TableTalk 2013 banner-01

Wednesdays evenings, September 17 – November 12, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Each fall, Blacknall hosts a 9-week educational series featuring dinner, fellowship, and learning programs for all ages. This is a highlight of Blacknall’s life together! Excellent teachers from the community plan exciting classes in biblical study, essentials of the Christian faith, marriage, mission, prayer, and more. The program also includes two great classes for preschool and elementary school children, and child care for infants and toddlers. Each Wednesday evening, participants enjoy a healthful dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and then move to classes from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Registration for fall 2014 classes will begin in early September.

For more information, contact Karl Umble.

Fall 2013 Adult Classes

*All Middle, High School, and College students are invited to adult classes or to volunteer with Nursery or Elementary-age classes.

Jesus Stories

Matt Bridges

Christians know and love Jesus through the stories found in the four Gospels. These authoritative and vivid stories have inspired others to tell and write new stories about Jesus in their own contexts and language, imagining his life and work in new worlds and settings. These are not stories to live by, like the Gospels, but they do allow readers fresh ways to meet Jesus—these fictions open space to point the Christian to the truth. This class will read, discuss, and engage short fictional stories about Jesus, old and new, as a way of firing the Christian imagination toward new ways of thinking about our Lord, clearer understanding about the truth of who Jesus is for the Church, and a keener eye for the storytelling of the Gospels themselves.

Matt Bridges, a teacher in Humanities and Theology at The Trinity School, loves stomping around the rivers and streams in Durham with his family. He and his wife, Andrea, have been at Blacknall for about 8 years. Duke Divinity brought them to Durham where they both earned Masters of Divinity.

Cooperating with the Spirit in Prayer

Michael & Serena Whisenhunt

The biggest enticement of this class, which is not a class at all, is the time and space to experience God’s presence. Our gathering will begin each week with praise and worship, and then we will pray about the things the Spirit brings to mind. Our intent is to practice listening to God and cooperating with his Spirit, who searches our hearts, intercedes for us, and prays according to God’s will. We will learn about prayer by doing it.

Michael and Serena Whisenhunt have enjoyed more than 27 years at Blacknall where they have led Bible studies, taught first grade Sunday School and Confirmation classes, and worked with Blacknall’s youth. Michael, an elder, is a software engineer and Serena teaches middle school English and Bible. They have two children, both in college.

The Great Divorce

Allan Poole

Allan will lead this class through The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Each class will include readings of passages performed by class members. This twentieth-century classic will illumine the challenges and promises of contemporary discipleship. Lewis’ text prompts reflection on the eternal consequences of our everyday decisions.

Allan Poole has been a pastor at Blacknall since 1985. He is married to Betsy and they have three children.


David Dunderdale

Jeremiah lived in an age when God’s sinful, broken people went from a position of power and authority to one of exile and powerlessness. As Jeremiah calls God’s people to repentance, he reveals much about his own life and heart. This course will not be an exegesis of the book of Jeremiah but an attempt to understand his life and his heart as a “mentor.” Jeremiah will teach us how we are to walk together with God in our own age of “exile.”

David Dunderdale has experienced his own “exile” from the Holy City of Pittsburgh to the “Babylon” of Durham where he and Kim (and Abe and Sam) are seeking the welfare of this city. He and Kim also have three daughters (Lucy, Nellie, and Nora) living in Cape Town, South Africa and Pittsburgh. 

Journeying Deeper with Congo Initiative

Miles Travis & Kyle Hamilton

This class will explore Congo Initiative (CI): its mission, its context and the Blacknall-CI partnership. Members of the class will leave with a deeper understanding of CI’s mission and the challenges and opportunities facing the church in Congo. What’s more, we will explore how Blacknall’s Deep Common Journey with CI can help us be more faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ, in addition to being equipped to pray for and encourage our brothers and sisters in Congo.

Miles Travis is a part of the leadership team for the Deep Common Journey with Congo. He is interested in the role of education and service-learning in missions, and he hopes this partnership will be transformative for Blacknall as well as the people of Congo. Kyle Hamilton has been volunteering as a research aide with Congo Initiative since January 2012. He is interested in the church’s response to conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Spiritual Resilience: Accessing God’s Provision in Difficult Times

Charlie & Frauke Schaefer

Pain, grief, sorrow, anger, fear, and confusion often result when life shakes us up. Some question God’s goodness and wonder whether he is actually there. In this class, we will explore and practice the kind of spiritual resilience that grows out of reconnecting with God, deepening community, grace, forgiveness, lament, and our understanding of suffering. Effective tools for supporting others going through difficult times will also be discussed.

Charlie and Frauke Schaefer, members of Blacknall for about 15 years, are passionate about supporting Christians with spiritual and mental health needs and serve them as a psychologist and psychiatrist, respectively. With three others, they have recently co-authored Trauma & Resilience: Effectively Supporting Those Who Serve God.

M:28 Process and Potential

Dan Kronstad & Scott Hawkins

This class introduces M:28 to Blacknall. M:28 is a Bible study tool and community building process used by International Students, Inc. (ISI). The process focuses on developing “doers of the Word” who are faithful to witness and train others, and who are growing into the kind of people that God uses. The process’ foundation includes prayer and obedience, thus helping foster mutual encouragement, accountability, and a well-rounded community life. M:28 offers potential benefit to all who desire to be “used by God.” The class will introduce M:28 and brainstorm its application to our local situation with the hope of God birthing a community of praying persons.

Dan Kronstad has been married for 12 years to Tanya (Director of Middle School Ministry at Blacknall). They have three boys (the high energy ones with blond hair you see running around church on Sunday mornings). For the past 8 years, Dan has served on staff with the ministry of International Students, Inc. (ISI). Scott Hawkins has served with ISI for 28 years, married to Jenny for 42 years, but their five children (now grown) never ran around church while growing up at Blacknall! Hah! With Dan, Scott shares a passion to creatively help others encounter and grow in relationship with Jesus, and become a person of prayer.

Children’s Programs

*Nursery is available for infants through age 2 and is open from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Ages 3-4: Seeds of Faith

“Seeds of Faith” is a class with a concentration on Scripture songs and other methods of memorizing Scripture. Our hope is that this class will jump-start a program of Scripture memorization for our youngest kids at Blacknall, and will include strategies for families to continue memorization at home. The class will be team-taught by a group of parents and educators, many of whom specialize in early childhood education and music.

Grades K-5: Children & Worship

Elementary-age children are invited to this special class to learn about worship! We will explore a variety of worship and choral styles as we learn to sing together. This class is not performance-oriented, and everyone’s participation is valued. We also hope to offer opportunities for the children to sing in corporate worship. Together, we will learn what it means to be Christian worshippers of the Triune God in the context of corporate worship.