Wales: Bishops take up Lent talk challenge

[Church in Wales] Three Welsh bishops are taking up a tough Lent challenge which will see them give 40 talks over five weeks at eight different venues.

The Archbishop of Wales, the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff and the Bishop of Monmouth will be out and about in churches across South Wales almost every weekday night in the weeks leading up to Easter giving talks about the Bible. And they’re inviting people to make it their Lent resolution to join them for discussion.

The Bishops hope to build on the success of similar talks last year which attracted more than 1,000 people a week.

This year, Lent starts today, Ash Wednesday. Lent lasts 40 days, counting from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day (not including Sundays) calling to mind the 40 days Jesus withdrew to the Judean Wilderness to prepare himself for his ministry and reflect on his priorities.

Christians similarly use Lent to home in on the things that really matter in their faith and lives, freeing themselves from clutter and distractions. They aim to make Lent a time of abstinence, and money saved is often donated to good causes.

The Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, and the Assistant Bishop, David Wilbourne, will be focusing on five books from the Bible – one a week – at three different venues. The books, which were nominated and voted as the top favourites by parishioners, are: Ruth, John, Job, Isaiah and Luke.

The venues are St David’s Church, Neath (Tuesdays), Llandaff Cathedral (Wednesdays) and St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd (Thursdays).

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Monmouth, Dominic Walker, will be out every weekday night in Lent, to talk about St Paul’s letters to young churches and what we can learn from them today.

He will be at St Cadoc’s Church, Raglan on Mondays, St Peter’s Church, Blaina, on Tuesdays, Newport Cathedral on Wednesdays, Pontprennau Community Church on Thursdays and St Mary’s Church hall, Magor, on Fridays. He will give 25 talks in total.

Bishop Dominic is also launching a Lent Appeal to raise money for the Raven House Trust, a local charity providing food and furniture for people in need, and the Jeel al Amal School for Orphans in Bethany which gives a home and education to young Palestinian boys who would otherwise be destitute. Last year, the Bishop’s Lent appeal exceeded £20,000.

The Archbishop said the evenings in the Llandaff Diocese would be a mixture of worship, fellowship, talk and discussion. He said, “We will look at the messages of the five very different books and see what relevance they have to people living in the 21st Century. I hope people will come along and join in the discussion.”

Bishop Dominic said, “The New Testament contains a number of letters that St Paul wrote to the early Christian communities explaining the Christian faith. We shall be looking at these letters to see how they relate to Christian life today.

“There will be five different talks over five weeks – but those who cannot manage the same weekday each week can always come to another venue.”

All the talks begin from February 18 and start at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend.


Her sgyrsiau Grawys yr Esgobion

Bydd gan dri o esgobion Cymru her anodd yn ystod y Grawys pan fyddant yn rhoi 40 sgwrs dros bum wythnos mewn wyth lleoliad gwahanol.

Bydd Archesgob Cymru, Esgob Cynorthwyol Llandaf ac Esgob Mynwy yn mynd o amgylch eglwysi ledled De Cymru bron bob noswaith o’r wythnos yn y cyfnod cyn y Pasg yn rhoi sgyrsiau ar y Beibl. Maent hefyd yn gwahodd pobl i wneud adduned Grawys i ymuno â hwy am drafodaeth.

Mae’r Esgobion yn gobeithio adeiladu ar lwyddiant sgyrsiau tebyg y llynedd a ddenodd fwy na 1,000 o bobl yr wythnos.

Mae’r Grawys yn parhau am 40 diwrnod, yn cyfrif o Ddydd Mercher Lludw i Ddydd Sul y Pasg (heb gynnwys dyddiau Sul) gan alw i gof y 40 diwrnod y bu Iesu yn yr anialwch yn Jwdea yn paratoi ei hunan am ei weinidogaeth ac yn myfyrio ar ei flaenoriaethau.

Mae Cristnogion yn defnyddio’r Grawys yn yr un modd i ganolbwyntio ar y pethau sy’n wirioneddol bwysig yn eu ffydd a’u bywydau, gan ryddhau eu hunain rhag pethau diangen ac ymyriadau. Anelant wneud y Grawys yn gyfnod o ymwrthod a chaiff arian a arbedir yn aml ei gyfrannu at achosion da.

Bydd yr Archesgob, Dr Barry Morgan, a’r Esgob Cynorthwyol, David Wilbourne, yn canolbwyntio ar bum llyfr o’r Beibl – un yr wythnos – mewn tri lleoliad gwahanol. Y llyfrau, a gafodd eu henwebu ac a ddewiswyd fel y ffefrynnau gan blwyfolion yw: Ruth, Ioan, Job, Eseia a Luc. Y lleoliadau yw Eglwys Dewi Sant, Castell Nedd (dyddiau Mawrth), Cadeirlan Llandaf (dyddiau Mercher) ac Eglwys y Santes Catherine, Pontypridd (dyddiau Iau).

Bydd Dominic Walker, Esgob Mynwy, allan bob noson o’r wythnos yn ystod y Grawys yn siarad am lythyrau Paul at eglwysi ifanc a’r hyn y gallwn ddysgu ganddynt heddiw.

Bydd yn Eglwys Sant Cadog, Rhaglan ar ddyddiau Llun, Eglwys Sant Pedr, Blaenau, ar ddyddiau Mawrth, Cadeirlan Casnewydd ar ddyddiau Mercher, Eglwys Gymunedol Pontprennau ar ddyddiau Iau a Neuadd Eglwys Santes Fair, Magwyr, ar ddyddiau Gwener. Bydd yn rhoi cyfanswm o 25 sgwrs.

Mae’r Esgob Dominic hefyd yn lansio Apêl Grawys i godi arian ar gyfer Ymddiriedolaeth Raven House, elusen leol sy’n darparu bwyd a chelfi ar gyfer pobl mewn angen, ac Ysgol Jeel al Amal i Blant Amddifad ym Methania, sy’n rhoi cartref ac addysg i fechgyn ifanc Palestinaidd a fyddai fel arall yn ddiymgeledd. Cododd apêl Grawys yr Esgob fwy na £20,000 y llynedd.

Dywedodd yr Archesgob y byddai’r nosweithiau yn Esgobaeth Llandaf yn gyfuniad o addoli, cyfeillach, sgwrs a thrafodaeth. Dywedodd, “Byddwn yn edrych ar negeseuon y pum llyfr gwahanol iawn a gweld eu perthnasedd sydd ganddynt i bobl yn byw yn y 21ain Ganrif. Gobeithiaf y daw pobl draw ac yn ymuno yn y drafodaeth.”

Dywedodd yr Esgob Dominic, “Mae’r Testament Newydd yn cynnwys nifer o lythyrau a ysgrifennodd Sant Paul at y cymunedau Cristnogol cynnar yn esbonio’r ffydd Gristnogol. Byddwn yn edrych ar y llythyrau hyn i weld sut maent yn berthnasol i fywyd Cristnogol heddiw.

“Bydd pum sgwrs wahanol dros bum wythnos – ond gall y rhai na all ddod yr un diwrnod o’r wythnos bob wythnos bob amser ddod i leoliad arall.”

Bydd yr holl sgyrsiau’n dechrau o 18 Chwefror ac yn dechrau am 7.30pm gyda chroeso i bawb.

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