Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Exch@nge 2014 training session

Tomorrow afternoon in Forte Torre Church,
we'll have a training session for the American and Italian volunteers helping
at the YfC Exch@nge Summer Camps organized in partnership with 5 local churches in the Bologna Area with teams from College Church in Wheaton (Chicago) and Bethel Church in Houston (Texas).

This year we'll organize 3 camps:
Bologna East: with the College Church team in partnership with Nuova Vita and
San Lazzaro churches.
Bologna West: with the College Church team in partnership with Forte Torre and Nuova Speranza churches.
Budrio: with the Bethel Church team in partnership with Impatto A Budrio church-plant.

Tomorrow afternoon Stefano will give a talk to help American volunteers to understand Italian culture and missional needs.
Ester, national director of YfC,
Mark, leader of the Bologna East Camp and
Susan, leader of the Bologna West Camp,
will then give a series of talks on the theme of the camps,
on reaching out Italian teens and on sharing their faith in Jesus with a "peer to peer" approach.

This year the theme for the camp will be the movie Gravity in the light of a series of talks from the Gospel of Luke.

"Gravity centers around two characters and their fight for survival when disaster strikes. Matt Kowlasky (George Clooney) is a confident, buoyant veteran astronaut, accompanied by Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a pensive medical engineer on her first mission in space.
In one of the most poignant scenes of the film, Dr. Stone expresses her sadness and fear in the looming face of death. "No one will mourn for me. No one will pray for my soul. Will you mourn for me? Will you pray for me? I mean I'd pray for myself, but I've never prayed—nobody ever taught me how."

The film itself doesn't definitively answer the questions it provokes, but it probes some of our deepest ones and points in a general way to the varied mythologies of death and rebirth.
As believers we can appreciate the aesthetic qualities of this film... with the confidence that myth became historical fact in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and true rebirth is found in union with him."
From No One Will Pray for My Soul: ‘Gravity’ Reviewed, The Gospel Coalition.

Porterbrook Campus Bologna - End of Year Joint Service

Tomorrow morning at 10.30am
in Nuova Vita church, we'll have
the Porterbrook Campus Bologna -
End of Year Joint Service.

Five local churches will join together:
Forte Torre, Nuova Vita, San Lazzaro,
Nuova Speranza, Impatto A Budrio.

Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre church and tutor of Porterbrook Campus Bologna, will preach on 'Fellowship in mission'.
The goal is to highlight how inter-church fellowship takes regular place along the New Testament

The vision is to connect the path of our individual churches underlining what is the theological framework in which we live our common training through the Porterbrook course and our common evangelistic commitments like the Exch@nge summer camps.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Porterbrook - Campus Bologna exam session

Tomorrow from 8.30am to 12.30 pm
we'll have the exam session for students of foundation and advanced years of
Porterbrook - Campus Bologna.

This meeting will be held in
Nuova Vita Church and we expect about
15 students for the foundation year and
15 for the advanced year.

The Foundation Year 1 students will present their assignments for the modules:
Gospel Living, The Bible in Missional Perspective, Gospel Community and Evangelism.

The Advanced Year 2 students will present their assignments for the modules:
Union with Christ, The Holy Spirit and Pastoral Care part one.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Pastors Fraternal

This afternoon, as Impatto A Budrio church-plant, we'will participate at a Pastors' Fraternal of the Bologna Area held in San Lazzaro Church.

We'll have a time of sharing about our churches' lives, encouragements and challenges.
Then we'll have a time of prayer one for another and for our churches.

These are the pastors from the churches we cooperate both in evangelistic events and in the training programme of Porterbrook.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Sunday Service in Chiesa Evangelica di Ravenna

Tomorrow morning we'll be with our friends                             from the Chiesa Evangelica di Ravenna
an Independent Baptist Church in Ravenna,
a very nice and historical town by the Adriatic Sea.

Stefano will preach from Ephesians 1:1-23.
To introduce this sermon we'll interact with the question: what did spur you to pray and for what did you pray the last time you prayed suddenly and spontaneously?
These will then be the three main points:
1. A prayer to know the person of Christ.
2. A prayer to know the work of Christ.
3. A prayer to know the power of Christ.

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him"
Ephesians 1:16-17 (ESV)

New Prayer Card

If you'll like to save it or print it:
Right-click and open it in a new window to open it in a larger format, then save it as "image".

Monday, 16 June 2014

Sunday Service 15/06/2014 - Reflections

Yesterday we had our monthly Sunday service in Budrio.

We enjoyed a really nice family time when we shared coffee and cakes made by ladies from our church-plant.

We were a little delayed because it seems that the staff was supposed to prepare for us the café did not receive our booking.

Yet this meant we were given the main theatre hall of Le Torri dell'Acqua which seats about 150 people.

This encouraged one man of our core group to rejoice in the Lord in looking forward to the time in which we'll need regularly to book the theatre for our services.

This has been a great starting for our prayer time for Budrio community, for the church-planting work in Italy, specifically for Nuova Vita church-plant in Salerno led by pastor Justin Valiquette, and with a global vision for Cornerstone Church Brighouse, England, UK and for Bethel Church of Houston, Texas (USA).

Then we engaged with God's Word interacting with the Book of Acts 2:14-36.
We have been challenged to keep thinking about what does it mean for us today "to speak in people's own language to tell them the mighty works of God", because this is Jesus continuing  to do and teach by the missional Spirit living in us!

"This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father 
the promise of the Holy Spirit,  he has poured out this that you yourselves 
are seeing and hearing." 
Acts 2:32-33 (ESV)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Sunday Service in Budrio - Acts 2:14-36

Tomorrow morning we'll have our monthly service to worship God and to proclaim
His Word in Budrio.

We really enjoy the Lord's provision of a room in the café of
Le Torri dell'Acqua, the theatre and modern art-gallery right
at the centre of Budrio well known as a cultural meeting point.

At 10.00 am we'll have a family time with coffee & cakes
and at 10.30 am we'll look together at Acts 2:14-36.

"This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, 
he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing." Acts 2:32-33 (ESV)

Tomorrow we'll begin our service with a time of prayer characterized by thanksgiving and casting a vision for God's work in our community.

We'll thank the Lord for the opportunity He's giving us to organize the Exch@nge camp in July.
We'll pray for the kids are already booking and for more.

We'll thank the Lord for the prayers He answered last week and for those subjects we are still coming to Him.  

We'll pray for the Acts29 network in Italy and specifically for Nuova Vita church-plant in Salerno led by pastor Justin Valiquette.

We'll pray specifically for the kids summer camps this church-plant is organising for the first time in Salerno.

We want a global vision, so this month we'll pray for Cornerstone Church Brighouse, England, UK after the visit last week of pastor Steve Bowers and his wife Brenda.

We'll also pray for Bethel Church of Houston, Texas (USA), who's sending a team to help us in our Exch@nge Camp.

Friday, 13 June 2014

YfC course for youth-workers

Tomorrow from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm,
in the building of Nuova Vita church,
Ester (YfC National Director),
Stefano & Cindy, will lead the fourth
session of the Youth for Christ Italia
course for youth-workers.
We expect about 16 students from all Italy.
This course is run in partnership with Porterbrook Italia (Percorsi).

Tomorrow we'll interact on how to have a ministry towards young people solidly grounded in the Word of God.

We'll study some practical teaching skills on
how to plan and run a Rock Solid Bible Study and
how to plan and run a Summer Cam.

In the afternoon Stefano will speak on the topics of pornography and homosexuality.   

For the pornography topic we'll interact with
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and Colossians 3:5-17
showing how it's all a matter of identity and worship.

For the homosexuality topic we'll interact with
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Romans 6:11-14
showing how even with this sensitive topic,
it's again a matter of identity and worship.

God's grace, love and power it's revealed in
1 Corinthians 6:11

From 6.00 to 8.00 pm Cindy Thompson
a professional Christian Counsellor, 
will engage with a meeting for parents on the topic of "Love & Logic".

With Christian and non-Christian parents, Cindy will explore different parental life-styles appropriate for the different ages of their children.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sunday Service in San Lazzaro Church

Tomorrow morning Stefano will preach
at the Sunday Service of San Lazzaro Church,
continuing the church shared series on 1 Corinthians.

This is a follow-up of the work done during the Bologna Bible School in March when, alongside other churches in Bologna,
we had a full-immersion on 1 Corinthians:
"A clash between two wisdoms!"

Stefano will preach from
1 Corinthians 4:1-21: "A matter of perspective: first and last"
with these 2 headings:

I. The perspective of the "first" looking down to the "last".
II. The perspective of God who makes us seeing through the eyes of Christ.

To introduce this sermon we'll read this letter: Matter of Perspective:

Dear Mom and Dad, Just thought I'd drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I've fallen in love with a guy called Jim. He quit high school after grade eleven to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce. We've been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I've decided to move into his apartment (I think
I might be pregnant). At any rate, I dropped out of school last week, although I'd like to finish college sometime in the future. 
(On the next page the letter continued)

Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I've written so far in this letter is false. NONE of it is true. But, Mom and Dad, it IS true that I got a C- in French and flunked my math class... and it IS true that I'm going to need some more money for my tuition payments.

Failure can sound like success. It just depends on the perspective.
The measuring device we use to evaluate our success or failure is often more important than the success or failure, for to a large extent, it determines that success or failure.

We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.  
1 Corinthians 4:10-14 (ESV)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Porterbrook - Campus Bologna plenary session

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm
we'll have the plenary session for
students of foundation and advanced years of Porterbrook - Campus Bologna.

This meeting will be held in
Nuova Vita Church and we expect about
15 students for the foundation years and
15 for the advanced years.

The Foundation Year 1 students will interact with these modules:

The first module is Gospel Community,
led by Gian Luca Derudas, pastor of Nuova Vita.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
7. A generous community (Romans 12:13)
8. A peaceable community (Romans 12:14-13:7)
9. A missional community (Romans 15:1-7)

The Christian life is to be lived in the context of community on display to the world.
Taking Romans 12 as its key text, this course will help you learn what Christian community should look like and how it is rooted in the gospel. Through the course you’ll be challenged to think about your own role in the church and be helped to build community on mission around the gospel.

The second module is Evangelism,
led by Stefano Mariotti, co-pastor of ImpattoABudrio.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
7. Living to provoke questions
8. Answering questions
9. Casual conversations about Jesus

When Jesus captivates hearts, and lives are shaped by the gospel, evangelism happens far more naturally and frequently in everyday conversation. This course doesn't teach techniques but a gospel view of everyday life to help Christians help non-Christians to understand the gospel. It gives us a big vision of Jesus and teaches us the benefits of doing evangelism as part of a church community that lives ordinary life with gospel intentionality.

The Advanced Year 2 students will interact with this module:

The module is Pastoral Care Part One,
led by Mark Brucato, co-pastor of Nuova Vita.

In this session, students will interact with these units:

8. A biblical understanding of change: part1
9. A biblical understanding of change: part2

All Christians have a responsibility to pastor one another by speaking the gospel in love.
This course gives us a biblical definition of pastoral care, interacts with secular approaches to helping others and outlines a biblical approach to change.
It sets the foundation for Pastoral Care Part Two.

Titus 2 Ladies Group in San Lazzaro Church

This evening Jenny has been invited to join the end of year meeting of the Titus 2 Ladies Group of San Lazzaro church which she started 5 years ago, and now it's lead by Tina and Elisabetta.

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

We are really encouraged by Elisabetta's leadership since she has taken over Jenny's leading role in the Titus2 group while we are have been released towards the starting of the Budrio church-plant.
Elisabetta Brown (Lizzie) is an Italian missionary working alongside her English husband Chris for GBU (IFES).
Chris has also taken Stefano's role as new elder in San Lazzaro church.

Living our faith in the community - Party for the Management Culture Prize @ Le Torri dell'Acqua + Picking Cherries in the countryside.

Tonight we'll join the Budrio community in celebrating
the awarding of the national Management Culture Prize 2014 won by Budrio town-hall for the Torri dell'Acqua Meeting Point! 

The Management Culture Prize it's a 
national awarding given to projects that promote culture and community in Italy. 
Budrio has been one of the 5 cities 
awarded on more than 100 candidates!
The project "Le Torri dell'Acqua: 
a place of the contemporary" saw the restoration of the former city aqueduct, turning it into a theatre + modern art gallery + café to connect culture with the broad community and the youths as an expression of practical togetherness.

We are really looking forward as Impatto A Budrio church-plant to celebrate this awarding with the Budrio community because the café of Le Torri dell'Acqua it's also
the wonderful venue we use for our Sunday morning services!


Tomorrow morning we'll be with one of 
the two families that committed to be part of the core group for the Budrio church-plant!
We'll have a great time enjoying God's creation in a "community farm" where people can go and have fun while picking up cherries together!
Blessed is the man... who's  delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither...
Psalm 1 (ESV)


Monday, 2 June 2014

Republic Day, New Citizenship & Multi-ethnic lunch in Budrio

Republic Day is an Italian National Day celebrated each year on the 2nd of June which commemorates the 1946 referendum in which Italians decided this form of government, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.

This year the Town-hall of Budrio will give an honorary citizenship to all the children from foreign countries who have completed in Budrio the whole primary school or middle school years.
At the end of this event the town-hall and many associations of Budrio have organized a multi-ethnic "bring&share" buffet for the community.
As Impatto a Budrio church-plant we've been asked to help in serving tables.

This will be a great opportunity not only to serve the community, but also to get to know the many foreign families living in Budrio, most of them will be Muslim.

Please pray that today by God's grace we'll be able to be a living example of Jesus' love who makes us fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household:

Therefore, remember that formerly... you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world... But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ... He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:11-20 (NIV)