AfterWords is Holy Trinity’s adult religious education program. Attendees usually meet for about one hour following the coffee hour after Sunday morning Mass. During Lent, similar study programs may occur after Wednesday evening Mass. The discussions have either a lay or clergy leader, and all are encouraged to participate. Topics vary with the liturgical season and often include in-depth Biblical studies, discussion of social ministries and study initiatives of the wider church (Metro New York Synod and the ELCA), or occasional field trips to local museums. Recent areas of study include:
- In-depth readings of the Gospel lessen of the day, as appointed by the current Lectionary Year (a three year cycle with one year devoted to each of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.)
- Biblical studies focusing on other New Testament books of the Bible–the Gospel of John, Revelations, Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament letters.
- Study of Martin Luther and his writings
- Seminars on comparative translations of Old Testament selections and various interpretations of Old Testament stories, as well as a study of books in the Apochrypha.
- Social ministries that help children and adults in need, as conducted by Lutheran Social Services of New York
- Understanding the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and its ministries to the world.
- Information about Holy Trinity’s outreach ministries of HUG and the Women’s Homeless Shelter
- Ecumenical visitors who explain their faith and ministries
- Classes in liturgy and liturgical music led by Holy Trinity’s Cantor.
- Group music classes with focus on the Lutheran musical tradition
- Field Trips to museums with exhibitions of religious works of art, early Christian archeology and Biblical artifacts.
The AfterWords sessions usually have vigorous discussions in an atmosphere that respects differing points of view. Questioning is encouraged! Ideas for topics can come from church members or staff, and lay leadership is encouraged. New members are more than welcome to join, and no previous knowledge of prior discussions is necessary in order to participate.