Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Paul's speeches in Acts - Shared Bible Study Series - Acts 20:17-38

Tonight Stefano will continue the Shared Bible Study Series on Acts, that we are
doing as church this summer.

In this series we are interacting with all
Paul's speeches in the book of Acts and
we are using the Italian translation of
John Stott's Bible Study guide for groups:
"Acts: Seeing the Spirit at work", based on
the IVP Bible Speaks Today Commentaries.

This evening Stefano will lead the discussion from Paul's speech to the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20:17-38

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
 Act 20:24 (ESV)

This is the only speech in the Acts which is addressed to a Christian audience. All the others are either evangelistic sermons, whether preached to Jewish people (2:14ff.; 3:12ff.; 13:16ff.) or Gentiles (10:34ff.; 14:14ff.; 17:22ff.), or legal defences, whether made before the Sanhedrin in the early days of the church (4:8ff.; 5:29ff.; 7:1ff.) or the five speeches before the Jewish and Roman authorities, which come near the end of the book (22–26).
Stott, John R. W.: The Message of Acts : The Spirit, the Church & the World. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill. : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994 (The Bible Speaks Today), S. 323

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Sunday Service 18/08/2013 - Serenissima Bible Church (Pordenone)

Tomorrow we are invited at 
the Serenissima Bible Church,  
in Fontanafredda (Pordenone), 

near Venice.
The Serenissima Church is part of the Acts29 Network of local churches working together 
to plant new churches in Italy.
The name "Serenissima" is taken from the Republic of Venice, which existed from the late 7th century until 1797, formerly known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and so often referred to as La Serenissima. "Serenissima" literally means “most peaceful” and as a church they have chosen as the best equivalents of the word shalom in the Italian language.  
The Serenissima Church is also the Italian Hub 
for the Porterbrook course, where men and women from all of Europe partake in the Porterbrook Network’s strategic training co-operative for churches.
Many of our students from the Bologna course have benefited by the 3 residential weekends organised in the Serenissima Church throughout the year.

For the Sunday morning service Stefano will preach on John 14:1-17.
To introduce this passage we'll interact with the question: 

"What makes "home" a house?"

Then we'll answer to these two questions which will be our points:
1. Lord, how can we know the way?
2. Lord, can you show us the Father?


After the service there will be a "missional lunch" which they call "Converge",
with some Christians that are opening new works in the surrounding villages and towns.
Stefano will share some Porterbrook material and exercises that have been helpful for us in Bologna. The goal is to share our mission together over lunch and help the brothers in their contexts for outreach and discipleship.

To introduce this afternoon seminar we'll watch this funny clip in Italian that challenges us in thinking about the way we share the gospel in our communities.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Series: the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus Christ - 7 "I am the true vine, my Father is the vinedresser, you are the branches"

Tomorrow Stefano will conclude the series
on the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus in the
Gospel of John engaging with John 15:1-17:
"I am the true vine, my Father is the vinedresser, you are the branches.".

To introduce this sermon we'll interact with the question: "What does give you joy in your life?"
These will then be the two main points of the sermon:
1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2. I am the vine; you are the branches
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser...
I am the vine; you are the branches. 
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, 
for apart from me you can do nothing...
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 15:1, 5, 11 (ESV)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Sunday Service 04/08/2013 - Ravenna

Tomorrow we are invited at the Chiesa Evangelica di Ravenna,  
an Independent Baptist Church in Ravenna, 

a very nice and historical town by the Adriatic Sea. 


Stefano will preach on Matthew 13:31-35
and together we'll see how Jesus describes 

the work of his word as characterized by: 

"Explosive Growth & Intensive Transformation"