September and the Pope’s visit!

Greetings Friends and Family:popefrancisweb

Yes, the leaves are starting to turn – not too happy about that :). Such a glorious summer, it’s been particularly beautiful here in the Hudson Valley with warm dry air and gentle sunny days. We’ve been getting boxes of fruit from the local farm stands to freeze for winter- then all winter we can have fruit tarts and stewed plums! Yes, you can come over for some!

Mick and I have been watching the broadcasts of the Pope’s speeches and went in to NYC on Friday to see if we cold catch a glimpse of him.  The security was very tight – 6,000+ police in front of barricades two blocks in front of where the Pope would be traveling. But we did get to experience the incredible Spirit that pervaded the City, as we made our way from location to location – meeting people and all of us praying for the Pope and his safety. It was very exciting when the Pope drove by us on his way to ground zero.. _MG_2460 He was waving out the window but when he saw me and a woman I was standing with, he leaned forward with a huge smile and waved especially at us!  He looked so energized and happy! There was a beautiful feeling of joy all day, even though it was strenuous waiting in crowds. So many times people in the crowds were nice, kind and caring. Not your usual NYC experience!_MG_2524

A few weeks ago, I felt a strong urge to check out a church that is for sale in our neighborhood. I felt an inner excitement building with the idea of having it for an Icon writing studio and having daily prayer offered for whoever at all wanted to come.  It’s a dream of both of ours, to have an artist/photography studio that doubles as a church on evenings and weekends. When we graduated from ministry school that was our dream and plan – it still is!  But as we looked it over carefully, we realized the building would need work, and the expense of buying, heating, and repairs would put us in a financial position we don’t want to be in.  IMG_0536We are both tentmakers, me with Icon writing and painting, and Michael with photography, and that is how we want to be. While we are very grateful to all of you who support our ministry financially, we are glad we don’t have to make extra requests for financial support and we want to keep it that way!  But, if you would just keep our dream in your prayers, that God will fulfill it in His way in His time, we would be grateful._MG_2618

The annual Christian Parade in Hudson was this past Saturday. Michael was part of it and was able to provide healing prayer for all those who wanted it down by the riverside._MG_2610

The Pope’s visit was a reminder for me to “Always be joyful.  Keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  How he can be joyful with all the problems he faces, is truly the grace of God! And I claim the same for all of us!

The popular Artists & Friends Community Potluck Dinner is back with a Sept 18 dinner that hosted NYC artist and author Brainard Carey who gave an uplifting and informative talk about alternative ways to engage with the art world.

Just a few notes:  I am teaching an Introduction to Icon Writing Retreat at Saint James Episcopal Church on Madison Ave. in NYC, Oct 16-18.  There’s still time to register: contact Grace Beecham,email: gbeecham@st.james.org

I’ll be teaching that again in May at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. Email me if you’d like to register for that. Also at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in March, 2016.

Michael and I thank you so much for your support and prayers. We are grateful for each one of you and keep you constantly in our prayers, too.

Blessings and love,       IMG_0480
Christine and Michael

www.mickhales.com, www.christinehales.com, www.newchristianicons.com, www.americanassociationoficonographers.com 


August Travels

Dear Friends and Family:  photo

The Philmont Community Healing Day was beautiful, thank you for your prayers. The Holy Spirit filled the pavillion, lots of little and big children comfortably  enjoyed being there, sat rapt.. listening to the worship music and occasionally making art that got pinned up on the stage for all to see.  One young man made a decision that day to quit drugs and he started at teen challenge the following week. Please keep him in prayer for full recovery and for he and his two local friends who have also gotten off drugs to receive all the support they need to stay clean.

Michael is helping with two more community outreaches in September being organized by an ad hoc group of pastors working under the name of, ‘God Belongs in Our County.’ It is a small beginning but these outreaches are gathering steam and inviting people to work together from different streams.photo

A sad note: one of our friends from when we held the Revival in Philmont about 6 years ago, a lovely lady in a wheelchair died suddenly when she was hit by a car last week in the village. At the revival she was powerfully touched by God and ever afterwards was active in the local church and ministered to the local kids on a daily basis. She was loved by many. By the grace of God, we just happened to be coming home from out of town that night, dropped in at the Cumberland Farms to pick up milk and heard that she had been hit.  As we drove home, we saw her, still at the street corner, with the police and a small crowd. We ran over and prayed with her.  She said to Michael “Don’t stop praying”.  She looked ok and refused to go to the hospital, but after Michael and her friend Skip helped her get home, she decided to call an ambulance. She kept saying to Michael, ‘Don’t stop praying.’ She died that night. She is missed by many._MG_7597 (1)

This month we will be going to the UK for our niece’s wedding in Leeds. We will be in Bristol for a very quick visit on August 29. Then up to Leeds on August 30. Let us know if you’re in Bristol and would like a quick cup of tea and catch up!ChristineHales_SavetheDate

I’m having an exhibition of my paintings at the McDaris Gallery in Hudson in September and will give a talk there on September 26.

We love you, pray for you and thank you for your prayers. With God’s help we can bring his Kingdom here on earth.  Don’t stop praying!

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.”  Ephesians 3:12

Love and Prayers, Christine and Michael

www.christinehales.com              www.mickhales.com                          www.newchristianicons.com    www.americanassociationoficonographers.com


Healing Prayer Day in Philmont, NY

Dear Friends and Family:  photo

This past week we had a week’s holiday at the beach – God blessed us so much! We have made some good friends there and feel like we are becoming part of the beach family. Yay!  Now we are back at work, and today I’ve been working since 5:30 am (it’s 5:30pm now), just so you know :).  Seriously, working refreshed is a lot better than working stressed out, praise God!

I’m working on developing my oil painting right now, as well as a new Icon of Saint Brigid that I am excited about.  But this coming Saturday is the Healing Prayer Day in Philmont that Michael is organizing and we want to tell you about it and ask for your prayers to cover it from now right up through the event.

Michael has invited Rick Cecil, one of the team of praying in the streets in Baltimore, MD, to come as well as Stephen Stewart to play guitar for worship.  We will be offering free hamburgers, hot dogs and cotton candy, but the emphasis  will be on healing prayer.

John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill,  and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”IMG_5345

We’ve been asking for your prayers for Philmont for some time. There is an epidemic of heroin use and child abuse in the village.  We can’t silently stand by without raising the call for healing and prayer. Will you help us?  If all of you prayed, it would move mountains.  We ask for your prayers especially this week, that all those who need God’s healing will come, and that God would raise up a mighty army that will give His victory to save His children from destruction, poverty, and abuse.


We pray that  Philmont will be a drug free zone. That workers will rise up to create educational programs for the youth, that Godly employment will be found for them, and small children will be protected from predators of all kinds.IMG_3113

Lord, God, we thank you for protecting us from every form of evil and bringing  us the gift of your divine health. We thank you for breaking the chains of oppression and delivering us from every form of sin, addiction, sickness, disease, and lie of the enemy, and we ask this in the name of Jesus.

We love you all and are so grateful to know that we can count on your prayer support.  And please keep us aware of how we can pray for you!  The gathering is Saturday, August 1, 2-5PM at the Claverack Town Park. Free and open to the public!


June Flowers

Dear Friends and Family: photo

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Here in Philmont, NY, there is a heroin epidemic among the young and poor. This is a small village – maybe 700 people, and yet our youth are living with such low hope.  It’s generational here.  When you drive into town you see the 20 and thirty somethings on their front porches, little children running around, glazed looks in the parents’ eyes.  It’s so sad and seemingly unstoppable.  As I describe this, I want to also describe “the future we have not seen”.  I have a vision for Philmont becoming a safe place for children to grow up, with no drugs allowed in the area.  A drug free zone.  Won’t you join us in prayer for the youth of Philmont?  We know that prayer is powerful, and God can change the destiny of a place and its people.  In the weeks and months ahead, please pray some time each day for Philmont to be drug free and a safe place for children to grow up. photo 3

I’m working hard on painting- I have three galleries now that I have to bring in paintings, take back paintings, etc.. The exhibition in Chatham at the Bookstore sold three paintings! Praise God!  Also have a new Icon commission so am busy trying to stay organized. Please pray for me to find a good computer person to help me with the administrative tasks. :)

I’m taking a break from the Artists & Friends Community Potluck Dinners for July and August, hoping to get someone to help with it all. We’ll start back again September 19.

“One out of a hundred will read a bible. The other 99 will read you and me. Hopefully we are an accurate translation.”  Dutch Sheets

Michael has his Healing Day in Philmont on August 1 where we’ve rented the town pavilion for the day. Please keep that in prayer, that miracles will happen and people will get set free:    photo

That day is one of five dates set for different outside activities scheduled by a group of pastors from Columbia County joining together under the heading, ‘God Belongs in Our County’. They are set to take place in Claverack Town Park, Chatham, Greenport and Hudson. Michael has asked an evangelist from Baltimore, Rick Cecil to be among the speakers for that day and is expecting  worship music from past Kingdom School students. There have been so many predictions and words about the train coming in or the big wave moving through the Hudson Valley of God’s presence I found this picture at the Hudson Railway station particularly appropriate. Please keep this area in your prayers.photo

We love you all and keep you in our prayers, May God continue to bless you and your families, keep you safe from all harm and provide for a surplus of all your needs.  Help us to be mindful of the needs of others.

Christine and Michael

May Blossoms

Dear Friends and Family:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements.  Romans 13:9,10″

This spring we are reaching out into the community now that the grip of winter is over.  Our monthly Artists + Friends Community Potluck Dinner has been growing in many ways.  Each month we have 45-60 people coming to share a potluck meal and art work with each other. There are performers, visual artists, ceramicists, writers, poets , and we all gather to share our true selves with each other and celebrate what joins us together._MG_3602_MG_3617


Michael and I also met with some of our former students from Kingdom School for dinner and prayer: 8 adults and 5 babies under the age of 3!  So much fun!

The Icons for Saint Vincent’s Church are completed and will be dedicated on Pentecost! May 24th 11:00 am service you’re all invited!  It will be an exciting moment to see them unveiled!


Michael is going through a period of intense discernment to see where the Lord is leading him next. He has been exploring the opportunity for further training in Chaplaincy and is applying to Albany Medical Center to join the excellent program they offer there for Chaplains. He is also exploring the Lutheran denomination to see whether the Lord has a place for him in that stream. In the mean time we are beginning to see that our role within the artist community  is really laying a foundation for ministering to a group which has often rejected Christianity but are seriously searching for a fuller meaning to their creativity and life. God has extraordinary ways of weaving peoples lives together after long intervals of time, so we connect again in a different context for another opportunity to be in relationship. As we know God is all about relationships, with Him and with other people. We seem to be in a season of growing many new relationships and it is very life giving especially in the artist community.


We feel an excitement that God is forming a cohesive plan, we do not see it clearly yet but it is as though it is being created around us. The former students from Kingdom School are all on new and exciting paths, many of them are going through interior growing and healing. God has a plan and we are so excited to be just one part of what he is doing in the Hudson Valley. Please keep us in your prayers and let us know how we can pray for you.

Love, prayers, and blessings from us to you!

Christine and Michael















Spring is Finally here!

Hello Friends and Family:photo

What a long harsh winter! It’s only been this weekend that we have started to have some warm weather.  Finally starting to see crocuses and daffodils.  I used the long indoor hours to complete the large Icon commission for Saint Vincent’s Church in Albany.  It’s been rewarding and a great experience to “write” the images of saints who are inspirations in terms of social justice and caring for the poor.  There will be an installation sometime in May – will be sure to let you know about it._MG_1560

Spring is a perfect time to be thinking about the Celtic saints, particularly the way they saw God in nature. I love that Saint Brigit was known for blessing the dew of May and would leave a cloth out overnight to catch the Holy dew fall.  So beautiful when someone’s prayer life is that strong. Brigit is the next saint I will be doing an Icon of!photo

We went to the Voice of the Prophets conference last week and it was great to re connect with so many friends and some of our students. We realized that we are the only members of our organization in this part of New York. That’s a drawback because we would prefer to have others we could do ministry with!

Michael has been going with local pastors to host revival activities in Columbia County. They have about 6 dates throughout the spring and summer. Michael is sponsoring the August 1 Tent Revival meeting here in Philmont. He is arranging for a worship team and speakers from Baltimore to help out with it all.photophoto

Our ministry has been hosting the Artists + Friends Community Potluck Dinner on the third Friday of every month for four months now. Each night we have many artists come to share a meal, show slides of their work, and build a community of creatives who want to help each other grow.  It’s exciting and we hope you can all keep us in your prayers.  Really stepping out as a ministry into the community and building relationships outside the walls of the Church.

We need your prayers and your support in all these endeavors! We are so glad you are in our lives, and that we can count on your prayers – it makes such a difference. We love topiary for you too!

Stay in touch, love and prayers, Christine and Michael






Videos in February

Hello Friends and Family:station1

Where we live is reminiscent of Siberia now – snow lasting for days, a brief respite then starting up again. Snowfall is now measured in feet and icicles are measured the same.  Single digit temperatures.  All of you in South Africa or Southern states, bask in your warmth and pray for us!

But we hardy ones in the North are working indoors on computer based activities :). Michael has completed two neat videos.  The first one is called “The Armour of God”, made with our friend Tyler Slade. Here’s the link: 

Michael feels like he is getting called back to working with video for the Lord. Particularly using the visual image with scripture in a contemporary style. There are many people who have not read the bible and really have little chance of coming across God’s word in their lives. Somehow, we need to make it available to them in a way which is dynamic and memorable, but not diluted. The visual image is  powerful, so combining it with the word of God can cut through the tendency to reject the Bible as irrelevant in todays world. For ‘the Armour of God’ video he feels like it is for intercessors, prayer warriors as well as those who have never heard of the passage from Ephesians before. It reminds us that we are in a battle all the time and we need to use the protection God has given us toSerenity declare who He is- Lord of this nation.

We ‘ve also just returned from an Immanuel Retreat in the Washington DC area, hosted by our friends the Stalcups from ANGA and the Acanforas at Church of the Apostles. It was called  The Immanuel Approach. It was great and our friends George and Jane Conger prayed us back home through a snow storm!  We are excited about what God is doing in the Baltimore and DC area and hope to go down there again soon.

My exhibition in Lancaster PA was fun -God is always showing me what comes next! I’m looking forward to the Icon Retreat in NYC later this month and the Hillsdale Icon class is going well- the Albany class hasn’t met for over a month due to snow cancellations!

The second Video Michael has made is for my Icon writing classes. Here’s the link for that one:


We so much appreciate your prayers.  We particularly need prayers for finances, good sales and commissions for me and for Michael, and a church we can be planted in.  Our ministry has three community outreaches this spring and summer and we are praying about offering a weekly course as well.  Our monthly prayer group is a good prayer furnace and we lift all of you up in prayer, that God blesses you with more of His love and kindness and safety in travel.

Until next month,

with love and prayers,

Christine and Michael




Identity Issues -in January!!!

photoDear Friends and Family:

How are you? I am recovering from a virus, it has been utterly freezing for months, AND we had to cancel weekend plans due to…yes, more snow! Not fun, but probably wiser for me to stay home and recuperate :). AND future plan!

I’m planning on finishing the large Icon commission for Saint Vincent’s in April, God willing. Just about to  get on the board – Dorothy Day. So looking forward to praying with and about her and the amazing woman of God she was. Just started teaching a new Icon writing class in Hillsdale, and will be leading an Introduction to Icon Writing Retreat at Saint James Episcopal Church in NYC in February. It got filled up in the first week of listing it!photo

So, working hard to get through the winter, God has blessed me with some lovely insights about who I REALLY am, and who He REALLY is. He is so good! Our identity is in Him, not our Self. Flannery O’Connor talks about the “True Self & The False Self”, “Thank You for changing me, Lord, enabling me to slough off the false self that prevents me from becoming a true follower.” From ” The Province of Joy-Praying with Flannery O’Connor.”

“I thank you for the continual opportunity for rebirth that you offer to me through the examples of Your Holy ones.

Even St. Paul, who counted himself among the gravest of sinners, was struck from his horse by the force of Your love and was taught through blindness to see the need for a radical remaking himself. So Saul became Paul through Your mercy.”

photoThese quotes from O’Connor are so apt when praying about the world crises, about poverty, about the powers that govern this world, and about our own individual lives. We can pray that God gives us His insight, and opens our hearts to continual rebirth and the life that is the most exciting and satisfying in Him.

A couple of other events we would love your prayers to cover: The Artist Community Potluck Dinner we organized in Hudson at the First Presbyterian Church was very well attended. We continue this month on Feb. 27 and are following loosely the “Artist Way, Spiritual Guide to Creativity” by Julia Cameron. So far it has brought good people together and I’m hoping for some nice friendships and people getting closer to God’s creativity.photo

ALso, Michael is working on his new video- it’s under wraps but a hint is that it’s about Ephesians 6! So prayers are appreciated for that too:

Michael here: I just want to add that when God puts an unction on you to do something there goes with it an excitement to get it done, to be in the creative process of doing it. That is how it feels with this video. I am excited when I get some time to work on it, the fact that I am a beginner in the field of videography does not deter me because I believe God wants this video to go out and go viral. The bible talks of how news of Jesus went viral when he was ministering, the news went person to person through all the countryside so everyone in the community came to see him speak and heal. The news of Jesus and what he does is still catching when it is done in a real and exciting way. There is nothing more exciting than watch God heal someone and that news travels fast and far, even now. This video is not directly about healing but it about being on God’s side and being equipped to stay in the fight. Because we are in a fight but God has given us the equipment to come through and complete the purposes He has for us. This nation has so much at stake at the moment we all need to have on the ‘Whole Armour of God’.IMG_8266

We love you all so much and always look forward to your emails and comments. Let us know how we can pray for you.

Love and Prayers,

Christine and Michael

Advent Waiting

Dear Friends and Family:    _MG_9195

One of my friends has made his Christmas puddings and is now waiting… and we are all in the season of lighting candles and waiting.  It is a Holy time, and we look forward to celebrating Christmas in a special way each year.

Looking back over 2014, we realize the direction that God is giving us and want to share that with you, our trusted partners:

Living in the Capital region which has the lowest churched population in America, we are  recognizing the need for changing our strategy about how to bring the Kingdom to our region.

archgabrielWe realized that operating as a ministry we are competing with other churches and ministries for the same small group of people. Meanwhile, the unchurched remain disinterested or sporadically participating in ministry activities.  Power evangelism needs to be adapted to reach a hardened and skeptical population.

Over the past year, Kingdom Arts Ministry has been involved in building Pastoral relationships through Michael’s involvement with the Capital District Ministers Association. He has also been the guest speaker at several area local churches, regularly brought meals to the elderly through the meals on wheels program, and been a strong supporter of the local “Community Spirit Day” that attracted over 250 low income local families to hear the Gospel message preached through Teen Challenge and local churches. The message was mingled with free food and entertainment for the children and held in our Town Park.

photo copy 10Christine has been reaching out to artists  in the capital region and has a strong desire to create more community events for artists. Last Spring, she partnered with the Columbia County Arts Council and the Hudson Chamber of Commerce to produce an exhibition and performance of local artists meeting the business community. She has also started an Artist Way group –a spiritual program of development for artists, in our home. She is working on a large commission of eight Icons of modern saints for Saint Vincents Church in Albany, as well as leading Icon retreats in Saratoga and an ongoing Icon writing class and fellowship at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albany.photo copy 9

Waiting for 2015, we realize that we are laying foundations of relationships that we can partner with over the next year to find ways to collaborate and bring a culture of God and honor to our region. We are so grateful to all of you who partner with us financially and in prayer. Without your help we really would not be able to do what we do. Our world is certainly in a difficult time and challenging in so many ways. We draw strength and joy from your prayers and support. You are instruments of God’s help and a source of His provision for us. Thank you! LadySign

Next month we will outline our direction as a ministry for 2015. We have already been laying the groundwork and it promises to be both exciting and challenging!

Thank you and we love you, Please pray for us that we stay close to God’s plan and hear His voice clearly. You are in our prayers daily too.

Love, Christine and Michael

Giving Thanks in November

Hello Friends and family:  photo 2

The fall has been so beautiful – I can’t resist sending you some photos of what it’s been looking like around here.  A great place to live if you’re a painter or photographer :).

We attended the ANGA Retreat this fall and met some great people- Betsy and Sam Stalcup have a ministry called Godhealstoday and we are looking into partnering with them for teaching and prayer ministry events in the new year.


We are focusing on local prayer partnering opportunities and are happy with the relationships God is bringing to us.  Last night we had a prayer meeting in our home and prayed for Philmont, Claverack and all the families within our area.  We plan to meet regularly to pray and share about the ways God is answering our prayers.

photo 4

THe Albany Icon class I teach is growing into a prayerful community of artists that are growing in their understanding and technical skill in Icon writing. _MG_6745__ The Healing Icon Retreats in Saratoga have been really wonderful. Action packed for two days, but such a joy to see people concentrating in prayer and fellowship for two days.



At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albany, we will be giving workshops for their Holy Spirit Weekend, November 21 & 22 ,.My workshop will be “The Joy of Prophetic Painting”.  This will be a hands-on workshop and all are welcome. Michael will be teaching on deliverance.

Often we have no feed back for how our prayers have helped others. At the ANGA retreat sitting at our small group table was someone we did not know and he surprised us by saying Michael had prayed for him in Brooklyn nearly nine months before and he had received healing from a very painful nerve condition. Sometimes we get to hear what God did when we reached out to others but often that is not the case._MG_6624__ Michael loves to pray for healing for people and yesterday he had a visit to NYC and got to pray for three different people for healing, one in an elevator and two on the streets. The reactions initially are surprise that someone would offer to pray, then always real gratitude and then the comments like ‘I feel peace, or warmth or soothing just happened’. The last person he prayed for last night said ” Wow, thank you so much for your prayer. I really felt something and I’m Jewish!’ What Joy God is!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

We give thanks to the Lord for you all and keep you in our prayers.
Blessings and love,

Michael and Christine