Advent Devotional 2015

Frank Humphrey Allen ArtworkThe Advent Devotional is available for download! Written and prepared by members of our community, the devotional is meant to be a shared experience for all of us as we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s birth.

How to Use This Guide

Make it a part of your daily routine during Advent.

  • Keep the devotional on your kitchen table so that each morning you read it over breakfast.
  • Put the devotional on your pillow and read it before bed.
  • Use it as a time of worship: open in prayer, light a candle on the Advent wreath, sing a favorite hymn or carol, read the Scripture and devotional, sing another favorite hymn or carol, and close in prayer.
  • Find or create another daily habit.

Share it with friends.

  • If you live with other people, read it together and then talk about it.
  • Use it as a conversation starter on Sunday mornings or at other Advent events, “Did you read the Advent devotional today? What did you think?”
  • Parents, make it a point to talk to your kids about it. Translate it if you have to. If your kids are older, text them about it.
  • Study it together with your small group.

We live in a culture that seizes every opportunity to convince us to buy stuff during this season. Let us, then, be just as intentional to seize every opportunity to think together about the Coming and Second Coming of our Lord Jesus.

Artwork by Frank Humphrey Allen

Centennial Celebration

Centennial Celebration
Help us ceBlacknall100_color_CMYKlebrate Blacknall’s 100th birthday! Join together in unique ways to commemorate this past century of God’s goodness, like worshiping with past leaders, breaking bread over a historical bowl of Brunswick stew, or building up the walls of a new Habitat for Humanity home. In marking these many years of Christian community, let us  worship and serve together.

Centennial Celebration Gala – Saturday, February 27, 6-9 p.m.
Durham Convention Center, Downtown Marriott. Purchase/Reserve seating.

Centennial Habitat for Humanity Build
In honor of the many hands that built Blacknall’s house of worship 100 years ago, let us use our hands in raising walls and hammering nails to build a new Durham home. Look for more details soon!

Centennial Finale Celebration Picnic – October 2016

Advent Wreath Workshop

advent-wreath-picSunday, November 29, 4-6 p.m., Community Room. This is an event for all ages! Wreaths are assembled in one-hour shifts. Please bring a pizza pan to transport your finished wreath and $12 for your kit (candles, oasis ring, etc). Please make checks payable to BMPC. Clippers and greenery cuttings are helpful, too. Signup today in the Lower Atrium or email Margaret Frothingham.

Advent Services

advent-slideLessons & Carols – Sunday, December 6, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., Sanctuary

Carols & Cocoa – Sunday, December 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sanctuary & Fellowship Hall, A Christmas songfest with tasty refreshments to follow. Come sing your favorite carol and end the evening with cocoa and cookies. The whole family is welcome! Childcare not provided.

Worship on the Longest Night – Sunday, December 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sanctuary Perhaps this has been a hard year for you or you are having trouble getting into the ‘spirit’ of the season. All are welcome to gather for prayerful worship of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, who is with us even on this (symbolically) longest and darkest night of the year. Childcare provided for infants through 2nd grade.

Christmas Eve Services – Thursday, December 24, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Sanctuary. Both services include communion and candles. Childcare provided through age 4.

Congregational Survey

Listening Tour Survey – take it online

Open November 15-December 15

As part of the Listening Tour taking place this fall, please take a moment to complete the congregational survey from leaders of our various ministries. We hope the survey feedback will help our ministries be as effective as possible.

November | December Newsletter

November December Newsletter

The November | December Newsletter is now available!  Highlights include:

  • Pastor’s Letter from David Dunderdale
  • Life in Beni: An Interview with Emily & Kyle Hamilton
  • Treasuring Our Neighbor: Reflections on Reality Ministries Community Worship
  • Festival of the Bean Snapshots

Download the newsletter

Listening Tour

tour-slideThroughout the fall, Blacknall has been gathering stories of God’s goodness and praying, reflecting, and listening for what God may be asking of us for the future. As we approach our 100th Anniversary in 2016, let’s lean into the future together, celebrate God’s goodness and listen well to how and where the Lord may be leading.

Group Conversation

Sunday, January 10, Lunch after the second service


  • How is Blacknall living out God’s Kingdom in Durham and in the world, and how do you see Blacknall embodying the gospel most clearly?
  • What are your God-given gifts and how does Blacknall help you discover, nurture, and encourage you to use those gifts? How can Blacknall help you in your desire to follow Christ more faithfully?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for Blacknall (in the next 10 years)?  Where do you think the Holy Spirit is leading us?

This is an opportunity to take part in discussion sessions which, similar to our 2006 conversations, will allow thought and discussion around a few general questions.


Take the online survey

Open November 15-January 15

We will offer a survey from leaders of our various ministries, delivered both in print and via our website. We hope the survey feedback will help our ministries be as effective as possible.

Sermon Series and Sunday School Class

A sermon series on nine principles which guide our theology and ministries at Blacknall. This series is paired with a Sunday School in the Fellowship Hall entitled, “The Cross at Perry and Iredell.”

POSTPONED – Benedict Option with Rod Dreher


This event has been postponed for health reasons until Spring 2016. Read more information about Rod Dreher’s health on his blog.

Rod Dreher, a noted author and essayist, is calling for communities and institutions to take the Benedict Option – to live out Christianity as groups of people determined to resist certain dehumanizing trends of modernity. Dreher’s Benedict Option is much-discussed among thought leaders in the church, academy and national press.

Rod is a senior editor at The American Conservative and the author of Crunchy Cons, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, and How Dante Can Save Your Life. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Post, the Dallas Morning News, National Review, First Things, and the Wall Street Journal, and broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC Radio. He lives in St. Francisville, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children.

Festival of the Bean

Sunday, October 18 | 3:30-7 p.m. | Camp Chestnut Ridge
Blacknall’s 9th Annual Chili Cook-Off! Celebrate the fall season with hay rides, lawn games, s’mores, and a chance to get crowned Lord of the Bean. For more information, contact Kelli Sittser.

3:30–4 p.m.    Arrive & check-in chili
4-6 p.m.      Hayrides and lawn games
4:45 p.m.  Deadline for chili entrants
5-5:30 p.m.    Chili tasting & voting by judges
5:30–6:15 p.m.    Dinner, S’mores by the fire
6:15 p.m.    Lord of the Bean Award Ceremony
6:30 p.m.     Clean up

Chili Cook-Off

Prizes will be awarded for each category (Traditional, Vegetarian, or Spicy), with a special prize for the best named chili. Of course, the overall best-in-show will be crowned Lord of the Bean.

  • Bring you chili to the check-in table by 4:45 p.m.
  • At check-in, your chili will be assigned a number and labeled with a recipe name, if you have one. Recipe names may not reference the cook(s), and voting will be anonymous.
  • You will select a category to enter: Traditional, Vegetarian, or Spicy.
  • The most votes in each category will win that category, and the most votes overall will win Lord of the Bean!
  • Please Bring
    • Crockpot or other warming device to hold the chili.
    • Tablespoon to serve chili during judging.
    • Ladle, for serving chili during dinner.
    • Extension cord.
    • Any accoutrements your chili requires (sour cream, cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, etc.)
    • Please label your chili pot and all supplies with your name!


Monday Morning Men (M3) Small Group

Men of all ages are invited to the weekly Monday Morning Men (M3) small group.  The first meeting this season is Monday, September 14 from 6:30-7:30am.  Bagels and coffee will be served.  The group discussion is about the sermon from the previous Sunday morning, so preparation is minimal.  Contact: Peter Lima