October in the Hudson Valley

Hello Friends and family:

We hope you are well and feel the prayers we send for you daily. We very much appreciate and are blessed by your prayers, too – please keep  praying!photo

This past month, we held an Introduction to Icon writing retreat at St. James Episcopal Church in NYC. It was filled to maximum  with a lively, dedicated and enthusiastic group. We could feel the vibrancy and health of the St. James church community active all weekend around us. I hope many of them will return next year to make another Icon!_MG_3460

Due to the timing, we could not be present at the Artists Community Potluck Dinner that our ministry runs in Hudson, but a local ceramics artist was able to run the dinner and present her Mala meal project – an art piece that combines prayer, eating, and art as well as solidarity with the world’s poor. Thank you, Mary Anne Davis!

The weekly Icon writing class has had many absences over the fall, with only 5 or 6 people each week as opposed to the usual 10-12. It’s a busy time and also the beginning of winter colds. Our new Icon class home at Westminster Presbyterian Church is beginning to feel more comfortable and we are now able to store material there which helps a lot.

I will be having an exhibition of my Icons this coming January in Sarasota at a church and will use some of the time there to re-write my self published book on the “New Revival in Christian Art” that includes my Icons and prophetic painting.

Michael has been busy working to get some book projects off the ground and in his “spare time” he’s been painting our barn. We had a new roof put on it this summer and it is looking the best I’ve ever seen it! The beautiful, warm weather of this fall has contributed to Michael’s joy in painting back there!  photo

cshI Planted 70 bulbs – faith and hope that spring will come!

Here’s Michael:

At the moment I am developing three different books, one is now underway and the other two are still in the proposal stage. A couple of weeks ago I was photographing on the High Line Park in NYC for one of the proposals. The High Line is a park created out of an abandoned elevated railway track which runs through 15 blocks of New York City. It is an incredible achievement not only horticulturally but also to pull a project of that scale together in NYC. However not only has the railway line now got a new purpose but it is drawing so many people to it that the whole area is getting an economic regeneration._MG_4082

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After photographing the park I stopped for a slice of pizza and had an extraordinary encounter with a construction worker in the pizza parlor. He was all dressed up with construction hat, heavy boots and protective gear. He heard me say, “Praise God”, as I often do and challenged me to say it again. That started a long conversation where he eventually told me how his mother had died and how he blamed God for that. It was one of those moments when you realize, this could get very scary quickly and I started asking God in my mind what he wanted me to do. Suddenly I started telling this hulk of a man how much God loved him and that Jesus had died for him on the cross. Before I knew it he was crying like a baby.

It led me to think about how circumstances can be turned around when we receive a vision of something different, a different paradigm for the old tracks we have been on. Quite often as a Christian in our society we can see how necessary it is to show people a new vision of who Christ is and what a personal relationship with him means. It is the same old tracks but totally renewed and redeemed.  “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  Acts 16:9

photo  Please, please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.

Sending  you love and prayers,

Christine and Michael

www.mickhales.com

www.christinehales.com

www.newchristianicons.com

www.halesart.com 

www.americanassociationoficonographers.com

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