Wednesdays evenings
September 23 – November 18
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. 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. Contact: Karl Umble.

Register online  or download the brochure and turn it in on Sundays at the registration table in the Lower Atrium or mail/drop off registration form to Ali Shoenfelt c/o Blacknall, 1902 Perry Street, Durham, NC 27705.

Fall 2015 Course Descriptions

Praying the Psalms

Amy Whisenand

The Psalms depict all kinds of emotions – from exuberant joy to flattening sorrow. They push us to pray and teach us how to pray. N.T. Wright has likened them to “a golden retriever bringing to its master’s feet every strange object it finds in the field.” In that spirit, we will learn from familiar and unfamiliar Psalms by praying, reading, listening, and some singing (it will be easy, don’t worry). No weekly preparation necessary, just a willingness to interact with Psalms in new and old ways as we seek to learn from and imitate them.

Amy Whisenand is currently in her second year of the Th.D. program at Duke Divinity School, studying New Testament with an emphasis in Theology & the Arts.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

David Eagle

The number of Christians in the U.S. is declining, more and more Americans don’t identify with any religion, church attendance is eroding, and fewer and fewer young people connect to the church. In this class, we will discuss eight trends that will give us a glimpse into how the religious landscape in the U.S. is changing. But more than just looking at these trends, we will also ask what these changes in our society mean for us as a community of God’s people who are called to reach out to our neighbors in Durham and beyond.

David Eagle just finished his PhD in the sociology of religion at Duke, where he now works as a researcher studying clergy health. He spent six years as a pastor, has worked with a national study of churches in the U.S., and has lived in Durham with his wife Alison and their children Joshua, Anastasia and Isaiah since 2008.

Small Groups

Current Small Groups can participate together in Table Talk in a variety of ways. Small Groups can sign-up for a class(es) together, or can come, enjoy dinner and fellowship, and then use a small room for your meeting. Please contact Karl Umble to reserve a room.

The Small Group Ministry Team is also working to organize a new small group that meets during Table Talk. If interested, please email, talk to one of the members of the Small Groups Team (Chris Blumhofer, Dean Storelli, and Todd and Allison Dimsdale), or list “new small group” on the registration form.

Art & Worship

Traci Hoover, Beth Solie, Dave Stuntz

People of all ages are invited to join in nine weeks of art exploration and worship as we work together to create art that will help the congregation in its worship and consideration of God’s story. Last year this class did amazing work that prepared us for Advent and helped create beautiful pieces that contribute to the meaningful worship experience during our Christmas season. Come and find out what we will be creating this year. Each week we will worship together, consider great works of art that help to tell God’s story, have a brief meditation and conversation about what scripture tells us, and work together to create something beautiful! Ask anyone who participated last year. This class provides an amazing opportunity for people from all ages and stages to be together in a very meaningful way.

Traci Hoover is the Director of Elementary Children’s Ministries at Blacknall. She has seven children and lives in downtown Durham. She loves reading, cooking, taking naps, and exploring Durham eateries. Beth Solie is the Director of Preschool Children’s Ministry at Blacknall. She and her husband, Eric, have three children. She loves to spend time outdoors with her family and has knack for all things crafty.  Dave Stuntz has been involved with music at Blacknall since 1998, and he is borderline obssessed with fly fishing and trips to the Outerbanks.

Learn While Doing – M:28 Discovery Bible Study

Dan Kronstad

M:28 Discovery Bible Study is a Bible Study tool and community building process that we believe is simple, reproducible and transformational. All people of Blacknall are welcome to participate. In this course we trust you will gain new insight and understanding into the Word of God, experience genuine fellowship with others and be further equipped to share the Good News of Jesus with others in your sphere of influence through the use of this Bible Study tool. International students from the community will also be invited to join us for this course. We highly encourage participation in the shared meal before each session to help foster trust and community building. Especially be aware of the international guests among us. Seek them out, welcome them and learn their story.

Dan Kronstad has a passion to help others encounter and grow in relationship with Jesus. For the past 9+ years he has served with the ministry of International Students, Inc. (ISI). Dan is married to Tanya (Director of Middle School Ministry at Blacknall) and they have three sons: Erik, Caleb and James.

A Gospel Portrait of Christ

John David Corwin

The four Gospels recount a common narrative of Christ. Yet, they also each portray Christ in specific, unique ways. Who then is Jesus Christ in light of these four portrayals? How did he live? What did he feel? Whom did he love? How did he love? These and similar questions are the details between Christ’s teachings, and they help us in contemplating that ultimate question which Christ asks of the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” We will reflect upon passages from all four Gospels with this question in mind in an effort to grow in knowledge and love of Christ and our neighbor.

John David Corwin just finished at Duke Divinity School this past May, and more recently spent three weeks hiking in the High Sierras of California this summer. He hopes to eventually teach high school, probably after some more adventures and detours, though.

Sacred History & Discipleship Today

Jeff Baker & Alicia Ramos

Does the long and winding history of the Christian church have anything to teach us today about discipleship? Are there moments and events and people from the Church’s rich tapestry that might instruct us on how to pray, worship and follow Christ today? This course is devoted to grappling with these questions by engaging with faithful Christian disciples from India to Ireland, from the first century to the twenty first. Through looking at their art, architecture, styles of worship and prayer, and more, we will draw on the Church’s beautiful and perhaps overlooked treasures to broaden and deepen our discipleship here in our Outpost of the Kingdom.

Alicia Ramos is a dentist who in her limited spare time loves to paint. Jeff Baker is a physician and part-time historian who practices and teaches at Duke.

Children & Youth Programs

Nursery (Infant – Age 3)
Children ages 4 and older are encouraged to attend the multigenerational Art & Worship course.
Middle and High School youth are welcome to attend any course that is offered.


Fall 2014 Classes