Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

My photo

church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

New Year Youth Camp @ Isola del Gran Sasso

Tomorrow we'll leave for the New Year Youth Camp
for kids from all around Italy aged 14-19 years-old,
from the 27th December to the 2nd of January 2014,
in the Christian Centre in Isola del Gran Sasso.

This centre is located in Abruzzo, a beautiful region of Italy,
by the Gran Sasso which is the highest mountain in the
Apennines chain in Italy and a winter sky resort.

The theme for this camp is: Pure Love,
Stefano will give a series of five Bible Studies from the Gospel of John on Jesus' Pure Love expressed in his "I Am Sayings".

To interact with kids we'll watch clips from MTv comedians, X-Factor, Harry Potter, Hunger Games & Twilight.

Pray that kids will enjoy the camp and that God will speak to their hearts in every way.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Jenny & Stefano

Taken from the TownHall website
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

My Space Club 4 teens - Christmas Party

This evening we'll have the end of year party of the
My Space club for teens run by Nuova Vita church and
San Lazzaro church in partnership with Youth for Christ.

Stefano will give a talk from Luke 2:8-20 challenging kids to be "Good Young Shepherds" following the example of those shepherds of more than 2.000 years ago.

Those shepherds came to listen the Word of God,
they believed in Jesus because they saw in Him
their Saviour, Christ and Lord.
Then they went back in their everyday lives telling everyone of the joy of this transforming Good News!

Are we ready to come to the Word of God
and to see our need of Jesus as Saviour and Lord,
Are we ready then to go in our communities,
and to tell everyone of the Good News of Jesus' redemptive life?

Let's rediscover this way to celebrate Christmas!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

San Lazzaro Church Home-groups Prayer Meeting

Tomorrow evening we'll have the monthly Home-groups 
Prayer Meeting of San Lazzaro Church.

During this meetings we pray for World Evangelism, 

and for the missionary work in China and in Senegal
in which we are involved.

We pray for Italy and our region Emilia-Romagna and
for the cooperation we have with different churches in
the Bologna Area and for the outreach activities we have.

This month we'll pray for the African Continent, following the prayer points raised by the latest IDOP (International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church) promoted by the  
World Evangelical Alliance.
We'll pray specifically for Egypt, where, 
after the overthrown of the previous president, persecution against Christians has increased and for Nigeria, where Christian churches and homes are constant target for the jihad.
We'll also pray for the Gospel work in the nearby town of Imola, which has a population of about 70.000 people and it's considered the western entrance to the historical region Romagna.
We'll pray for Luce sul Santerno church and it's work to unite churches in the Romagna Area, 
and for the church-plant of La Rocca church, with their reaching out in the community especially for the Push The Rock summer camp.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Bible Study on Luke 2:1-20 - Are we good contemporary shepherds?

Tomorrow evening
for the mid-week meeting in San Lazzaro church, Stefano will lead
an interactive
Bible Study on
Luke 2:1-20.

The shepherds were in a field, going on with their normal life, watching over their flocks by night.
When an heavenly messenger invited them to:
Come and see, the Savior born that day,
who is Christ the Lord.
They responded in faith and then they went to tell everyone the Good News concerning this Child!

Are we good contemporary shepherds? How do we respond to the invitation for this Christmas to:  
Come and see the Saviour, Go and Tell everyone the Good News?

"The angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord...
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 
And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them."
Luke 2:10-18 (ESV)

Monday, 16 December 2013

First Sunday Service in Budrio - some pictures

Yesterday morning we had our first Sunday morning Service
in Budrio in a hall in the main sport centre of the town.
There were 17 adults plus a lovely group of 9 children,
all from the Budrio area.

Stefano opened the service with a reading from Luke 24:44-48 underlining the continuity in the Bible history of God's people
in proclaiming Christ to all nations reaching us today in this Acts29 church-plant.

Jonathan Gilmore, director of Impatto (Acts29 Italy), and from June 2014 our co-worker in the Budrio church-plant, preached for us from the book of Exodus, challenging us to see how in our everyday difficulties and worries the Gospel of God's salvation makes the difference.
God is present amongst his people in freeing us and leading us to a life of active worship of His Name.

After the sermon we divided in to three groups to discuss how to realise the transforming power of Jesus' Gospel in our lives. Stefano & Jenny led the group of the children and it was really good to see that there are no generational barriers in how the Word of God speaks to us.

Here are some pictures of this "milestone" in the church-plant work in Budrio:

Saturday, 14 December 2013

First Sunday Service in Budrio

Tomorrow morning we'll have our first Sunday morning Service in Budrio in a hall in the main sport centre.

Jonathan Gilmore, director of Impatto (Acts29 Italy), and our co-worker in the Budrio church-plant, will preach for us.

Stefano will lead the service opening with a reading from Luke 24:44-48.
"Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 
and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations..."
Luke 24:46-47 (ESV)

We'll have a time of thanksgiving for the doors God has opened in these years:
June 2012 with the food collection for the neighbours damaged by the earthquake;
March 2013 for the Arkansas baseball team witnessing in Budrio High-School;
June 2013 for the Arkansas team witnessing to the 300 kids of the local summer camp;
September 2013 for the time serving and enjoying friendship at the local Onion fair;
Nov./Dec. 2013 for the Thanksgiving events in the High-School and the meal with friends

Then we'll have a time of prayer for the future projects of the church-plant in Budrio:
January 2014 monthly Sunday service,  
The World We All Want Bible studies,
MySpace club for local kids;
March 2014 the Arkansas team back in the High-School and the Middle-School,
May 2014 the Irish team playing The Cage soccer and witnessing in the schools;
July 2014 an Exch@nge summer camp for local kids in the Budrio Sport Centre.

Then we'll pray for God's wisdom and vision to start a local church in Budrio in September 2014!

Happy Birthday Jenny!

Today it's Jenny's Birthday
and these are the pictures
I've made for her personalized
Birthday Card!

The original pictures are from
our favourite advert of an Italian brand of biscuits that you can watch below!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Porterbrook - Campus Bologna plenary session

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm
we'll have the plenary session for
students of the advanced years of
Porterbrook - Campus Bologna.

This meeting will be held in Forte Torre Church and we expect about 15 students.

We'll start with the third and fourth modules of the 1st volume advanced course.

The third module is Missional Church and Church Planting,
led by Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre.
In this session, students will interact with these units:

- Ecclesiology
- Missional Ecclesiology

This course will help you reconnect the church with mission. The church is God’s mission strategy for reaching people with the gospel. Mission is at the heart of who we are and what we do as church. This course walks you through the doctrine of the church to discover its role in mission. It challenges and equips us to see church planting as a central missions strategy for churches and ordinary Christians.

The fourth module is A Commitment for the Context,
led by Stefano.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. Contextualisation 1
5. Contextualisation 2
6. Theology of the city

This module will help students to understand the culture and
the context in which they live and how to engage others with the Gospel.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Habakkuk House Groups Bible Studies

Tomorrow evening we'll continue in San Lazzaro Church the series of Bible Studies on the book Habakkuk for the monthly House Groups we run in three homes.
This month we'll look at Habakkuk 1:12-17.

For these studies we are using the book by Jonathan Lamb: 
From Why to Worship: Habakkuk, which is available in Italian.

Would God be enough if we were to lose everything else?
Would we be able to say, with Habakkuk, that although we had nothing  we would “rejoice in the Lord”?
This is a challenging book.
Lamb brings Habbakuk’s prophecy 

to life, showing how we can take God with us into our darkest times.

Jonathan Lamb  is on the staff of Langham Partnership International
As international director of Langham Preaching he works with national leaders to build local movements committed to Bible exposition and to provide training, resources and support for a new generation of preachers.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

"Praying with Paul" - 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 - A prayer to increase in love & holiness

Tomorrow Stefano will continue the series:
"Praying with Paul", in which we are interacting with Paul's prayers in his letters.

For this sermon: "A prayer to increase 
in love & holiness", we'll engage with  
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13.

To introduce this sermon, we'll ask ourselves:
How do we respond when we face worries that see us powerless? How do we respond when amazing good news reassure us?

These will be the headings of the sermon:
1. A prayer to increase in love for one another and for all.
2. A prayer to be established in blamelessness and in holiness.

"Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. ."
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (ESV)

To dig deeper with the themes 
we are engaging with in this series,
Stefano is encouraging the church 
to read and interact with the book of 
Priorities from Paul and His Prayers.

This book is also available in Italian

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Monthly Prayer Meeting in San Lazzaro Church for the town of Imola

This evening in San Lazzaro church we'll dedicate our 
monthly prayer meeting to the nearby town of Imola.

Imola has a population of about 70.000 people and it's 
traditionally considered the western entrance to the 
historical region Romagna.

We invited to speak at the meeting, 
Iader, pastor of Luce sul Santerno church and 
Joshua, pastor and church-planter of La Rocca church.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Thankfulness after the Thanksgiving meal in Budrio organized by ImpattoABudrio

Yesterday we had a thanksgiving meal in Budrio as a first event organized by ImpattoABudrio (Acts29).
In our little kitchen John & Peggy and David & Karli cooked an amazing meal
for 40+ people!

Then we had a wonderful time in the room we rented in our village, which it was beautifully decorated by our Italian friends Markino, Matteo, Simone, Giacomo, Carol, Miriana, Gianluca and Nella from Nuova Vita church and San Lazzaro church. 

These friends not only decorated the room and tables, but also looked after kids, and, dressed up as Squanto & the Pilgrim Fathers, served the meal!

This gave all the friends from the Budrio area who came for the dinner a lovely family environment, nicely concluded by a time of thankfulness and vision for the work in Budrio led by Stefano.