Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sunday Service 29/09/2013 - Ferrara

Tomorrow we are invited at  
Chiesa Evangelica di Ferrara,
an Independent Church in Ferrara, 
a small town near Bologna where in 1536 Calvin stayed and preached in
the chapel of the city castel.

The church has a cultural association named after Renée of France, the Duchess that guested the young runaway Calvin in Ferrara.
This association is very active in supporting works both in India and in the Filippines.

In the morning Stefano will preach the parable of the 10 virgins from Matthew 24:36 – 25:13 challenging Christians about the meaning on being watchful for us in 2013.

Later on we'll have a fellowship lunch with Christians from Ferrara.  

Living in the Community - The "Onion's Town Fair" - Some pictures

Yesterday evening we had a meal together with friends from Budrio and the surrounding area at the food stand of the
"Onion's Town Fair" (Fiera della Cipolla) in Mezzolara.

It has been a wonderful opportunity for friendship & fellowship, and to start to live out the Acts29 Budrio church-plant principles!


Friday, 27 September 2013

Bologna My Space Club - Reaching Out Teens

Tomorrow afternoon we'll have the first My Space Club for teens in Bologna with the reunion from the Exch@nge Camp.

Pray that many teens will come back and that we'll have new ones from the summer camp!

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!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Living in the Community - The "Onion's Town Fair"

Tomorrow night we'll have a meal together with friends from Budrio and the surrounding area at the food stand of the
"Onion's Town Fair" (Fiera della Cipolla) in Mezzolara.

It will be an opportunity for friendship & fellowship, and to start to talk about the setting up of the Acts29 Budrio church-plant!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Living in the Community - The "Onion's Town Fair"

In these days, from Thursday the 26th to Monday the 30th of September  in our village we'll have the annual "Onion's Town Fair"
(Fiera della Cipolla) a traditional town fair
where thousands people come from all the Bologna area for food, fun and meeting friends.

This year we'll help alongside many volunteers from the village in serving at the food stand the traditional Italian specialities prepared by locals.
In the last weeks Jenny worked hard with lots of ladies from the village to prepare hand-made pasta. They used more than 1000 eggs!!!

On Friday night we'll have invited lots of friends to join us for a meal together @ the Fiera!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

YfC staff & volunteers meeting & Food Bank Project in San Lazzaro

This morning Stefano will be at the staff & volunteers meeting of the YfC Bologna center.

We'll discuss & plan activities & events for this school year,
including school projects and outreach sport events.

In the afternoon we'll take part at a meeting in the Mediateca (San Lazzaro's public library) for a meeting with all the local associations to join a food bank project promoted by the town hall in all the supermarkets of San Lazzaro.

In the evening Stefano will meet with the leaders of the My Space Bologna club for teens organised by San Lazzaro and Nuova Vita Church.
Together we'll look at the Rock Solid Bible lessons for this year.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Acts29 - Budrio church-plant brainstorm & Porterbrook Campus Bologna meeting

Today we'll have a meeting with Jonathan Gilmore, director of Acts29 - Italia and Gianluca Derudas co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church in Bologna, to talk about the Budrio church-plant project.

Later on Stefano and the pastors involved in teaching @ Porterbrook Campus Bologna, will have a training and feedback session with Jonathan, to prepare this new academic year.

Watch the video introducing the new Porterbrook network interactive project: "Ask the Authors" available on FaceBook.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Series: "Praying with Paul" - Ephesians 3:14-21 - A prayer to be strengthened!

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

For this sermon: 
"A prayer to be strengthened",
we'll engage with Ephesians 3:14-21.

To introduce this sermon we'll interact with the question: what is the ultimate centre and goal of your prayers?

These will then be the three main points:
1. A faith to be saturated in Christ.
2. A love to be mature in Christ.
3. A call to glorify Christ. 

May God "grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Ephesians 3:16-19 (ESV)

To dig deeper in the themes we'll engage with in this series,
Stefano will encourage the church to read and interact
with the book of  D. A. Carson: 
A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
which is available in Italian.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Porterbrook - Campus Bologna plenary session

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm
we'll have the first plenary session for
students starting the advanced years of
Porterbrook - Bologna Campus.
In Feb. 2014 we'll restart with the Foundation years with a new intake of students from 5 churches of the Bologna area.
This first meeting will be held in San Lazzaro Church and we expect about 15 students.

We'll start with the first and second module of the 1st volume advanced course.

The first module is Living the Cross and Resurrection,
led by Gianluca Derudas, pastor of Nuova Vita.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. The freedom of the cross
2. The community of the cross
3. The power of the cross

This course shows how the cross and resurrection provide the pattern for discipleship in the everyday.
It calls us to live out the radical implications of grace and to apply the way of the cross to every area of life. We’ll discover how the cross and resurrection empower us in Christ for a life of sacrificial service and joy.
We’ll be encouraged to live a risk-taking life on mission to the world as part of a community of people empowered by the cross.

The second module is The Bible in Missional Perspective,
led by Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. How we know and what we know
2. The encapsulating vision - the end justifies the means
3. The final revelation - the man

The bible is the story of God's plan and purpose to redeem a people for himself. This is how God wants to be known. This course will teach us to understand how the bible fits together around this theme. It will show us how Jesus fulfills God's salvation plan and how we fit into God's purposes as the Church. The course will introduce us to biblical theology in a way that will reshape your life around the gospel.

Introductory video of Porterbrook Learning 2013

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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

Tomorrow evening Stefano will continue
the series of mid-week Bible Studies on "Ecclesiastes: A question to which Christ is the only answer" preaching
from Ecclesiastes 4:4-16.

Two are better than one, because they have 
a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, 
one will lift up his fellow...
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)

To introduce this study we'll interact with the modern concept of the self-made man running the rat-race. 

This concept is well represented by  
The Apprentice, an American reality game show hosted by Donald Trump.
The premise of the show, which bills itself as the "ultimate job interview" in the "ultimate jungle," is to conduct a job talent search for a person to head one of Trump's companies. The show led Trump to become known for his fateful catch phrase, "You're fired!"

In the Italian version the Boss Flavio Briatore proclaims 10 Boss's rules.

N° 6 - Il successo è la miglior Vendetta.
(Success is the best Revenge)

Are we running the rat-race of the Apprentice,
or testifying God's love and truth
in loving our community?

Trailer of The Apprentice in Italian

Saturday, 14 September 2013

San Lazzaro church @ Volunteerism Action in San Lazzaro

Tomorrow we'll be with other Christians with the Church literature table at the Volontassociate, an event to celebrate the Volunteerism Action in San Lazzaro.

We'll present also our cooperation in the food-bank project organised by different evangelical churches with the
Christian organisation OCEPAD, Italian acronim for:
"For All Things Are Possible With God" taken from
Mark 10:27: Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. 
For all things are possible with God."

Friday, 13 September 2013

Youth for Christ Italy, Board Meeting

Tomorrow we'll have the National Board meeting for YfC Italy.

Please pray for Stefano and all the board members to be led by God's wisdom and vision in dealing with YfC Italy vision,
goals and strategies for next year and
the longer terms!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

My Space Bologna - 2013/2014 planning meeting

Tonight we'll have the first meeting to plan the social activities and Rock Solid Bible Studies for the first three months of the Bologna My Space Club.

Please pray for wisdom and passion in reaching out kids from the Bologna area, we also pray that many of the kids that came at the Exch@nge camp this July will come regularly at My Space.

We are encouraged that churches are taking the ownership of this project and a vision to reach out teens! 

Please pray for churches Nuova Vita and San Lazzaro that this year will take a full responsibility for the My Space Bologna, while other projects in different areas of Bologna are taking off!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Video interview with Collin Hansen from TGC

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Gospel Coalition: Ministry in Bologna

Tomorrow we'll host in Bologna the series of conferences promoted in Italy by The Gospel Coalition.

This event is promoted by the Porterbrook Campus Bologna and five local churches.

We'll have a first session in the morning for church-leaders, missionaries, and church-workers of the area where Collin Hansen and Chris Castaldo will introduce the aims and priorities of the Gospel Coalition.
Then we'll have a session on "The Gospel @ the centre of our churches and ministries".

Later the pastors of these five churches will have a lunch with Collin and Chris. There we'll have an opportunity to discuss with them how we could implement at an Italian level the missional and churches-cooperation ethos of the TGC.

In the evening we'll have a conference for all these churches, where Chris and Collin will speak about: "A passion for the Gospel and the next generation".

Collin Hansen, author of the book: Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists will be teaching in several networks of Gospel-centered church leaders across Italy.
TGC began with informal conversations between D. A. Carson and Tim Keller in 2004. 
Today is a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures. TGC want to generate a unified effort among all peoples—an effort that is zealous to honor Christ and multiply his disciples, joining in a true coalition for Jesus. Such a biblically grounded and united mission is the only enduring future for the church.