Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from the Mariotti's

Remember the reason behind the season!
 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christianity Explored - Digging in the Gospel of Mark


Tomorrow evening we'll continue the Christianity Explored course we are doing with a couple from Sasso Marconi Church.


Tomorrow we'll deal with Mark 8:30 to 10:52 focusing primarily on Mark 10:17-22: "what Grace is all about"?


"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; 
it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

Sunday Service 23/12/2012 - Ravenna

 Tomorrow we are invited at Chiesa Evangelica di Ravenna, an Independent Baptist Church in Ravenna, a town which is about an hour from Bologna by the Adriatic Sea.
 
Stefano will preach a Christmas sermon: "Who is this child?" on John 1:1-18.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
John 1:1-18 (ESV)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm we'll have the sixth plenary session of the Porterbrook - Bologna Campus.

The meeting will be held in Nuova Vita Church and we expect about 25 students
from 5 different churches in Bologna.

We'll continue the third and fourth modules of the 2nd volume foundation course.

The third module is Keep it Missional, taught by Gian Luca Derudas,
pastor of Nuova Vita Church.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. Preaching
5. Business meetings
6. Visiting

"In this module students will look at how to keep the following all
about mission: Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings, Bible studies, preaching, visiting, pastoral care and even business meetings."

The fourth module is Apologetics, taught by Stefano.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. Question 1: The proof for God
5. Question 2: Other religions
6. Question 3: Suffering

"Traditionally apologetics has been the attempt to show the Christian faith to be rational. However this makes the mistake of thinking that
 the rejection of Christianity stems from a rational argument.
The Bible begs to differ. The problem is not with rational thought,
but with the human heart. The heart needs something more than arguments to change it.
What role then has apologetics? This module examines this question."

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Home-groups Prayer Meeting

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

During this meetings we pray for World Evangelism,
for the missionary work in Senegal and China
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.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bible Study on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 2:12-26

Please pray for tomorrow evening when Stefano will continue the series of Bible Studies on Ecclesiastes preaching from Ecclesiastes 2:11-26.


There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy...
Ecclesiastes 2:24-26a (ESV)
 
 
As introduction to illustrate Ecclesiastes' point that death brings 
wisdom, folly, work and worries to nothing, we'll explore the concept 
of "Carpe Diem" (Seize the day) from a Christological perspective.
 
In the XV century Lorenzo de' Medici wrote a famous poem 
expressing the Carpe Diem lifestyle:
 
"Who’d be happy, let him be so:
Nothing’s sure about tomorrow."  
 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sunday Services - Gian Luca Derudas

Tomorrow we'll have preaching in San Lazzaro for both morning and afternoon services Gian Luca Derudas.


Gian Luca is the pastor of  the Nuova Vita Church
in Bologna and part of the team  teaching at the Porterbrook Campus in Bologna.

Gian Luca will preach at the morning service on the first half of the 10 Commandments and after the fellowship lunch, he will lead for us an interactive session on the second half of the 10 Commandments at the afternoon meeting.

My Space - Christmas Party

This evening we'll have a Christmas Party
for the kids of the My Space club.

We'll have music, quizzes, games and food,
where every part of the party will help kids
to think about the real meaning of Christmas.

So for example we'll spread in the room some
pictures representing "typical" Christmas "icons"
such as Santa, Reindeer, Christmas lights and foods,
but the "missing pictures" is the manger
pointing to the Cross.

Please pray for the talk Stefano
will give on Romans 6:23 
"For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This is the video we'll use to introduce the talk


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Our latest newsletter

Dear friends, here is our latest newsletter,
(right-click and open it in a new window to read it in a larger format)


Monday, 10 December 2012

Acts29 Italia - Panel interview for new church-planters


Today Stefano will be part of an Acts29 Italia panel interview to meet a couple applying to be church-planters in Italy.

Please do pray for us as interviewers that God will give us His wisdom, grace and guidance to be genuinely helpful for this couple and their desire to serve the Lord in Italy.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

09/12/2012 Series on the Parables of our Lord – 36 “Who is friend of tax collectors and sinners?” Luke 18:9-14

Tomorrow Stefano will preach on Luke 18:9-14 
continuing the series on the Parables taught by our Lord: 
"Who is friend of tax collectors and sinners?".

"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luke 18:9-14 (ESV)

I. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled!
 
II. the one who humbles himself will be exalted!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm we'll have the fifth plenary session of the Porterbrook - Bologna Campus.

The meeting will be held in San Lazzaro Church and we expect about 25 students
from 5 churches in Bologna.

We'll start the third and fourth modules of the 2nd volume foundation course.

The third module is Keep it Missional, taught by Gian Luca Derudas,
pastor of Nuova Vita Church.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. Keeping it missional
2. Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings
3. Bible studies

"In this module students will look at how to keep the following all
about mission: Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings, Bible studies, preaching, visiting, pastoral care and even business meetings."

The fourth module is Apologetics, taught by Stefano.
In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. Presuppositional apologetics
2. Relational apologetics
3. Defeater beliefs

"Traditionally apologetics has been the attempt to show the Christian faith to be rational. However this makes the mistake of thinking that
 the rejection of Christianity stems from a rational argument.
The Bible begs to differ. The problem is not with rational thought,
but with the human heart. The heart needs something more than arguments to change it.
What role then has apologetics? This module examines this question."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

My Space - Planning Meeting

Tonight we'll have a planning meeting for all the leaders and volunteers of the My Space Club in Bologna to plan activities and Bible studies for the next 6 months.
We are really encouraged by this work in which 4 local churches are actively cooperating together.
Continue to pray for this work since every week we have from 12 to 17 teens attending regularly the program and most of them are from non-Christian families.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Porterbrook Bologna Campus meeting & Pastor's fraternal

Tonight Stefano will have a meeting with the other three pastors teaching at the Porterbrook Bologna Campus.

This will be a planning meeting for the next modules of Porterbrook in Bologna and an opportunity for us to pray for the students coming from 5 local churches.


Then we'll be at the pastor's fraternal with the churches we
most collaborate in Bologna.
There will be pastors from 5 local churches of very similar theological persuasions.
In this meeting we'll share and pray for each other and
we'll have a time to plan some joint events and evangelistic outreaches.
We are also working to build up a permanent food collection and distribution to support needy people in our churches
and in the community.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be with our friends from our village at the Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study in Budrio.

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.
We expect to be about 30 adults plus kids!!!

In this group we'll interact with the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook, and tomorrow we'll study the 3rd unit: "Looking back: to the cross"!


"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 02/72/2012 - Sasso Marconi


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

Stefano will preach in the morning on Hebrews 11:1-4
"Christ in the faith of Abel".


"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks."
Hebrews 11:1-4 (ESV)

For the service we'll have a group from the team of Nuova Vita Church who this summer went to Bulgaria for a short mission trip to support the work YfC is doing in Yambol.
In the afternoon, after the fellowship lunch, they will share with the church some specific prayer point including: 
the work amongst Gipsies and street kids and 
the training projects will happen in the centre the group renovated.