Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Friday, 31 May 2013

Porterbrook Campus Bologna First Residential 1-2/06/2013


Tomorrow and Sunday we'll have the first residential of Porterbrook - Campus Bologna.


Tomorrow we'll be from 9.30 to 18.30 in Nuova Vita Church to present to the churches in the Bologna Area the work we did this year and students will present their assignments.


In the morning Mark Brucato, co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church will present the modules we studied this year for the stream Character: Gospel Relationships and Gospel Change.

One of the students will present his assignment for the module Gospel Change.


Then Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of
Forte Torre Church will present the
modules we studied this year for the stream Bible & Doctrine: Applying Exposition & Biblical Theology and Church History in Missional Perspective.

One of the students will present his assignment for the module Church History
in Missional Perspective. 


We'll then have the first seminar by Dr. Gregg R. Allison from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary USA, on Historical Theology.

In the afternoon Gian Luca Derudas, co-pastor
of Nuova Vita Church will present the modules
we studied this year for the stream Church:
Keeping it Missional and Global Commitment.

One of the students will present his assignment for the module Global Commitment.




Stefano will present the modules we studied this year for the stream World: Apologetics and Culture.

One of the students will present his assignment for the module Culture.




We'll then have the second seminar by Dr. Gregg R. Allison from 
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary USA, on Historical Theology followed by a seminar on Ecclesiology.

Dr. Allison has 18 years of ministry experience as a staff member of Campus Crusade, where he worked in campus ministry, as well as serving as a missionary to Italy and Switzerland. He also co-pastored a church in Lugano, Switzerland. He is the author of Historical Theology: 
An Introduction to Christian Doctrine and other books.
He is currently the book review editor for theological,
historical, and philosophical studies, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Allison is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

'World's oldest Torah' scroll found in Bologna (BBC News)

From BBC News Europe:
 
The University of Bologna in Italy has found what it says may be the oldest complete scroll of Judaism's most important text, the Torah.
The scroll was in the university library but had been mislabelled, a professor at the university says.
It was previously thought the scroll was no more that a few hundred years old.
However, after carbon dating tests, the university has said the text may have been written more than 850 years ago.
The university's Professor of Hebrew Mauro Perani says this would make it the oldest complete text of the Torah known to exist, and an object of extraordinary worth.
The university says that in 1889 one of its librarians, Leonello Modona, had examined the scroll and dated it to the 17th Century.
However, when Prof Perani recently re-examined the scroll, he realised the script used was that of the oriental Babylonian tradition, meaning that the scroll must be extremely old.
Another reason for the dating is that the text has many features forbidden in later copies under rules laid down by the scholar Maimonides in the 12th Century, the university says.

More infos at dailymail.co.uk


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bologna Bible School 2013 - Knowing the God of History - The Book of Genesis

Tomorrow evening we'll conclude the 2013 edition of the Bologna Bible School.

This project is held in partnership by the churches Forte Torre, Nuova Vita and San Lazzaro.
For three weeks these and two more churches in the Bologna Area had joint mid-week Bible studies open to Christians and friends.

The goal of this project is to help churches and Christians to appreciate the reading and engaging with a whole book of the Bible.

This year we'll concentrate on the Book of Genesis exploring the main themes and message.

The main speaker will be John Paul Aranzulla
pastor of Forte Torre church in Bologna and teacher of the Porterbrook Campus Bologna.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Interdenominational Prayer meeting with Pastors from the Bologna area



This evening Stefano will participate at the
Bologna Evangelica Prayer Meeting,
an interdenominational prayer meeting
for church and mission leaders from the Bologna Area

Porterbrook Campus Bologna - Planning meeting

This afternoon Stefano will meet
with Gianluca & Mark co-pastors
of Nuova Vita Church and Gianpaolo pastor
of Forte Torre Church to pray for the students
of the Percorsi Campus Bologna and
to plan the new academic year starting in September 2013.
We'll also define the programme for the
first Bologna Porterbrook Residential this week-end.

For this first Bologna Porterbrook Residential we'll have as main speaker Dr. Gregg R. Allison from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary USA.

Dr. Allison has 18 years of ministry experience as a staff member of Campus Crusade, where he worked in campus ministry, as well as serving as a missionary to Italy and Switzerland. He also co-pastored a church in Lugano, Switzerland. He is the author of Historical Theology: 
An Introduction to Christian Doctrine and other books. 
He is currently the book review editor for theological, historical, and philosophical studies, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Allison is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, in which he serves on the editorial and membership committees and regularly presents papers at its national meetings.

Friday, 24 May 2013

My Space - Sharing the Gospel with teens

On Sunday afternoon we'll have our last meeting for the
My Space Bologna club for teens.

We'll have a Rock Solid Bible Study
and we'll close with an Italian BBQ!

This time the Rock Solid theme is:
"I don't deserve this..." and we'll explore the meaning of Grace!

To help kids to understand the meaning of God's Grace to us in Christ, we'll watch clips from the movie "Les Miserables".
We'll look especially at the encounter of Jean Valjean with the Bishop Myriel.
In 1815, convict Jean Valjean is released on parole after serving a nineteen-year sentence for stealing a loaf of bread and numerous escape attempts.
Valjean is driven out of every town, because of his paroled status. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop Myriel,
but steals his silver during the night.
He is captured by the authorities, but the Bishop informs them that the silver was given as a gift, then gives him even more, securing Valjean's release.
Moved by this expression of grace, Valjean vows to start an honest life helping others under a new identity.

 
In this way we'll see how: 

Justice is getting what you deserve, 

Mercy is not getting what you deserve (punishment) 

Grace is getting what you absolutely don’t deserve, (unmerited favour)


"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ...
For by grace you have been saved through faith. 
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God"
Ephesians 2:4-8 (ESV)
video

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bologna Bible School 2013 - Knowing the God of History - The Book of Genesis

Tomorrow we'll continue the 2013 edition of the Bologna Bible School.

This project is held in partnership by the churches Forte Torre, Nuova Vita and San Lazzaro.
For three weeks these and two more churches in the Bologna Area will have joint mid-week Bible studies open to Christians and friends.

The goal of this project is to help churches and Christians to appreciate the reading and engaging with a whole book of the Bible.

This year we'll concentrate on the Book of Genesis exploring the main themes and message.

The main speaker will be John Paul Aranzulla
pastor of Forte Torre church in Bologna and teacher of the Porterbrook Campus Bologna.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be with our friends from our village at the Budrio Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study.
 
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 20 adults plus kids!!!

In this group we study the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook,
and tomorrow we'll interact with
the 8th unit: "
Living now: horizons"!



"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."

Friday, 17 May 2013

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus plenary session

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 module and students will discuss their assignment for the second module of the 3rd volume foundation course.



The third module is A Global Commitment, taught by Gianluca Derudas, co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
6. From global mission agencies to local churches
7. Work with what you have.
8. Starting from scratches
9. Global Mission and our Local Church

The goal of this module is to illustrate the relationship between global mission and local church,
to understand the challenges local churches are facing when approaching global mission,
to help local churches to be part of global mission.

The second module is Church History in Missional Perspective,
taught by Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre Church.

"This module looks at the history of the church over the past 2000 years.
The gospel teaches us that God has revealed not only his character, but also his will and purpose for his creation. History must be understood as His-story."

Thursday, 16 May 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 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 in Bologna of the team "Vite Trasformate" ("Transformed Lives").
Vite Trasformate works in Bologna with ladies from the streets, they providing these ladies warm food in the winter and cold in the summer. They try to connect with them presenting them how Jesus has the power
to free and transform their lives.


This month we'll also pray specifically for the persecuted church in Syria.

On the last weekend all the churches in Syria have come together for a single moment of fellowship between Christians in this devastated country: thousands gathered to pray for the end of the war in Syria, that peace might be again a reality and most importantly, that the Church can be a light in the midst of all this death and destruction. 


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Bologna Bible School 2013 - Knowing the God of History - The Book of Genesis

Tomorrow we'll start the 2013 edition of the Bologna Bible School.

This project is held in partnership by the churches Forte Torre, Nuova Vita and San Lazzaro.
For three weeks these and two more churches in the Bologna Area will have joint mid-week Bible studies open to Christians and friends.

The goal of this project is to help churches and Christians to appreciate the reading and engaging with a whole book of the Bible.

This year we'll concentrate on the Book of Genesis exploring the main themes and message.

The main speaker will be John Paul Aranzulla
pastor of Forte Torre church in Bologna and teacher of the Bologna Porterbrook Campus.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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, 13 May 2013

Exch@nge Summer Camp planning meeting

Tonight we'll have the planning meeting for this year Exch@nge Summer Camp
in Bologna.

Pray for the organizing team made by YfC Staff and church-leaders and volunteers from three churches in Bologna.

The theme of this year will be "The Hunger Games" and we'll interact with the book of Isaiah.

Pray for us as organizers and for the kids that will come to the camp.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Series: the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus Christ - 3 "I am the door of the sheep"



Tomorrow Stefano will continue the series
on the 7 "I am" sayings of Jesus in the
Gospel of John engaging with John 10:1-9:
"I am the door of the sheep".

To introduce this sermon we'll interact with
the question: "Is neutrality always the best option?"





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

1. Are we also blind? (John 9:40)

2. Do you believe in the Son of Man? (John 9:35)


So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 

John 10:7-9

Engaging with the Latin motto: Virtue stands in the middle. Virtue is in the moderate, not the extreme position. (Horace)

We'll interact with the modern song: The Nucleus by the Italian band: Bluvertigo:

What's in the middle usually it's a virtue,
what's in the middle it can also be mediocre ...

What's in the middle is there to wait, anyone who is in the middle does not decide.
What's in the middle goes beyond passions ...

In the middle there is also the question of how to become
I wonder if I'll arrive at the destination, I wonder if I can wait, and not be curious.
 

What's in the middle can be indecisive ...
whatever is in the middle it's essential ...
I'm in the middle, we were in the middle, now I'm in the middle
...


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Article from EMF's Vision for Europe. Italy-UK: Building a mutual partnership for the cause of the Gospel!

This article is taken from EMF's Magazine: Vision for Europe January to April 2013 articles 
 
We have now been back working in Italy for the past four and a half years and are at a point of reflecting on the past years and looking also to the future and how the work of the gospel can be extended in Italy, a nation where 32,000 out of 33,500 communities still have no established evangelical witness.

"Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." Luke 5:5

At times, like Simon Peter, we have felt that we have worked hard all night with no visible result, feeling tired and with no more to give. Yet, like Simon Peter, we have had to learn to keep trusting in the Lord of the harvest, saying: “At your word we will go”. So, one thing that has been of immense support and encouragement to us during these years has been the knowledge that there have been Christians back in the UK faithfully praying for us and caring for us. In the initial stages of our ministry where everything was new, still fragile and in many ways a whirlwind as things were still coming together, we often felt that we didn’t have enough time for the people who were faithfully sustaining us from the UK. They knew a lot about us through prayer letters, but we didn’t always know much about them and how their churches were really doing.
Four and a half years on we feel that in the grace of God we are passing through a more established period. In the beginning we often felt isolated and alone in the fragmented Italian evangelical community. Now, through the work of good men who are trying to overcome this problem in Italy, things are getting better. Italian Ministries was established in 2006 to network together missionaries and missions working in Italy. We now feel part of a wider network of Christian workers passionate about the cause of the Gospel in Italy.

“They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats.” Luke 5:7

Having a more settled, consolidated ministry here has led us in recent months to desire also to consolidate things more with friends and churches back in the UK. We therefore asked EMF if we could have time to visit some of the churches that support us, spending a slightly longer time than usual in them, so as to be able to visit people from the church and speak with the church leaders to update them on our work here in a much more personal way. So in October we had three weeks in the UK, renting a car and doing lots of travelling!

We returned to Italy at the end of October much encouraged, having had opportunity to spend time with many old friends and make new friends too. We had been able to update people and also be updated ourselves on how our friends and churches are that support us. We were able to consolidate relationships and establish new ones. At the end of that unusual deputation we felt that both the boats have been blessed and filled. We thank God for the people in the UK who are partnering with us for the ministry here and without whose help it might not be possible. Thank you for your partnership in the cause of the Gospel in Italy and we would like to mutually partner in prayers and in practice with you in what the Lord is doing through you in the UK.

Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti


Monday, 6 May 2013

Pastor's Fraternal in Sasso Marconi


Tonight we'll have in Sasso Marconi Church the pastor's fraternal of the like-minded churches we cooperate in Bologna.

We'll have a time to plan two joint services in June and July.
The first will be a closing service for the Porterbrook Bologna Campus year and the second the service for the Exch@nge summer camp.
We'll also talk about the church-plant project in Budrio.

We'll dedicate time to pray for each of the 5 churches represented and for one another.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be with our friends from our village at the Budrio Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study.
 
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 20 adults plus kids!!!

In this group we study the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook,
and tomorrow we'll interact with
the 7th unit: "Living now: friendships"!



"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."

Porterbrook - Bologna Campus plenary session

Today from 3.30 to 7.00 pm we'll have the plenary session of the Porterbrook - Bologna Campus.
The meeting will be held in San Lazzaro Church and we expect about 25 students
from 5 different churches in Bologna.

We'll continue the third module and students will discuss their assignment for the first module of the 3rd volume foundation course.


The third module is A Global Commitment, taught by Gianluca Derudas, co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. The love of God for the whole world
2. The local church brings the Gospel of God to the whole world
3. Foundations and partnerships in the New Testament

The goal of this module is to illustrate the relationship between global mission and local church,
to understand the challenges local churches are facing when approaching global mission,
to help local churches to be part of global mission.


The first module is Gospel Change, taught by Mark Brucato, co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church.

"Bridging the gap between what we are and what we ought to be is one of God‘s great interests, and it ought to be ours as well. We need to change. A shepherd‘s role is to help others change. Therefore it is critical that we understand how change takes place in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. This module looks at how the Gospel helps us to change. You will look at issues around repentance, faith, the head and heart and how the Bible, prayer and community relate to Gospel change. You will also take an in depth look at the issue of holiness – what it is and how it expresses itself in relationships, conversation and thankfulness."

Friday, 3 May 2013

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)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Prayer Meeting - Transformed Lives

Tonight we'll have our monthly prayer meeting in church.       This month we'll have a special meeting dedicated to the           "Vite Trasformate" ("Transformed Lives") ministry in Bologna. Ruth & Priscilla will present their work in Bologna with ladies from the streets and how Jesus has the power to freeing them and transform their lives.