Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
21: Absolutely not. That’s a pagan holiday!
28: Absolutely. Bring on the candy!
14: Whatever. I’ll buy my own candy, thank you very much.
106: People, seriously. Chill out.
Considering the events in Syria, should the Church make statements regarding war?
50: No. The Church should stick to churchly things.
81: Sometimes. It depends on the moral and ethical reasons for doing so.
62: Absolutely! The Church exists to bear bold witness!
If you tuned in to this summer’s 65th Regular Convention of the LCMS, did you think it was:
43: Awesome! I love learning more about the church.
26: So-so. I can only handle so much dialogue and voting.
24: The LCMS had a convention?
The Supreme Court will soon rule on the legality of same-sex marriage. What do you think the ruling will be?
94: The court will legalize same-sex marriage.
44: The court will uphold the current definition of marriage.
48: Who knows?
Are you coming to St. Louis in July for the Synod’s general convention?
19: Yes. I’m a delegate.
7: Yes. I’m not a delegate but I just can’t stay away!
75: No, but I’ll be following along online.
20: What’s a convention?
How many mid-week services do you think you’ll attend during the upcoming season of Lent?
17: 0. What’s Lent?
57: A couple. I’ve got a busy schedule.
174: All! Lent is my favorite season of the Church Year.
Its been 40 years since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. To observe the occasion I plan to:
59: Pray for our nation and our unborn.
1: Attend the LCMS Life Conference in Arlington, Va., Jan. 25-26.
7: Join (or I am already a member of) Lutherans For Life.
7: All of the above.
14: None of the above.
What is your favorite Christmas service?
8: Our Christmas Eve childrens service
26: Our midnight Christmas Eve service
7: Our Christmas Day service
What color does your church use for paraments and vestments during Advent?
74: Blue. Like the color of the sky, it conveys the Advent message of anticipation and hope.
41: Purple. It is a penitential color as opposed to a festive one.
36: What are paraments and vestments?
Former CIA director David Petraeus resigned his position due to an extra-marital affair. Was that the right move?
33: He didn’t need to resign. Everyone makes mistakes.
108: He did the right thing. Resigning acknowledges the sanctity of marriage.
14: Does it really matter as long as no secrets were leaked?
As America enters the final push toward Election Day, is it helpful for the church to speak out when it feels its religious liberties are being infringed?
25: No way. The church should stay out of the state’s business.
321: Absolutely. The state should stay out of the church’s business.
35: Not certain, but I’m willing to entertain information from both sides.
Now available in digital format, The Lutheran Witness can be downloaded to iPads, Nooks, Kindles and more! Which format do you prefer?
87: Print. If I could, I’d still receive my mail by Pony Express.
92: Digital. We’re not living in the Middle Ages, you know.
99: Both. I want it all!
Has the recent attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, as well as other seemingly random acts of mass violence, made you fear attending your own church?
63: No way. I’ll be there Sunday morning with bells on!
10: Not much, but I’ll be a little more alert than usual.
0: I’m scared. Religious attacks close to home frighten me.
How the nationwide drought is most affecting me:
72: My lawn/garden/crops is/are dying.
20: I’m way over budget on my grocery purchases.
9: My family and I can’t stay cool.
21: The heat doesn’t really faze me.
Summer is upon us. Will your children (or grandchildren) attend Vacation Bible School this year?
62: Yes, we have enrolled them already.
8: No, VBS is not in our plans this summer.
11: Our congregation is not offering a VBS this summer.
5: Were a nearby LCMS congregation offering VBS, I would enroll them.
As political campaigns dominate the news, have you decided which candidate you’ll vote for in November?
127: I already know. And dont try to change my mind about it!
3: Is this an election year?
36: Still weighing my options. I have a few months to decide.
Do you rely too much on cell phones, social media sites and the Internet? In short, are you addicted to technology?
48: Sorry. What? I was checking email.
7: Are you implying my rotary phone is out-of-date?
56: I could survive without them… for a few days, at least.
With gas prices topping $3.90 a gallon, have your travel plans changed?
48: Yes. Im running a bunch of errands at once instead of spreading them out.
18: Nope. Bring on the spring break road trip!
73: Some. In places where I can cut back, I do.
This year, Daylight Savings Time began at 2 a.m. on March 11. Are you a fan of “springing forward” and “falling back”?
20: Yes. It makes better use of daylight and saves energy.
46: No. It’s an old practice, and we should scrap it.
7: It makes no difference to me. Say, does anyone have the time?
7: I’m too old to “spring forward.”
LCMS President Harrison, spoke against a recent HHS mandate, which requires that non-profit, religious institutions cover birth control and abortifacients in their health insurance plans. Do you believe the issue is really about:
37: womens rights
15: birth control
264: freedom of religion
62: all of the above
The 84th Annual Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26, 2012. Will you be watching?
77: Absolutely. In fact, Ive already got popcorn and soda ready.
95: No way. Id rather spend the evening shampooing my carpet.
21: Maybe . . . if theres absolutely nothing else on TV.
Whom do you like in Super Bowl XLVI?
14: New England Patriots
29: New York Giants
21: The commercials
40: Dont care; wont be watching
Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year?
20: Yes, I do every year.
68: No. Why bother?
18: Yes, but I’m not confident I’ll stick with them.
What kind of tree do you use for Christmas?
28: It’s a natural tree.
96: It’s an artificial tree.
2: It’s shiny and silver, and we have a color wheel!
2: It’s a live tree that we plant early in the new year.
When does your family trim your Christmas tree?
73: As soon after Thanksgiving as possible!
9: The Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec. 6).
64: About the middle of December.
13: On Christmas Eve.
Advent began Nov. 27. How will you celebrate the season of Advent?
4: We set aside time for Advent devotions.
31: We attend Advent services.
6: We display an Advent wreath.
48: All of the above.
8: We don’t do anything special for Advent.
Veterans Day is Nov. 11. Are members of your congregation on active duty with the Armed Forces–or with the National Guard or Reserve?
43: Yes, we have members on active duty.
1: No, but we have members who have just returned from active duty.
0: No, but we have members who have been notified their units will be activated in the near future.
7: No, currently we have no one in our congregation in the Armed Forces.
Welcome, fall! Many families traditionally celebrate the season with trips to scenic orchards and pumpkin farms. Will you visit an orchard this fall and pick a bag of apples with your family?
33: Yes, it’s a beloved family tradition!
34: No, there aren’t any apple orchards near our home.
36: I’ll just go the grocery store to get my apples!
Tattoos and body piercings are about as common today as lipstick and neckties. What is your opinion of the former as opposed to the latter?
103: I have a tattoo, and I’m proud of it.
197: Tattoos? Not for me under any circumstances. Ugh!
160: Tattoos? Not for me, but it’s a matter of personal choice, just like lipstick and neckties.
8: I have a tattoo, and I regret getting it.
42: Can’t you find a better poll question?
Labor Day is here. I’ll celebrate the holiday by
1: Having one last grand summer weekend road trip
8: Visiting family or friends
9: Entertaining family and friends
36: Enjoying a quiet weekend at home
3: Working, unfortunately
August is upon us, and when August arrives, the new school year is not far behind–and neither are perennial questions about what constitutes proper school attire. Do you believe uniforms for students should be mandatory?
100: Yes, I believe uniforms are appropriate and necessary for good order.
50: No, parents, not schools, should decide what is appropriate attire for their children.
5: I have no opinion on this issue.
Today, cell phones are everywhere. At what age do you believe a child is old enough to have his or her personal cell phone?
1: 6
10: 9
85: 12
141: 15
82: Children don’t need cell phones
Independence Day is upon us. For the weekend, I will be
11: visiting friends or family.
3: hosting friends or family.
0: heading for the beach!
16: spending a quiet weekend at home.
With increased media coverage of presidential debates, political candidates and the upcoming election, do you find that your interest in politics:
11: Is on the rise.
3: Has decreased.
11: Is remaining about the same.
27: I’m downright tired of politics.
With higher than usual gas prices, will you:
57: Keep your vacation travel plans.
23: Have a stay-cation at home.
40: Not take a vacation at all.
According to The New York Times parenting blog, 20 percent of 25–34-year-olds are moving back home after college (the “boomerang” phenomenon). What does your child intend to do after college?
1: Move home.
7: Start a new job.
8: Continue on to graduate school.
2: Move home while applying for jobs.
Each of the Gospel-writers offers a stirring account of the Resurrection, of that first Easter Day. Which among these accounts is your favorite?
10: Matt. 28:1-10
7: Mark 16:1-8
7: Luke 24:1-12
32: John 20:1-18
What is your favorite Lenten hymn?
34: Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted
5: On My Heart Imprint Your Image
66: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
49: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
31: None of the above
How is your Lutheran church or school helping with disaster-relief efforts in Japan?
1: We’re sending money.
10: We’re praying.
16: We’re doing both.
We are now in the season of Lent. LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison is encouraging everyone to pray the Litany (LSB 288) daily during Lent. Day in and day out, regardless of the season, do you set aside specific quiet time for prayer?
48: Yes I do. It is part of my daily routine.
2: No, I do not. But we share family devotions daily.
38: I have no specific time, but I daily find time to pray.
25: My intentions are good, but in the rush of life, I often forget to pray.
Ash Wednesday (March 9) marks the beginning of Lent. Do you plan on attending services on Ash Wednesday?
100: Yes, I plan to attend Ash Wednesday services.
5: No, I will not be able to attend Ash Wednesday services.
2: Our congregation no longer holds Ash Wednesday Services.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is actively involved in social media, primarily through Facebook (www.facebook.com/thelcms) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/thelcms). Tell us how often you view the LCMS posts:
63: Daily
23: Weekly
6: Monthly
26: Never. I didn’t know they existed, but I do now!
30: Never. I don’t use social media.
A popular gift for a loved one on Valentine’s Day is chocolate. What’s your favorite?
46: Milk chocolate
81: Dark chocolate
9: White chocolate
20: All of the above
8: Sorry, I can’t have or don’t care for chocolate
The January issue of The Lutheran Witness features a new cover design (as well as a new look inside). What’s your opinion?
43: Love it!
13: Well, I guess it’s an improvement.
14: Blegh!
3: It has a new cover design?
The NFL playoffs are down to four teams. Who will you be rooting for this weekend?
13: The Chicago Bears
17: The Green Bay Packers
2: The New York Jets
3: The Pittsburgh Steelers
In Jan. and Feb., we celebrate several notable Americans: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ronald Reagan. Among their many speeches, which of these resonates most with you?
40: Washington’s farewell address to his officers (1783).
49: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863).
6: FDR’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” speech (1933).
21: King’s “I have a dream” speech (1963).
24: Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech (1987).
For much of the world, Christmas is one day. Yet, for Christians, Christmastide, the liturgical season that begins with Christmas Eve, lasts much longer, generally ending with Epiphany. Does your family continue to celebrate after Dec. 25?
25: Yes, we celebrate each and every day of Christmas.
19: We celebrate Christmas until the New Year, then it’s back to work.
8: No, Christmas ends when Dec. 26 dawns.
Advent began Nov. 28. In our home we:
8: display an advent wreath;
2: have regular Advent devotions;
30: attend Advent services.
30: All of the above.
11: We try, but too often Advent simply gets lost in the daily rush of life.
After your Thanksgiving dinner, what do you do with your leftover turkey?
1: Make turkey salad
3: Make a turkey casserole
12: Eat it cold
5: Are you kidding, there are no leftovers!
5: Something else altogether
Praise God for the safe return of everyone aboard the Princess Splendor cruise ship this week.
Given inconveniences the passengers and crew suffered, are you disposed to take a cruise yourself if given the chance?
23: Absolutely. This was a freak occurrence and wouldn’t keep me from cruising in the future.
8: Not sure…this certainly would cause me to think twice.
6: Never. Why risk that my vacation turns out to be anything but?
Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK) is Nov. 11. Is someone in your family a veteran, or perhaps now on active duty in the armed forces? (Choose the answer that best applies.)
32: Yes, I am a veteran.
43: I have a family member (spouse/child) who is a veteran.
4: I am on active duty or a member of the Guard or Reserve.
36: I have a family member (spouse/child) who is on active duty (or a member of the Guard or Reserve).
11: No one in our family has been called into military service.
Who’s going to win the World Series?
10: San Francisco Giants
5: Texas Rangers
2: No idea
4: I didn’t know the World Series was on; all I’ve been watching are the political ads.
In anticipation of the mid-term elections, the media are full of political ads, many of them with negative messages. What is your reaction to these ads?
10: They help inform the decisions I will make on election day.
47: They have no effect on the decisions I will make on election day.
61: I’m dismayed. I wonder if anyone remembers the Eighth Commandment.
46: I’m sick of them. I’ve stopped listening to the TV and radio.
Fall is just around the corner. Where’s your favorite place for enjoying fall colors:
33: The marvelous Midwest
18: The knock-your-socks-off Northeast
28: The unbelievable Upper Midwest
20: The gorgeous West
33: My beautiful backyard
How often do you answer polls?
7: Every time I have the opportunity. I like to voice my opinion and see the collective results.
16: Sometimes, if the topic is interesting to me.
2: Sometimes, if the topic is not too controversial.
5: Never. I dislike polls and prefer to keep my opinions to myself.
In recent decades, the start of the school year has crept from early September to mid-August. Do you believe your local school (Lutheran, public, private) begins its fall session at an appropriate time?
22: Yes, we begin in mid- or late August.
8: Yes, we begin just after Labor Day.
22: No, August is too early. Give children (and teachers) the break they deserve.
5: No, September is too late. Children need to spend more time in school.
20: Today, children should attend school year-round.
A recently released Gallup poll indicates that Americans may attend church less as an economy gets worse. During this current economic crisis, have you attended church more or less frequently?
15: I’m attending more frequently.
5: I’m not attending as much.
105: My church attendance has not changed.
It’s summer – prime mission trip season. Have you ever been on a mission trip? (Learn more about mission trips here: www.lcms.org/?960)
36: Yes
25: No
10: It’s one of the items on my “to do someday” list.
For many congregations, summer is traditionally the time to host Vacation Bible School. Did your congregation sponsor a VBS program this year?
29: We organize a traditional one-week VBS each summer.
11: We schedule a week-long VBS but opt for evening sessions.
14: We organize a one-week evening VBS that includes family mealtime.
2: We use VBS to enhance our day-camp activities.
0: We use VBS to enhance our Mom’s Day Out program.
2: No, our congregation does not offer a VBS program.
Some media and fans are simply agog about the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa. What’s your opinion?
21: Yes, I’m a fan. Hooray!
22: No, I’m not interested.
13: Sorry, I’d rather be watching baseball.
7: World Cup? What’s that?
Father’s Day is June 20. Have you made special weekend plans–or has Dad?
2: We’re taking Dad out for a meal.
5: We’re planning a family backyard get-together.
0: He’ll get in an extra round of golf.
1: We celebrate in another way.
5: We make no special plans.
School’s out and summer’s here. This year, will you take a vacation away from home?
4: Yes, we’re looking forward to an extended getaway (2 weeks or more).
12: Yes, but it will be short.
10: Yes, we will vacation as normal.
4: Maybe. It all depends on our work schedules.
11: No, a family vacation isn’t in the picture this year.
In Lutheran congregations, confirmands were often welcomed into the Church on Palm Sunday or the first Sunday after Easter. Today, many celebrate confirmation on Pentecost. When is confirmation in your congregation?
7: Palm Sunday
1: 1st Sunday after Easter
12: Pentecost
10: Another late-spring Sunday
3: Reformation Sunday
1: Another autumn Sunday
Spring’s here! Summer’s on its way. Are you gardening this year? “Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:4 KJV).
13: Yes, flowers, flowers, everywhere.
8: Yes, I grow my own vegetables.
55: Yes, both flowers and veggies – beauty & function!
14: No, I’m just not good at gardening.
9: No, gardening doesn’t interest me.
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?
4: I’m right on target. Hooray!
10: I’ve slipped here and there, but I’m still trying.
2: I made some, but I forget what they were.
3: I gave up.
30: I didn’t make any resolutions.
The season for America’s pastime – baseball – is here. How many professional baseball games will you attend this season:
11: 1 or 2
2: 3 or 4
4: 5 or more
0: I’m a season ticket holder and will rarely miss a game.
8: I prefer to watch from the best seat in the house – my couch.
3: They’ve priced those tickets so high I don’t want to part with money to go.
12: None. Baseball’s not my thing.
Among the nearly three dozen Easter hymns in Lutheran Service Book, is one of these your favorite?
19: “Were You There” [when they crucified my Lord] (456)
45: “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” (457)
8: “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” (458)
56: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (461)
51: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today – Alleluia” (463)
6: “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (465)
6: “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” (467)
1: “O Sons and Daughters of the King” (470)
12: “Hail Thee, Festival Day” (489)
16: “Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise” (680)
13: No, I have another favorite.
Is your congregation doing anything to help members or others deal with the loss of a job or a home during this tough economy, or other issues related to the recession?
3: Yes, we have a food bank and/or serve free meals.
0: Yes, we offer job counseling, housing counseling, etc.
7: Yes, we offer help in other ways.
4: No, we’re not really doing anything.
Are you ready for winter to end?
21: Absolutely! I’m ready for spring.
4: Never! I enjoy the cold.
1: Winter? The weather where I live is warm.
0: I have no opinion either way.
Which of the 10 Oscar nominees for “Best Picture” do you think will take home the statuette?
18: “Avatar”
20: “The Blind Side”
2: “District 9”
0: “An Education”
5: “The Hurt Locker”
6: “Inglourious Basterds”
3: “Precious”
0: “A Serious Man”
5: “Up”
2: “Up in the Air”
32: It just doesn’t matter to me.
Do you agree or disagree with the large bonuses several Wall Street firms will hand out to certain senior employees?
15: I agree. It’s just the free-market system at work.
12: I agree. Who am I to say how their employees should be rewarded?
12: I disagree. Wall Street should straighten itself out before handing out bonuses.
38: I disagree. They have been reckless and shouldn’t be rewarded for their behavior.
Now that President Obama’s health-care plan seems likely to go back to the drawing board, are you . . .
12: Disappointed or sad
60: Happy or relieved
2: Unaffected
2: None of the above
Have you already forgotten/broken your New Year’s resolution?
12: Yes.
10: No.
55: I didn’t make any resolutions.
If you could have any of the following for Christmas, which would you choose:
53: More faith
16: More time
6: More money
43: All of the above
What type of tree do you use to help celebrate Christmas?
30: I put up an artificial tree.
8: I put up a real tree.
2: Neither, I use an indoor plant or some other Christmas tree substitute.
1: Neither, I don’t use a Christmas tree at all.
When someone wishes you “Happy holidays,” do you reply in the same way with a “Happy holidays” to avoid offense, or do you make it a point to say “Merry Christmas” instead?
223: I say “Merry Christmas.”
15: I say “Happy holidays.”
How many mid-week services do you think you’ll attend this Advent season?
1: None
0: One
3: Two
2: All of them
It’s that time of year again. Reformation and All Saints’ are barely past and Christmas decorations and music already permeate stores and shopping centers, If you had your way, stores would not begin the Christmas season until
5: Veterans Day is past;
40: the Friday after Thanksgiving;
12: the Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec. 6);
28: Christmas is never about shopping and gifts.
Do you plan to read the final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synod Structure and Governance? (http://www.lcms.org/?15930)
47: Yes. I am very interested in the task force’s recommendations
4: No. I don’t plan to read the report.
Which team is your pick to be the ultimate World Series winner?
1: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – American League
0: Los Angeles Dodgers – National League
5: New York Yankees – American League
12: Philadelphia Phillies – National League
There continues to be much debate today about health care and health-care reform. How do you feel about your health-care arrangements and the state of the health-care industry in this country?
3: I am satisfied and see no need for a health-care makeover.
9: I am satisfied but I believe our health-care system could be improved.
6: I am worried and believe we need to reconsider how we provide health care in this nation.
12: I am worried but concerned also about a government “takeover” of the health-care industry.
17: Government should keep its hands off my health care and the health-care industry.
3: Government should play an important role in our health-care industry.
10: Our health-care industry is fine. We simply need to cut waste and fraud.
Do you ever witness to the Gospel of Christ to a person outside your comfort zone?
12: Yes, I am completely at ease about this and witness to others every chance I get.
28: Yes, I do this on occasion.
15: No, it makes me too nervous, but I’ll keep trying.
4: No, I can’t picture myself doing this except with someone I intimately know.
Generally speaking, and realizing it’s impossible to know right now what the final product might look like, are you in favor of the Obama health-care plan or against it?
21: Yes, I am in favor of it.
110: No, I am opposed to it.
7: I am not sure yet.
Do you “tweet” on Twitter, participate in Facebook, or engage in any other form of online social networking?
49: Yes, I love this stuff.
35: No, I have no use for it.
12: No, but I’m kind of curious about it.
Who’s going to win the Major League Baseball All-Star Game July 14th at Busch Stadium in St. Louis?
8: The National League.
7: The American League.
6: Don’t know. Don’t care.
With the energy bill in Congress making headlines, it’s timely to ask, Where do you stand on global warming?
3: I think it’s entirely true.
13: It’s a concern, but overstated.
19: I don’t buy it at all.
Have you ever served as a volunteer at your congregation’s Vacation Bible School?
49: Yes.
7: No.
5: No, but I hope to one day.
This year, will you pick your vacation spot based on:
10: Family get-togethers (graduations, reunions, marriages, etc.)
6: Location, location, location! (faraway islands, snow-capped mountains, rain forests, etc.)
3: Outdoor activities (hiking, biking, boating, fishing, etc.)
3: Popular tourist attractions (popular theme parks, popular museums, science and the arts)
11: I’m not taking a vacation this year
Do you typically fly an American flag at your home, particularly on national holidays?
39: Yes.
8: No.
There is a lot of talk about the benefits of home gardening today. Will you plant a vegetable garden this year?
33: Yes.
10: No, I don’t like gardening.
7: I’d like to but don’t have time.
10: I’d like to but don’t have room.
2: I’d like to but don’t know how to garden.
Baseball season is here. Will you be attending a professional game this year, either Major League or minor?
26: You bet!
21: No.
5: I’d like to, but there’s no practical way for me to go.
Who’s going to win the men’s NCAA basketball tournament?
5: Connecticut
10: Michigan State
12: North Carolina
2: Villanova
15: I don’t care
A new daily devotional, provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries, recently was introduced on the Synod’s home page. Do you ever read the daily devotional on LCMS.org?
17: Yes.
9: No.
8: No, but I may start.
Certain Christian traditions have encouraged the practice of giving something up for Lent. Are you giving up anything these next several weeks?
61: No.
14: Yes, a favorite food.
11: Yes, an unhealthy habit.
4: Yes, a favorite pastime.
6: Yes, something other than listed above.
So far, to me, this winter has been . . .
11: A perfect delight!
8: Quite tolerable, thank you.
14: Bearable, but a nuisance at times.
35: Enough already! Bring on Spring!
Does your congregation have an immigrant ministry?
0: Yes.
13: No.
1: We are developing one.
In terms of the economy and life in general in the United States, I think 2009 will be . . .
41: Better than 2008.
27: About the same as 2008.
47: Worse than 2008.