Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Friday, 28 February 2014

Impatto A Budrio @ the Food-Bank collection in Budrio









Tomorrow afternoon Stefano, Jennifer and Giovanni will help as volunteers from Impatto A Budrio,
at the Food-Bank collection @ Budrio.

This food-bank collection is organized by the town-hall and many associations of Budrio, to encourage people shopping at the supermarkets to donate food for the local needy families.

This event is promoted alongside the UN World Day of Social Justice: "the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity."

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Bologna Bible School 28/02 - 02/03/2014 - A journey to Corinth - 1 Corinthians

Tomorrow will start
the third year of
Bologna Bible School.
BBS is an opportunity
for churches to gather together for a week-end of full-immersion in a book of the Bible.

This year we'll "dig in" the book of 1 Corinthians:
A journey to Corinth, a clash of two wisdoms.

On Friday evening, Gian Paolo pastor of Forte Torre Church, will give an introductory paper on 1 Corinthians:
entering in the history between the apostle and Corinth.

On Saturday morning Gian Paolo,
will give a paper on: outlining the shape of the letter.

Stefano, co-pastor of Impatto a Budrio,
will give a paper on: following God's wisdom for a sick church (chapters 1-4).

Then Gian Paolo, will give a paper on:
exploring Christian liberty while facing a pagan spirituality (chapters 5-6, 8-10).

In the afternoon, Gian Paolo, will give a paper on:
understanding the male-female relationship
in the community life (chapters 7, 11, 14),

Mark co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church, will give a paper on:
understanding the Lord's Supper (chapters 10-11)
and the church meetings (chapters 12-14),

then Gian Paolo, will give a conclusive paper on:
a recap of the ecclesiological vision of 1 Corinthians.

On Sunday morning Gian Luca, co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church, will preach from 1 Corinthians at the joint service of six local churches from the Bologna Area.



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Interactive Bible Study on 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 @ San Lazzaro Church



To prepare for the coming Bologna Bible School,
a weekend for churches
in Bologna to have a
"full-immersion" on
1 Corinthians, this evening in San Lazzaro church, Stefano will lead an interactive Bible Study
on 1 Corinthians 1:1-17.

How is it possible that despite all their quarrels, divisions, prejudices and failures,
Paul can still call such a church: the church of God?

"I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge-- even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you-- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (ESV)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Volunteers meeting for the Food-Bank collection @ Budrio


Tomorrow afternoon Stefano and Giovanni will participate at the volunteers meeting for the Food-Bank collection @ Budrio.

This food-bank collection is organized for Saturday by the town-hall and many associations of Budrio.
The goal is to encourage people shopping at the supermarkets of Budrio to donate food for the local needy families.

As Impatto a Budrio we offered our help for the day.

This event is promoted alongside the UN World Day of Social Justice: "the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity."

My Space Bologna - 2014 Rock Solid Bible Studies planning meeting

Tonight we'll have the staff meeting to plan the Rock Solid 
Bible Studies for the next months of the Bologna My Space Club.

Pray for wisdom and passion in handling correctly the Word of God to reach out kids from the Bologna area. 
Please pray specifically for Matteo & Claudia who are in charge of this ministry.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sunday Service in Budrio - updates

Yesterday morning we had our second Sunday service in Budrio.
10 of us gathered together, all locals yet from different generations and backgrounds, some Christians and some genuinely searching, and for some the very first time they've heard the Gospel being presented to them.


The room we rented in the café of
Le Torri dell'Acqua, the theatre and modern art-gallery of Budrio was warm and welcoming and it helps in being visible as church-plant in the local community.
Some people were reading and commenting the sign we put at the entrance with the Bible text from Acts.

We had a nice "family time" at 10.00 with coffee, cakes and juices.

At 10.30 we stared our service interacting with Acts 1:1-11.
The title was: 2 promises to be fulfilled!

We saw that a promise it's like a bridge between
the past (when the promise was made) and
the future (when the promise will be fulfilled or failed).
The fulfilment of the promise will tell us about the character of whom made the promise.

We saw that Luke, the author of Acts, was himself a bridge between Jews and Gentiles and that we can identify with Theophilus. Like him we never saw Jesus or Paul but we can read Luke's faithful accounts.
In the end we saw that Jesus can be trusted because He keeps his promises and that He's still sending His disciples to be bridges for his Gospel to the end of the earth.
In order to visualise all of this we built up together some bridges :-)

We had that a time of prayer for our "Jerusalem": such as the food-bank collection in Budrio this Saturday. Then we prayed for our "neighbours": our colleagues and the nearby churches.
Finally we prayed for "the end of the earth": the Arkansas team coming next month for outreach.

We've been really encouraged, and looking forwards next meeting!



Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sunday Service in Budrio - Acts 1:1-11

Tomorrow morning we'll have our second Sunday service in Budrio.

From January to September we decided to have once a month a Sunday morning service in Budrio in order be visible as church-plant in the local community.

The community is gathering around
Impatto A Budrio is made by friends from both Nuova Vita and San Lazzaro churches who are living in the area and local friends we are getting to know from Budrio.

We are really encouraged by 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.

Together with Nuova Vita we'll interact in these months with the Book of Acts.

The idea is to have sermon preparation together in order to build up a vision for missional churches in the Bologna Area.

Tomorrow at 10.00 we'll have a family time with coffee & cakes together and at 10.30 we'll look together at Acts 1:1-11.


Jesus said: "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Friday, 21 February 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 Living,
led by Mark Brucato, co-pastor of Nuova Vita.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. A life for God
2. A love for God
3. Looking back: to the Cross

This course is all about the very heart of the Christian life. Living a gospel centred life rooted and built up in Christ crucified, raised and ascended for us, is the goal and power of the Christian life. Learn to walk in the gospel.


The second module is Understanding God's Story,
led by Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. Understanding God’s word
2. Approaching God’s word
3. What is the meaning?

God has spoken to his people through the story of his Son, Jesus. As Christians, we find our identity and purpose as we engage with the stories, letters, poems, prophecies, histories etc., contained within the Bible’s bigger story. You will learn to understand texts in the context of the bigger story and the immediate context of the book of the Bible they appear in. Then you will learn how to apply the words of the Bible today.


The Advanced Year 2 students will interact with these modules:

The first module is Union with Christ,
led by Gian Luca Derudas, co-pastor of Nuova Vita.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. What Is Union With Christ
2. Location And Representation
3. The Work Of The Spirit

Union with Christ is the centre of the gospel. It’s been called the central doctrine of salvation. This course will teach you how the profound truth of a Christian's union and identity with Christ drives us to mission and joy in him.



The second module is The Holy Spirit,
led by Stefano.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
1. Creator Spirit
2. The prophetic Spirit
3. The redeemer Spirit

Discover the Holy Spirit from a gospel perspective.
Learn to discern and enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit in everyday discipleship and mission.
The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten member of the Trinity or His work is emphasised apart from the gospel. This course helps us see the central role of the Holy Spirit in creation and redemption. Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit empowers and shapes gospel mission and discipleship in the local church.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Texas team @ Budrio Exch@nge Summer Camp!!!

In these days we are planning the first
Youth for Christ Exch@nge summer camp
in Budrio.

The director of the local Sport Centre has agreed to guest the camp in the second week of July, giving us the possibility to use the whole centre with an indoor basketball & volleyball field and plenty rooms for the other activities.

Yesterday we had also the answer that a team of Christian teens from Bethel Church in Houston (Texas) will come to partner with us for this project.

Bethel Church praises God for over 45 years of ministry in Houston. Through the years they have sought to proclaim faithfully the word of God and have found that God is perfectly faithful to His word.
This is also the church that last November sent the team helped us with the Thanksgiving!

We are very thankful to the Lord for this partnership for the progress of His Kingdom in Budrio.
For their missions weekend we prepared this video:


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

San Lazzaro Church House Groups Bible Studies on Habakkuk

Tomorrow evening we'll continue in San Lazzaro Church the series of Bible Studies on the book Habakkuk for the monthly House Groups we run in three homes.
This month we'll look at Habakkuk 2:1-5.

For these studies we are using 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.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Bologna Bible School - preparation meeting

This evening Stefano will meet with
Gian Paolo pastor of Forte Torre Church
and Mark co-pastor of Nuova Vita Church,
to have a preparation meeting for the coming Bologna Bible School.

Bologna Bible School is an opportunity for churches to gather together for a week-end of full-immersion in a book of the Bible.
This year we'll "dig in" 1 Corinthians.


Saturday, 8 February 2014

"Praying with Paul" - 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 - A prayer so that Jesus' name may be glorified in you, and you in him!

Tomorrow Stefano will continue in San Lazzaro church the series: "Praying with Paul", in which we are interacting with Paul's prayers in his letters.

For this sermon: "A prayer so that Jesus' name may be glorified in you, 
and you in him", we'll engage with  
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12.

To introduce this sermon, we'll ask ourselves: Do we see justice in our world?
Is God just?

These will be the headings of the sermon:
1. A prayer so that Jesus' name may be glorified in you.
2. A prayer so that we may be glorified in Jesus.

"To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (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

Monday, 3 February 2014

My Space Bologna - 2014 Rock Solid Bible Studies planning meeting

Tomorrow evening we'll have a meeting to plan the Rock Solid Bible Studies for the next months of the Bologna My Space Club.

Pray for wisdom and passion in handling correctly the Word of God to reach out kids from the Bologna area. 
Please pray specifically for Matteo & Claudia who are in charge of this ministry.

Great Time at the traditional English Tea @ Mezzolara



This week-end we had a really good time at the first traditional English Tea organised by the central Café in our village.




We had a table for the Impatto A Budrio group and there were 11 adults and 2 lovely kids who were amazing in connecting with the whole café.
It was really encouraging for us as we can see this developing in the core group for the church-plant, and we also had the great joy of seeing new friends, one coming along from the work done during the Thanksgiving.



Saturday, 1 February 2014

A traditional English Tea @ Mezzolara


For this week-end, our friend Elisa, co-owner of the central café in our village, invited us for the traditional afternoon English tea they are organizing.





We thought it's a great opportunity to invite our friends from the Impatto A Budrio church-plant and all the students Jenny is teaching English.
This is a nice way to live in the community and deepening our friendship with our neighbours, with the bonus of cucumber sandwiches and scones with cream & jam!