not consume products with leavening. The story of liberation resonates today as Jews stand in solidarity and work towards the liberation of other peoples who are enslaved by in justice in our country and throughout the world.

Good Friday is March 29th

March 31st EASTER SUNDAY – RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25, Psalm 118:1-2,14-24, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43, John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12
Easter is a time of restoration, new beginnings and hope for a brighter future. These themes are evident in the passages and relate to a time of unity, forgiveness and reconciliation with LGBT family members.

* While pagans are a diverse and vibrant collection of individuals, there are a few commonalities that exist for most of the pagan community. One of these is the Wheel of the Year. Pagans celebrate eight holidays each year, marked out every six weeks. These holidays include the Solstices (Winter and Summer) and the Equinoxes (Autumnal and Spring). In between these astrologically defined dates, we celebrate four other holidays: Imbolc (Feb 2), Beltain (May 1), Lammas (Aug 1), and Samhain (Oct 31).

Pesach (Passover) Ends on April 2nd.

April 7th SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150, Revelation 1:4-8, John 20:19-31
In John’s gospel, Thomas did not believe in the resurrection unless he had hard evidence. Many don’t believe in the testimonies of LGBT Christians because of how they interpret scripture. Jesus gave Thomas the evidence he was looking for and LGBT Christians also have strong testimonies of how God has loved, redeemed and accepted them – if only people take the time to look and see for themselves.

April 14th THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 9:1-6, (7-20), Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19
Paul, a religious zealot, had his eyes open to the possibility that God was doing something new – Christ was reconciling humankind back to God. Paul went on to expand the definition of inclusion for those who were Gentiles – the outsiders of his day. It is God’s design that no one is to be excluded and may our eyes be open to expansion of God’s inclusion of those who are considered “outsiders”.

April 20th is Earth Day.

April 21st FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 9:36-43, Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9-17, John 10:22-30
In the Revelation passage, it describes the image of the great multitude being present before the throne of God. Many of us may be surprised to find who is a part of the multitude. Religion, political affiliation, economic status, or sexual orientation and gender identity will not be the divider. It will include all those who have a heart for the Living God.

Lag B’Omer, celebrated on April 27th and 28th marks the 33rd day between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot. This is a festive, but minor holiday in the Jewish Calendar.

April 28th FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 11:1-18, Psalm 148, Revelation 21:1-6, John 13:31-35
In the Acts passage, the apostles where amazed that the Gentiles (the “outsiders” of their day) were accepting the word of God and being baptized. There are many LGBT Christians who have also accepted the word of God and have been baptized, yet are still treated as outsiders. May we learn from the difficult challenge those in the early church faced about how to welcome and include those who have not been traditionally welcomed into the church.

May 1st is Beltane, the pagan holiday of sexuality and reproduction.  At this time, Pagans* honor the creative spark in all people and the wonderful miracle of life.  This is a time of fertilization, embodied sexuality, and joy. To incorporate pagan themes into your services in May, consider focusing on symbols of unions, creativity, passion, and happiness.

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo.

May 5th SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 16:9-15, Psalm 67, Revelation 21:10,22-22:5, John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9
In the John 14 passage, it speaks to the Holy Spirit that is given to believers in Christ and those with the Spirit will keep the commandments of God. All Christians, including LGBT Christians, who have the Spirit of God will exhibit the “fruits of the Spirit” that will act as evidence of their relationship with God. This is the standard people should be held accountable to, if they have the fruits of the Spirit and not condemning or shaming them for who they love or how they dress.

May 9th ASCENSION OF THE LORD
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47 or Psalm 93, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53
In Ephesians, it speaks to Christ having all authority to rule over all, yet people judge and condemn others because they feel they have not lived up to their standards. Christ is the only true judge, not us and we should refrain from condemning anyone. The Luke passage also speaks to this as well as Christ being the only one who can judge or forgive sins.

May 12th is Mother’s Day.

May 12th SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 16:16-34, Psalm 97, Revelation 21:12-14,16-17,20-21, John 17:20-26

May 14th through the 16th is Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks. This holiday takes place seven weeks after Passover and is the second of three pilgrimage and harvest holidays. Shavuot coincides with the barley harvest in the Middle East and commemorates the Revelation at Mt. Sinai when the People of Israel received the Torah (the Five Books of Moses). Study and learning are important components of this holiday’s observance.

May 19th SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9, Psalm 104:24-34,35b, Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21, John 14:8-17, (25-27)

May 26th TRINITY SUNDAY – FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Proverbs 8:1-4,22 -31, Psalm 8, Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15

May 27th is Memorial Day.

May 31st VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH
Corresponding Art and Prayers
Samuel 2:1-10 and Psalm 113, Romans 12:9-16b, Luke 1:39-57

* While pagans are a diverse and vibrant collection of individuals, there are a few commonalities that exist for most of the pagan community. One of these is the Wheel of the Year. Pagans celebrate eight holidays each year, marked out every six weeks. These holidays include the Solstices (Winter and Summer) and the Equinoxes (Autumnal and Spring). In between these astrologically defined dates, we celebrate four other holidays: Imbolc (Feb 2), Beltain (May 1), Lammas (Aug 1), and Samhain (Oct 31).

June 2nd PROPER 4 (9) – SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
1 Kings 18:20-21,(22-29),30-39 and Psalm 96, 1 Kings 8:22-23,41-43 and Psalm 96:1-9, Galatians 1:1-12, Luke 7:1-10

June 9th PROPER 5 (10) – THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
1 Kings 17:8-16,(17-24) and Psalm 146, 1 Kings 17:17-24 and Psalm 30, Galatians 1:11-24, Luke 7:11-17

June 16th is Father’s Day.

June 16th PROPER 6 (11) – FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
1 Kings 21:1-10,(11-14),15-21a and Psalm 5:1-8, 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10,13-15 and Psalm 32, Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36-8:3

June 7th through 9th is Los Angeles Pride Weekend.

June 20th is the Summer Solstice. This is a high holiday for Pagans*, where we celebrate the bright shining sun. Today is the longest day of the year, a fact we take advantage of with picnics, spending time in nature, and other big celebrations. To incorporate pagan themes into your services in June, consider focusing on symbols of the sun, vibrant abundance, life at its peak, and taking time off to rejuvenate yourself.

June 23rd PROPER 7 (12) – FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
1 Kings 19:1-4,(5-7),8-15a and Psalm 42 and 43, Isaiah 65:1-9 and Psalm 22:19-28, Galatians 3:23-29, Luke 8:26-39

June 30th PROPER 6 (13) – SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Corresponding Art and Prayers
2 Kings 2:1-2,6-14 and Psalm 77:1-2,11-20, 1 Kings 19:15-16,19-21 and Psalm 16, Galatians 5:1,13-25, Luke 9:51-62

* While pagans are a diverse and vibrant collection of individuals, there are a few commonalities that exist for most of the pagan community. One of these is the Wheel of the Year. Pagans celebrate eight holidays each year, marked out every six weeks. These holidays include the Solstices (Winter and Summer) and the Equinoxes (Autumnal and Spring). In between these astrologically defined dates, we celebrate four other holidays: Imbolc (Feb 2), Beltain (May 1), Lammas (Aug 1), and Samhain (Oct 31).


We are still learning about Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and other faith traditions from our allies in the Interfaith community. We hope to be able to add more religious holidays to our list. If you would like to share information about a holiday from your faith tradition, please contact us at breakthrough2Love@gmail.com.