Tag Archives: Pope Francis

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 


Marching On!!

Hello Friends and Family:        IMG_3670

Yes, Marching on!  It’s about to start snowing again but SPRING is marching on!  It is still light at 6:16PM today and there has been more rain than snow so far today.  Ha!  After what seemed like an endless February, March, April, and May are flying by already.  There are a few things coming up that we want to invite you to:


Saturday. March 15, 9:30-4:15pm “Healing Prayer Workshop” at Saint Luke’s Church in Cambridge, NY- Michael will be teaching on Healing Prayer and there will be opportunities for folks to receive healing prayer ministry.    photo copy 12

“Faces” Portrait exhibition curated by myself and in cooperation with the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia County Arts Council, featuring 4 women artists showing portraits they have painted.  My Nelson Mandela portrait will be in that show among others.   Opens March 22.  Opening reception April 12, 6-8PM  photo copy 13

Icon Exhibition at Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Woodstock, New York : myself, some of my students, and others have contributed to a beautiful array of icons for the Lenten observation at Saint Gregory’s. Call the church for viewing  times.

Voice of the Prophets Conference in Lancaster, PA will host Patricia King, Larry Randolph, Bob Hazlet, Randy Clark, Mavesh Chavda among others and worship with Martin Smith!!! We’re going, with our students – hope you can come too.

I’ve been exploring the art of community over the winter and am experiencing some wonderful relationships and activities as a result.  The message of community building is up this month not only with Bill Johnson at Bethel Church in Redding, PA for his March 2 sermon, but also with Pope Francis.  I’ve been reading a great biography of him “Francis, Bishop of Rome”, by Michael Collins.      IMG_3746    I love drawing his portrait – here’s an early drawing – there will be more!

In “Only Love Can Save Us,” by Pope Francis,   talking about Crossing the Threshold of Faith,  says ” Crossing the threshold of faith leads us to seek for each individual the same mind as Christ Jesus. (see Phil 2:5), so that each one of us may experience a new way of thinking, of communicating with and looking at each other, of respecting one another, of being together as a family, of planning our futures, of living out our love for each other and our vocation.”

In Christ, all things are new. Our ways of sharing with each other can constantly change to reflect our needs, values, and hopes.  My prayer for us all is that we grow ever better at showing this love for each other, closer together in sharing the challenges and joys of life, our vocations, and our love of God.


Know that Michael and I hold each of you in our prayers. This newsletter is our away of reminding you that we ARE HERE for you!  Please keep us in your prayers, too – it makes all the difference!

Love and prayers,


Christine and Michael