Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Exch@nge 01

Tomorrow we'll start our fourth Exch@nge Camp!

We'll have a day of games and English classes,
we'll play Frisbee, Dodge-ball, Football & Volleyball.

In the morning we'll watch a clip from the Hunger Games.

In this clip we'll see Katniss & Gale's life in the District 12 and 
how they dream a different world. So we'll ask ourselves:
How does District 12 communicate bleakness & despair? 
How are the people powerless?
How are the woods so starkly different 
to other scenes in the movie?
Stefano will give a talk on Isaiah 65:17-25 where God shows us the "World we All want": a world where the wolf and the lamb will feed together. 
We'll see that our "world of suffering" is not the end of the story and that Jesus promises there will be a new world with new life in Him!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sunday Service 30/06/2013 - Sasso Marconi

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

Stefano will preach in the morning on Hebrews 11:21
"Christ in the faith of Jacob".

"By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff."
Hebrews 11:21(ESV) 
Then we'll have a fellowship lunch where all the American and Italian volunteers for the Exch@nge camp will join us in Sasso Marconi.

In the afternoon the church of Sasso Marconi will host the 2nd training meeting for the volunteers of Exch@nge.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Exch@nge 2013 - Training meetings

Tomorrow afternoon and Sunday afternoon we'll have two training meetings to prepare Exch@nge 2013.

Exch@nge is a day camp for teens in Bologna organized by Youth for Christ Italy in partnership with Nuova Vita Church, Forte Torre Church and San Lazzaro church.

Every year a team
of American teens
from College Church
in Wheaton (Chicago) come to help us in running this "English Camp" to reach out Italian kids!

In these two days we'll have seminars on "The vision of Exch@nge", "Caring for individuals",
and Stefano will take one on "Italy: its culture and the spiritual climate in which we live".
We'll have also workshops on "How to share your faith with an Italian teen" and on the programme of this year, which will include baseball and football, English classes and games,
a swimming poll day and a trip to the hills near Bologna.

This year the theme of the camp will be the "Hunger Games" and every day we'll look from the book of Isaiah at how Jesus is an answer to all our deepest needs raised by the "Hunger Games".

"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:4-5 (ESV)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Baptismal Service

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

Valentina, a lady met 5 years ago by Stefano while he was working at the call-centre,
will testify her faith to relatives and friends!

Series: the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus Christ - 4 "I am the good shepherd"

Tomorrow Stefano will continue the series
on the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus in the
Gospel of John engaging with John 10:1-30:
"I am the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep".

To introduce this sermon we'll interact with
the question: "What's your Identity?"


These will then be the two main points of the sermon:
1. What sheep do?
2. What the Good Shepherd does?

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life 

for the sheep... I am the good shepherd. I know my own and 
my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know 
the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

John 10:11, 14-15

Friday, 21 June 2013

Living out the community - Eggs & Bacon Breakfast @ Mezzolara

Tomorrow morning we'll be with our friends from Mezzolara, Budrio & Arkansas @
the Bar Centrale of Mezzolara for an Italian "Eggs & Bacon" breakfast together.

This will be the first of the many times in witch as a group of Christians living in the Budrio area, we want to start to live out our faith in the community.

With the occasion of having with us our friends from Arkansas that helped us yesterday with a "Baseball day" for the
"Estate Ragazzi" summer camp organized
by Budrio's Town Hall and the local parish,
we invited our friends and contacts to have a family time breakfast together.
There should be about 12 people, please pray that we'll have a good time informally sharing Jesus with our local friends!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Arkansas Christian Baseball players @ Budrio

Tomorrow we'll host in Budrio a team from the US.
They are a group of Christian college students from Arkansas.

Their leader, Coach Billy Goss, Athletic Director of the Arkansas Baptist School, every year helps at the Christian Camp 
in Florence Campo Sport.

In March Coach Billy came at the Liceo Giordano Bruno
(the High-School in Budrio where Jenny teaches English), 
with a group of teens from his school to do a baseball clinic for Italian teens.
It has been an amazing opportunity for the American teens to share informally their faith in Jesus with Italian kids!
Teachers and the Vice-principal appreciated 
so much the experience that they invited us 
to do a "baseball day" with Coach Billy at the "Estate Ragazzi" a summer camp organized by Budrio's Town Hall and the local parish.

So tomorrow we'll be at this camp with about 150 kids from the Budrio Area and Stefano will give two talks about how to know Christ.

In the evening we'll spend more time with the Italian older teens helping at this camp and we'll have a pizza with them. Pray that the Lord will keep blessing this amazing door He has opened and that we'll have many opportunity to present Jesus in a meaningful way.

Coach Billy Goss @ Budrio High-School

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mid-week Bible Study Series on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 1-3

"I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.          He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil- -this is God's gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him."
 Ecclesiastes 3:10-14 (ESV)

Tonight Stefano will lead an interactive Bible study on the first three chapters of the Book of Ecclesiastes. We'll ask ourselves: 

What put an end to the last time we felt contented?

In the Ecclesiastes’ search for meaning and contentment, 
what did he try, and what did he discover?

What is God’s part in the discontent and despair 
that the Ecclesiastes discovers as he investigates life?

How does Christ answer to all the questions raised by the Ecclesiastes?

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be with our friends at the Budrio Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study.
For the summer period we'll meet at the Park in Budrio, enjoying fellowship and fresh air in the shade!
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.
In this group we study the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook,
and tomorrow we'll interact with
the material we've looked in these months

"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 09/06/2013 - Ravenna

Tomorrow we are invited at 
Chiesa Evangelica di Ravenna,  
an Independent Baptist Church 
in Ravenna, an important town 
by the Adriatic Sea. 

Stefano will preach on Matthew 13:24-30; 34-43 
and together we'll answer to this question: 

"Are Wheat and Weeds part of the same family?"

These will be the three main points of the sermon:

1. What's the relationship between the Sower and the Good Seed?

2. What's the relationship between the Enemy and the Weed?

3. What's the relationship between the Field and the Harvest?

Friday, 7 June 2013

Titus 2 Ladies Group

Tonight 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!

Tonight, before the summer break, ladies will have a time of sharing and praying for one another.

From September Jenny and Tina will be helped in leading this group by Elisabetta Brown

Lizzie is an Italian missionary working alongside her English husband Chris for GBU (IFES) to reach out uni students in Bologna.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Prayer Meeting - Gideons International Italy

Tonight we'll have our monthly prayer meeting in church.     
This month we'll have a special meeting dedicated to the ministry of the Gideons International.

It will be an opportunity
to be informed about the activities realized by the local Gideons in the schools, hotels, hospitals and prisons of Bologna.

The Gideons' main ministry is to personally distribute Bibles and New Testaments to these groups:
  • Students in the 5th grade and above
  • Prisoners and police, fire, medical and military personnel
  • Anyone else Gideons witness to individually

God's Word is placed in key locations, including:
  • Hotels and motels
  • Hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices and domestic violence shelters
  • Prisons and jails

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Porterbrook Campus Bologna First Residential 02/06/2013

Tomorrow to conclude the first Porterbrook Campus Bologna Residential, we'll have a joint service in the Theatre of Sasso Marconi.

Five churches from the Bologna area will 
join together: Forte Torre, Nuova Vita,  
Nuova SperanzaSasso Marconi and 
San Lazzaro.

We'll have as main speaker Dr. Gregg R. Allison from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Dr. Allison will preach on: 
"Strangers and Exiles: the doctrine of the church"

Dr. Allison has 18 years of ministry experience as a staff member of Campus Crusade, where he worked in campus ministry, as well as serving as a missionary to Italy and Switzerland. He also co-pastored a church in Lugano, Switzerland. He is the author of Historical Theology: 
An Introduction to Christian Doctrine and other books.
He is currently the book review editor for theological,
historical, and philosophical studies, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Allison is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, in which he serves on the editorial and membership committees and regularly presents papers at its national meetings.

This event is part of a national project promoted by Acts29 Italy and
Porterbrook Italy, so, to conclude the service
Jonathan Gilmore will present the work
of Impatto/Acts29 Italy whose goal is to encourage Italian churches to have a church-planting vision and a missional mentality.
Jonathan will also present the ethos of Porterbrook by interviewing one of the Bologna students.