Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Series: the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus Christ - 2 "I am the resurrection and the life"

Tomorrow for the Easter service,
Stefano will continue the series
on the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus in the
Gospel of John engaging with John 11:25:
"I am the resurrection and the life"

To introduce this sermon we'll interact with the question: "What I'm scared of?"

 These will then be the two main points of the sermon:

1. I don't want to die, and you?

2. Do you believe this?

Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?"

John 11:25-26

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Christianity Explored - Digging in the Gospel of Mark

This evening we'll continue the Christianity Explored course we are doing with a couple from Sasso Marconi Church.

Tonight we'll deal with Mark 11:1 to 13:37 focusing primarily on Mark 12:1-11: "Jesus' Resurrection"

"And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  
He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and 
Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you."

Mark 16:6-7 (ESV)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sunday Service 22/03/2013 - Forte Torre

Tomorrow we'll be at the Chiesa Forte Torre.
Forte Torre is a church-plant right at the centre of Bologna serving the community there and aiming to reach out the university students.

Stefano will preach from  John 6:25-44.

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."
John 6:35 (ESV)

Friday, 22 March 2013

Home-groups Prayer Meeting

Tonight we'll have our monthly
Home-groups Prayer Meeting.

During this meetings we pray for Italy
and our region Emilia-Romagna,
for World Evangelism,
and for the missionary work in Senegal
in which we are involved.

This month we'll pray specifically for the cooperation on the evangelical churches in our area and for the Gospel partnership with the mission agencies operating in the Bologna area.

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 3:1-6 (ESV)

This month we'll also pray specifically for the Persecuted Church in Sudan.

From Operation World: 
The persistence of slavery in Sudan is a serious issue.Almost all slaves are from the south and the Nuba Mountains. Northern militias are the main perpetrators, but inter-tribal raiders and even the SPLA also take captives for enforced labour. Pray that all such wrongs may end, and pray that world leaders may prevail upon all involved to end this wickedness. Shari’a law in the north and the impunity with which northern militias act help perpetuate this barbarism.

Literature Stand @ San Lazzaro weekly market

Tomorrow morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am we'll be at the weekly market in San Lazzaro with the church's Literature Stand.

We'll offer free Bibles in many 
languages and Christian literature.
Pray that the Lord will bring people 
interested to know more about Him 
and His Word!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Mid-week Bible Study Series on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3

Tomorrow evening Stefano will continue the series of mid-week Bible Studies on Ecclesiastes preaching from Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3. 

Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, 
God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 (ESV)
To introduce this study we'll interact with the thought that we are too involved in promoting suffering and wickedness instead than justice and righteousness. 
For this purpose we'll talk about the BBC Three series: Blood, Sweat and Luxuries where six British consumers swap their lives for the mud huts and shanty towns of Africa and Asia to work alongside the people who mine, manufacture, process luxury goods, and
Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, where six British food consumers go to live and work alongside the workers in SE Asian food industries.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Porterbrook Italia - Residential with Neil MacMillan

Today we'll start the Porterbrook Italia residential at Serenissima Ministries Church in Pordenone. 

The main speaker will be Neil MacMillan. Neil lives in Edinburgh where he's a Free Church of Scotland minister and coordinator for Porterbrook. 

During the residential we'll have many sessions and seminars such as: "A Gospel-centred journey", "A Missional DNA", "Gospel-centred Leadership".

The residential will end on Sunday with a service when Neil will preach on Gospel Change.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Arkansas Baptist School in Budrio

Today we'll be with Coach Billy Goss
and the team from Arkansas Baptist School 
 at the Liceo Giordano Bruno, the High-School in Bologna where Jenny teaches English.

Coach Billy will teach Italian kids to play baseball through a clicnic and then they'll play with the American teens.

This is the very first time we're able to do a project in this school, so please do pray that kids and teachers will like the way the American teens will interact with them and sharing the Gospel informally with them!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Arkansas Baptist School in Bologna

Tomorrow we'll be with Coach Billy Goss
and the team from Arkansas Baptist School 
 at the Istituto Aldini-Valeriani, the biggest High-School in Bologna.

Coach Billy will teach Italian kids to play baseball through a clicnic and then they'll play with the American teens.

The team will then do an evangelistic drama for the Italians and they'll have many opportunities to share informally the Gospel wit them.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Arkansas Baptist School & YfC

Tomorrow we'll host in Bologna a team from the US. They are a group of Christian teens and their leaders from Arkansas Baptist School.

One of their leaders, Coach Billy Goss, Athletic Director of the School, spends every year part of his summer helping at the Christian Camp in Florence Campo Sport.

Coach Billy and the team will come on Wednesday and Thursday in two High-Schools, the first in Bologna and the second in Budrio, to do a baseball clinic for Italian teens.
It will be an amazing opportunity for the American teens to share informally their faith in Jesus with Italian kids!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Baptismal Service - Visiting Preacher Giovanni Greco

Tomorrow we'll have a Baptismal Service in San Lazzaro church.

Two ladies, Elisa & Elisabetta
will testify of their faith to
their relatives and friends,
so we expect to have the church building packed!

For this service we'll have preaching both morning and afternoon Giovanni Greco, pastor of the Galed Evangelical Church in Vasto.

In the morning Giovanni will preach on the meaning of Baptism and in the afternoon he'll give a talk on the significance of Baptism.

Giovanni and his wife Fiorella are associated with Italian Ministries and are both actively involved in reaching out the area surrounding Vasto. Out of Giovanni's ministry, five gospel communities are lead by men from his church.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus

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

The meeting will be held in Forte Torre Church and we expect about 25 students
from 5 different churches in Bologna.

We'll continue the first and fourth modules of the 3rd volume foundation course.

The first module is Gospel Change, taught by Mark Brucato,
co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
7. Holiness: relationships
8. Holiness: conversations
9. Holiness: thankfulness

"Bridging the gap between what we are and what we ought to be is one of God‘s great interests, and it ought to be ours as well. We need to change. Therefore it is critical that we understand how change takes place in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. This module looks at how the Gospel helps us to change. You will look at issues around repentance, faith, the head and heart and how the Bible, prayer and community relate to Gospel change. You will also take an indepth look at the issue of holiness – what it is and how it expresses itself in relationships, conversation and thankfulness."

The fourth module is Culture, taught by Stefano.
In this session, students will interact with these units:

4. Life Styles
5. Defining products
6. Film: Juno

"The goal of this module is to help students to 'engage with culture' in:
1. Understanding what culture is;
2. Looking at the typical Christian approaches to culture;
3. Exploring how the Gospel interact with culture.

The intention of this module is to help students to analyse their culture in the light of the Gospel. Particular attention will be given to analyse more 'products' (films, novels, etc.) than 'structures' (business, politics, etc.). We want to learn at how to share the Gospel in a more meaningful way
to our own culture. So we'll look at tools that will help us to relate the Gospel in normal conversations at pubs, children's clubs, offices, etc.!

For the final unit we'll interact with clips from the 2007 film Juno:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Titus 2 Ladies Group - Friday 08/03/2013

Tomorrow evening Jenny & Tina will lead the Titus 2 Ladies Group of our church, continuing the Bible studies series on women from the New Testament whose lives were transformed by Jesus.

The goal of this group is to challenge women from our church to encourage one another in the fear of the Lord and to learn to be missional in their workplaces, homes and families!

This time they'll be looking at the Canaanite woman meeting Jesus in Matthew 15:21-28.

In this interactive Bible Study women will be challenged to understand the Canaanite woman's faith in who Jesus was and how this motivated her prayer for the healing of her daughter. 

How do we react when it seems that God doesn't answer our prayers immediately?
In which ways does the example of this woman encourages us to persevere in trusting the Jesus that has mercy on us interdependently from whom we are?

"And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon"."
Matthew 15:21-22 (ESV)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Annual meeting of church leaders and mission leaders in the Bologna Area

This evening  we'll host in our church the Annual Meeting of church leaders and mission leaders in the Bologna Area.
The Churches represented will be: Forte Torre, Nuova Vita, San Lazzaro, Nuova Speranza and Sasso Marconi.
The Missions represented will be: Youth for Christ Italia, GBU (IFES/UCCF), Agape Italia (Campus Crusade), TEAM and Impatto (Acts29 Italia).
This it's an incredible opportunity to establish a strong and long-term partnership approach that will lead our relationships as local churches and missions operating in the Bologna Area.

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:3-6 (ESV)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be with our friends from our village at the Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study in Budrio.

This meeting is held in cooperation with a local group of Christians  from Nuova Vita Church in Bologna who are all living in or near Budrio.
We expect to be about 20 adults plus kids!!!

In this group we'll interact with the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook, 

and tomorrow we'll interact with 3 units:
Looking back: to the cross; Looking around: at the Christian community;
Looking forward: to eternity

"Starting from the position that all life is for the Glory of God, this module looks at what it means to live a life for that glory. It will mean loving God and loving others, shaped by the cross and looking to the future glory that we will share with Jesus. Having laid this foundation the module then examines how this impacts daily issues such as decisions, friendship and possessions."

Sunday Service 03/03/2013 - Sasso Marconi

On Sunday we'll be at
Chiesa Evangelica di Sasso Marconi, a Brethren church
in a village near Bologna.

Stefano will preach in the morning on Hebrews 11:7
"Christ in the faith of Noah".

"By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith."

Hebrews 11:7 (ESV)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Engaging with local culture

Tonight we'll participate at a Book panel discussion in the local library of our village.

The Book: "Fuoco&Neve, Fire&Snow" is set in the area where we live between the two World Wars and deals with matters of life & death, youth & old age.

This book has also been turned into a play by a famous Italian actor.

At this meeting the Major of Budrio will be present and we'll have chance to interact and befriend with many locals from Budrio and the surrounding villages.