Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Habakkuk House Groups Bible Studies - Groups' Leaders Training Meeting

In November we'll start in San Lazzaro Church a new series of Bible Studies on Habakkuk for the monthly House Groups.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll meet with the six leaders of these groups to look together at the book of Habakkuk.
We'll look at the main message of the book,
at how Habakkuk fits with the whole Bible story and
how Habakkuk presents us Jesus.

For these studies we'll use 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.

Sunday Service 27/10/2013 - 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 12:1-3 "Christ the founder and perfecter of our faith".

Then we'll join the church for their monthly fellowship lunch, and this it will be a great opportunity to share their lives and to pray for them.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."
Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Tomorrow evening Youth for Christ Italia is organizing in Bologna a concert to reach out teens.

Special guest will be the Italian Christian rapper Shoek,
who has a really touching story of conversion.
Thomas was born in a rehabilitation centre because both his parents were drug addicts, then his mother abandoned him to go back to heroin. He became a drug user too and there is where Chris found him and saved him.
Now Shoek is married and a father and goes around Italy sharing his testimony and presenting Jesus' redeeming power to young people.

Shoek's testimony in Italian:

A recent video of Shoek: "New Generation"

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Home-groups Prayer Meeting

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

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 specifically for the
ministry of Percorsi Campus Bologna
part of the international training programme offered by the Porterbrook Network.
We started the 1st year of the advanced course with 15 students from four churches.
Stefano is part of the team of four tutors
from the same four churches. 
Join us in praying God to bless and protect this fellowship we are enjoying with these churches.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Mid-week Bible Study Series on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

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 5:1-7.

Guard your steps 
when you go to the house of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1 (ESV)

To introduce this study we'll interact with our understanding of what we do when we go to 
the "house of God" and how this expresses a correct Fear of the Lord.
It's just a matter of what we wear?
If you are invited to visit the queen, 
you dress up adequately...
...but if you are the prince and you live everyday with the queen, how you should dress up?
So what it is and how do we express a proper Fear of the Lord, since "God is the one you must fear" Ecclesiastes 5:7 (ESV)

Friday, 11 October 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 - Bologna Campus.

This 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 Stefano.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. The life of the cross
5. The pattern of the cross
6. Power to be weak

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:
4. The story begins - creation
5. The plot thickens - fall and fall out
6. The characters revealed - one man and a people

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.

For the Character module we'll watch and interact with these two videos:

San Lazzaro Solidale - Food Bank Project

Tomorrow with Ebenezer 
the cultural association of
San Lazzaro Church, we'll help
at San Lazzaro Solidale,
(San Lazzaro Care)
the food bank project
promoted by the Town Hall.

Alongside many volunteers from various associations of
San Lazzaro we'll be present with stands in front of every supermarket of San Lazzaro to collect food for the needy
in this town.

It is the very first time that as a church we are invited to participate at these kind of projects, so please pray for wisdom and vision in testifying Christ in these practical ways both to shoppers and other volunteers.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, "Till now the LORD has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12 (ESV)

Video in Italian about the last food collection in San Lazzaro

Monday, 7 October 2013

Bologna Pastor's Fraternal

Tonight Stefano will attend the Bologna Pastor's Fraternal hosted in Forte Torre Church.

We'll have time to share and pray for each others and our churches, and to plan joint activities such as the coming IDOP (International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church) also known as "Suffering Sunday" and the 2014 Bologna Bible School.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Series: "Praying with Paul" - Philippians 1:1-11 - A prayer to grow and bear fruit for Christ!

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 grow 
and bear fruit for Christ",
we'll engage with Philippians 1:1-11.

To introduce this sermon, we'll ask ourselves:
Do we find it logical to say that because
God is at work in our lives, we are responsible to work in response to His work in us?

These will be the headings of the sermon:
1. A prayer to grow in Christ
2. A prayer to bear fruit for Chrsit

"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
Philippians 1:9-11 (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

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Thanksgiving events - planning meeting!

Tomorrow we'll have a planning meeting
to arrange all the events connected with
the American Thanksgiving!

With YfC we are planning events in high-schools, including Budrio,
and a traditional  evening meal in Budrio for the Acts29 church-plant!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
 Psalm 100:4 (ESV)