Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mid-week Bible Study Series on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

This evening Stefano will continue the series of mid-week Bible Studies on Ecclesiastes preaching from Ecclesiastes 3:1-15. 

God has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart...
Ecclesiastes 3:11a (ESV)
 
 
 
 
To introduce this study we'll look at Inspector Salvo Montalbano, a fictional policeman in Sicily created by writer Andrea Camilleri, whose TV series is one of the most appreciated in Italy.

Montalbano is disillusioned about his job and the whole environment in which he tries to do what is right even though  he realises how often what is right does not correspond with what human laws establish.
One day he is relaxing in his house watching the local TV news when he realises that the news is exactly the same as the previous day, and not only of the previous day but of the day before that, and the day before that.
He realises that every day the news says exactly the same things.
Today a left-wing politician has been arrested for corruption, yesterday a right-wing politician was arrested for corruption.
Today the Government announced new cuts in public health expenditures, yesterday the Government announced new cuts in education expenditures.
Every day is exactly the same as the day before, nothing is really changing apart from the fact that everything seems to get worse and worse.
So Montalbano asks himself the meaning of his continuous labouring in this life!
 
 
The BBC holds the United Kingdom transmission rights. BBC Four on 25 August, 2012, started showing a second series of 12 Inspector Montalbano episodes – subtitled in English - in its Saturday evening imported drama slot.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

My Space - Sharing the Gospel with teens

Tomorrow afternoon Stefano, Jenny, Simone & Valentina
will run the weekly My Space Club for teens.

This week the Rock Solid Bible Study will be: "Skool Daze".
This meeting aims to bring hope
to those kids for whom school life is difficult and
challenge to those for whom school is enjoyable.
For both groups the invitation is the same:
Jesus calls us to build our life in His Solid Rock,
so to live our school years for His Glory and to testify His Name!

We'll interact with kids watching clips from the movie School of Rock.
We'll ask them what changes they would make if they were the new head master of their school, so to make them to think of actions/rules/incentives that would address the things they don’t like about school.

So we'll reflect that Jesus calls us to change our schools – and the whole world –
by allowing Him to change us from the inside.

This will be an opportunity for Stefano to share his testimony when he was a Christian teen in school.
How being a student chairman gave him the possibility to share his faith in a students' assembly and to invite many school mates and teachers when he was baptised at 18 years old.


Jesus said: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them 
will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
Matthew 7:24 (ESV)


Sunday Service 27/01/2013 - Ferrara


Tomorrow we are invited at 
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 Italy they are doing a prison ministry and they helped the population after the earthquake.


Stefano will preach on Matthew 13:31-35: "Explosive Growth & Intensive transformation"

"He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world." 
Matthew 13:31-35 (ESV)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus - Exams

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 6.00 pm we'll have the 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 conclude 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 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.

"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."


For the Apologetics module's exam students will be challenged to answer this question:
How would you reply to the assertion: "God hates homosexuals"?

To introduce this topic we'll watch a clip from the worldwide known show Glee.

In the episode the character Kurt Hummel says:

"I don't believe in God...
I think God is a kinda of Santa Clause for adults.
Otherwise God's a kinda of a jerk isn't he?
When he makes me gay and has his followers going around saying it's something that I chose, as if someone will choose to be mocked every single day of their life..."


This episode was watched by 11.20 million US viewers, and was the second most watched scripted show of the week among adults aged 18–49.
Prior to its broadcast, series co-creator Ryan Murphy predicted the episode would be Glee's most controversial, as it focuses on religion and what God means to the members of the glee club.



Literature Stand @ San Lazzaro weekly market

Tomorrow morning from 9.00 to 11.00 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!

Titus 2 Ladies Group - Friday 25/01/2013

This evening Jenny & Tina will lead the Titus 2 Ladies Group of San Lazzaro Church, continuing the Bible studies series on women from the New Testament whose lives were transformed by Jesus. 

The goal of this group is to challenge women from our church to encourage one another in the fear of the Lord and to learn to be missional in their workplaces, homes and families!
  
This time they'll be looking at the bleeding woman meeting Jesus in Mark 5:21-34.
In this interactive Bible Study women will be challenged to notice that Jesus doesn't allow that the woman's healing remains secret between the two of them.
Jesus does not only want that we put our faith in Him alone, 
but also that our faith will be visible to everyone.

How  many of your colleagues, neighbours, friends and relatives know that you are a Christian?
In which ways do you think your faith in Christ can be made more visible? 

  And Jesus said to her, 
"Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
Mark 5:34 (ESV)

Monday, 21 January 2013

YfC - Schools Work - Tomorrow High School Aldini


Tomorrow from 12 to 14 Stefano will be with Priscilla Natale at the Aldini High School.

We'll speak to two classes presenting the life of William Wilberforce and how his faith led him to fight against slavery.



We'll also use the material from Stop the Traffic reflecting on how human trifficing is not something from the pas, but still happens today on our door-step.



Aldini is the biggest high school in Bologna with more than 2.000 students.

Please pray that tomorrow we'll be able to share Christ with these two classes.







Saturday, 19 January 2013

Series: the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus - Intro

Tomorrow Stefano will start a new series
on the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus in the
Gospel of John.

To introduce this series we'll interact with Jesus' question: "Who do you say that I am?"

What our friends, neighbours and colleagues will answer to this question?
What we will answer if our friends, neighbours and colleagues would ask
us this question?

These will then be the two main points of the sermon:

1. Who do you say that I am? (Mark 8:27-29)

2. Who is this "I am"? (John 8:58)

"The next day (John the baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me'."
John 1:29-30 (ESV)

"Jesus said... 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am'. "
John 8:58 (ESV)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Home-groups Prayer Meeting

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

During this meetings we pray for World Evangelism,
for the missionary work 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 Forte Torre Evangelical Church in Bologna centre after the visit we had last Sunday of pastor Gianpaolo Aranzulla and his wife Susan.



This month we'll pray specifically for the Persecuted Church in North Korea.

 

Challenges for Prayer taken from:

http://www.operationworld.org/korn


Food shortages are often severe. With only 15% arable land, low yield from medieval agricultural practices and regular floods caused by massive deforestation, more than three million have starved since 1994. 

Pray for:


a) Starving North Koreans, forced to desperate measures to feed their families. This may include theft, foraging for edible grass and plants, hazarding the dangerous passage to China or even black market cannibalistic activity. Pray that, in some form, food might arrive to sustain their lives without their resorting to crime or sin.

b) Aid agencies, many of them Christian, have been able to offer food but never with permission to share the gospel. Pray that this food might get to the population – much is diverted to Mr. Kim’s inner circle and the military. Pray for wisdom on the part of foreign governments and NGOs in handling this tragic and delicate situation.

The Church in North Korea was the birthplace of Korean revival – Pyongyang was known as the “Jerusalem of the East”. But most Christians fled to the south during the Korean War or were martyred and their churches destroyed. Very little is known about today’s underground Church, only that it has survived and is growing amid great suffering and danger. There are four propaganda “show” churches in the capital, but up to 100,000 Christians are interned in labour camps. Possessing the Bible, saying “God” or “Jesus” and meeting as believers are all punishable by death. Pray for North Korean believers, that they persevere in what is probably the most difficult country in which to be a Christian.

For more infos: http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=kn




Friday, 11 January 2013

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus

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

The meeting will be held in Forte Torre 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:
7. Pastoral care
8. Marriage preparation
9. Baptism and communion

"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:
7. Question 4: Truth and freedom
8. Question 5: Hell
9. Question 6: Science and miracles

"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."

Monday, 7 January 2013

Soli Deo Gloria - Interdenominational prayer meeting


Tomorrow evening we'll host in San Lazzaro Church the Soli Deo Gloria - Interdenominational prayer meeting.

This monthly prayer meeting is organised in various Italian cities
by Kurt Jost, a Swiss-German missionary that operates in Italy working specifically with
literature and evangelism.

This is a really good opportunity for local churches to meet together to pray specifically for the Bologna Area.