We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you plan for the upcoming months of ministry. We know you’re familiar with the typically celebrated holidays. What about the lesser known ones? What a disappointment to learn you just missed National Chocolate or National Ice Cream Day! The year 2019 will be different because you’ll be ready. We are setting you up with ideas for January through June. Keep your eyes peeled for the second half of the year in a few months!

January

National Soup Month. Who doesn’t like a warm bowl of soup on a chilly evening? Invite women to a Soup-er event, where they bring crockpots of their favorite soups and copies of the recipes to share. Don’t worry if you have some non-cooks in the group. Not everyone needs to bring a soupjust a spoon!

National Get Organized Month. Okay, so getting organized might not be on the top of everyone’s priority list, but it’s more fun together! Challenge each woman to clean one area of her house; it can be an entire closet or one drawer. Then have everyone bring all the items they no longer use—even if they think no one else will use the items either! Sort all the items and give things that are in good working order to a variety of community organizations, and inspire women to keep up their organizational energy with take-home tips and challenges.

February

National Laugh-Friendly Month. Share a smile, and be ready to laugh. Gather women together to watch a sidesplitting movie. Revisit the slumber party days by giving each other silly makeovers. Get the camera ready!

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month. Challenge women to become parking lot police for the month, protecting all vehicles from abandoned or runaway shopping carts. What a great community service!

March

National Frozen Food Month. Yes, fresh food is better for us, but it’s a challenge to eat healthy when life is busy. Gather in small groups of 6 or 8 in women’s homes; spend the evening creating delicious, nutritious meals for each woman to take home and freeze to enjoy on one of those how-will-I-possibly-fix-a-meal-tonight? days.

National Craft Month. So we’re not all crafty, but we can certainly appreciate creativity when we see it. Invite women to share ideas and projects with each other as they relax and work side-by-side. You never know what shared-interest groups or mission projects will begin to grow.

April

National Kite Month. Let’s go fly a kite together!

National Card and Letter Writing Month. Women appreciate receiving handwritten notes, whether the card is handmade or store-bought. Give women packets of blank cards as they leave worship and send all the cards to friends and family within the coming week. Share the encouragement!

May

National Barbeque Month. Plan a progressive dinner your women will enjoy. Ask men to grill, and plan all eating and activities to be outside to keep preparations low-key. Three stops along the route will be sufficient: appetizers, main course, and desserts. Remember, women like to graze, not gorge, so plan small tastes of several options.

Gifts From the Garden Month.  Challenge women to cultivate friendships through gardening. Whether by sharing plants, working on a community vegetable garden, or delivering a bright bouquet of flowers to a friend, women will grow together as they share time and smiles.

June

Skyscraper Month. The sky’s the limit! It’s okay if the tallest building close to you is only three stories—now’s the time to climb to the top! “Step it up” to raise funds for a community organization or mission. Set a date, and gather donation commitments for each step completed in climbing the stairs inside the building. The motivation to help people in need will keep women going, one step at a time.

National Candy Month. Chocolate, anyone? We can think of many ways to celebrate this holiday, so we’re glad the holiday lasts all month. Tour a candy-making factory, deliver sugar-free candies to women in shelters, or invite a friend to a frozen yogurt shop, where you can celebrate your difference by choosing your own candy toppings.