About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Hannah, Josh and Josh…uncle to Marshall, son-in-law to Claudia.

Sermon: Apostles and Exiles

This is the audio (12:39, 11.6 MB) of a short homily delivered at LCC’s International Christian Fellowship on April 22 entitled, “Apostles and Exiles.” The text was Ezekiel 11:14-17. Continue reading


Worshipping with the Fifth Gospel


Here is the audio of a Dec 3, 2017, worship service (1:32:25; 126 MB), based on the book of Isaiah. Visit thinkhardthinkwell.com for more info. List of the teachings, readings and songs, with timestamps:

0:00:00 Welcome Benjamin Giffone
0:00:50 Call to Worship Jessica Smoker
0:01:49 Holy, Holy Holy (Isa 6)
0:06:05 The Fifth Gospel Benjamin Giffone
0:16:44 Isaiah 7:10-17 Matthew Steinfeld
0:20:24 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Isa 7)
0:23:23 Isaiah 23:14-18; 47:1-3; 21:9 Benjamin Giffone
0:29:48 City of Doom (Isa 21:9; Rev 18)
0:33:16 Isaiah 40:27-31 Stanford Phiri
0:38:14 Everlasting God (Isa 40)
0:42:03 The Lord’s Prayer
0:42:45 Isaiah 43:1-4 Corrie Giffone
0:50:38 You Are Precious (Isa 43:1-4)
0:54:47 Isaiah 53; The Lord’s Supper Steve Van Zanen
1:01:58 Our God Reigns (Isa 52:7; 53; 1 Pet 2:11-15)
1:07:00 Isaiah 55:12-13 Jessica Smoker
1:11:19 The Trees of the Field (Isa 55:12-13)
1:13:47 Isaiah 60:1-5; First Advent Candle Greg Lawton
1:17:53 Arise and Shine (Isa 60)
1:20:34 Coda: Isaiah 6:8-13 Benjamin Groenewold
1:26:24 Here I Am, Lord (Isa 6)
1:31:02 Benediction Benjamin Giffone

Background: On December 3, 2017, I and my student, Jessica Smoker, had privilege of leading worship for LCC’s International Christian Fellowship, which is an occasional English-language worship service led by staff and faculty.

Jess and I did an independent study on the Book of Isaiah that semester. We discovered that we are both musical, and decided that one of her assignments should be for us to craft a worship service structured around songs from Isaiah, and short teachings from the passages on which those songs are based.

I was partly inspired by the sorts of song-sermons that my father-in-law, Joe, used to lead. (The difference is that Joe would often compose all the songs in addition to the teaching! Jess and I didn’t write any songs this time…)

Obviously, all of these songs are written by other songwriters besides me and Jess, and the copyrights for the music are held by the original artists. The teaching portions belong to the individual speakers. (I’m not going to go crazy trying to track down permissions, etc., because there’s not really a benefit to it, and “intellectual property” is a made-up concept, anyway. I’ll take them down if I get sued. I can’t imagine why someone would come after a blogging educator/worshipper, when all music is free on YouTube, but stranger things have happened.)

Sermon: The Good Samarians

This is the audio (34:28, 31.9 MB) of a sermon delivered at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly, NJ on July 16 entitled, “The Good Samarians.” The primary text was 2 Chronicles 28:1-15, and the other readings were Luke 10:25-37 and Psalm 102:13-22. I was pleased to be able to share with the congregation that is sponsoring me for ordination. Corrie and I also sang one of her father’s songs, “I Will Wait.” Continue reading

Sermon: A Tale of Two Abijahs?

steeple[1]This is the audio (28:39, 26.2 MB) of a sermon delivered at First Presbyterian Church of Norristown on July 9 entitled, “A Tale of Two Kings.” The text is 2 Chronicles 13:1-14:1a. I was pleased to be able to give my friend, Pastor Peter Martin, a Sunday off on his birthday.

Here is an excerpt:

The Chronicler believed that YHWH God would continue to be faithful in his own time, centuries after Abijah cried out to YHWH that day. The Chronicler believed deeply that YHWH is the Creator and Sustainer who controls the world, that YHWH had chosen a special people despite their sinfulness, that YHWH would not leave his people without a priestly mediator or a rightous king from the line of David, and that YHWH would bring about reconciliation between broken fragments of humanity.

Audio and text: ©2017 by Benjamin D. Giffone. Reproduction and distribution are permitted, providing that the author is properly credited and that no fee is charged.