Five Bells for 9/11 for 2020

Five Bells for 9/11
Earlier this week, a wildfire ripped through Talent and Phoenix, Oregon, where our family has lived since my great grandparents moved there in a covered wagon. The fire passed between our family's farm and Phoenix High School, and it's only a ten-minute drive between them. I praise the Lord my parents are fine, except that they're without power or running water. Fire came close to several of our friends but their property was spared. I was grieved, however, to discover that two of my friends lost everything, and we're praying for the thousands like them.

This tragedy inspired us to share my one-man play Five Bells for 9/11 throughout this weekend.

We're praying that sharing this play now is a good way to honor our first responders on September 11, 2001, when our nation was attacked by terrorists, and we also want it to honor our first responders who are fighting to protect our citizens today. 

The play tells the stories of three people who were directly impacted: Bruce Van Hine, a fire fighter for Squad 41; Lana Ho Shing, a mutual funds specialist for Morgan Stanley, and Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest at the Church of St. Francis.
I wrote this piece in such a way as to leave the audience with new, healing memories linked to those that still wound some of us. Ann Van Hine, the wife of Bruce, the firefighter in the play, said, "We shouldn't be coping, we should be hoping." You'll see her speak after the play.

It is my deepest desire that this play will bring hope and healing.

Click the image below to watch.
Performed in NYC just before the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Feel free to forward this email or share this link on social media: www.RichDrama.com/FiveBells2020

The recording of the performance will be available through Sunday night, September 13.  

The song, "I Will Respond," was written for the play by Dom Crincoli.
Donate to the international ministry of Rich and Joyce Swingle
Photos from Five Bells for 9/11 courtesy of Ken Bizzigotti of Times Herald-Register.

John Wesley's first sermon after his heart was strangely warmed

This Sunday Joyce and I will be bringing John Wesley to life during Westchester Chapel's Zoom service. 

My friend Roger Nelson portrayed Wesley hundreds of times all over the world with the one-man play The Man from Aldersgate. It all started when Paul Moore, the pastor of The Lamb's Church of the Nazarene, told Roger he'd seen him in a vision portraying John Wesley. Roger asked, "Does he play for the Mets?"

Wesley was a preacher in England in the 1700s who became the founder of the Methodist Church, from which our denomination, the Church of the Nazarene, sprang. He started his ministry in the Church of England, but when he went as a missionary to America his ship encountered a storm. He was afraid of dying but noticed some Moravians who were not. He realized that he had gone to America to save the natives but he was not saved himself. On May 24, 1738, Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed” at a meeting on Aldersgate Street when he put his trust in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ and not his own works.

Joyce will go back in time to June 18, 1738, when Wesley preached his first sermon after his Aldersgate experience, and Rich will portray Wesley giving that sermon.

If you're interested in joining our Zoom service, let us know through the form at the very bottom of this page, and we'll email you the login info.


I released “Pentecost: Beyond the Imagination,” a scene from my one-man play, The Actsat www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

Lamplighter Guild Audio Dramas Are Online

I had the privilege of directing the Voice Acting track at this year's Lamplighter Guild. Students in the writing track, directed by Dan Schwabauer (left), wrote three audio dramas and seven commercials. Music was composed by John Campbell as he walked his students through the process. The Sound Design students created our sound effects, under the direction of Allen Hurley.  

Here are the audio dramas and commercials: Lamplighter Guild Audio Productions.

Instead of future Guilds, Lamplighter Ministries is opening the Lamplighter College of the Arts, Business, and Biblical Theology.

I'm really pleased with the great work our students accomplished during that amazing week. 

Sign up for the announcement that registration is open for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Hope Alert

Our second of three short films our students created at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp has been released. It's a fun commercial parody...

 

Keep scrolling down at www.RichDrama.com/RockyMountainChristianFilmmakersCamp for our first short film, "Interrogation." 
Sign up to be notified when registration opens for next year's Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Cancel No One


For Westchester Chapel this morning Joyce taught on Acts 11: 1-18, which enhances Acts 10, which I taught on last week. She continues the discussion of Peter's vision and the opening up of the mission to the Gentiles. She mentions a shocking story we heard firsthand from Tony Loeffler, who has partnered with us on many occasions in the US and Cuba.

Pastor Randy Solomon opens with prayer.  

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service: 


This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to know more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation


I released “Pentecost: Beyond the Imagination,” a scene from my one-man play, The Actsat www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

Dreams Fulfilled!

I got to preach on Acts 10 at Westchester Chapel, and I discovered a truly remarkable parallel story about Will Ford and Matt Lockett. They both had dreams that led them to a prayer gathering at the Lincoln Memorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where they met. What has come out of that Divine appointment is the stuff of legends! I include excerpts from an interview with Will and Matt by Eric Metaxas, so you can hear this profound story from their own lips. 

In the service I was joined by Joyce to do a readers theatre performance of the chapter. Rachel Taylor opens the service with prayer.

I mentioned Eric Ludy, who runs Ellerslie, a campus devoted to building brave-hearted Christians. 

The film I mentioned in the glove analogy was For the Glory.

Click the arrows below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:


It's not on that video, but during our sharing time I mentioned a short film I worked on at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp about a fictional app that will call the trained to speak of the hope that is within those too afraid to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and share. Here's that film:


Here's the video I mentioned that has more details about Will Ford and Matt Lockett: 


And for even more details you can get their book, The Dream King, at www.DreamStreamCo.com, where you can also find out more about the ministries of Will Ford and Matt Lockett.

For more information on revivals visit www.DayAndNight.org/thegreatexperiment.

If you want to know more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation


Readers theatre performance of Acts 10 from ESV:
“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.” 

 “Holy Spirit” by Brian Torwalt and Katie Torwalt Copyrights: © 2011 Capitol CMG Genesis (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing), Jesus Culture Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI# 352386. Produced by WorshipTeam.TV and streamed with a web license.


I released “Pentecost: Beyond the Imagination,” a scene from my one-man play, The Actsat www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

Lamplighter Guild 2020


It was such an incredible blessing to take part in this year's Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines! It was all based on the theme "Facing Fear with Faith," and what an appropriate theme for this year marked by so many things we could be afraid of. 

I taught voice acting and directed the audio dramas and ads written by the writing department. 

The filmmaking department, headed by Aaron Burns (producer of Beyond the Mask, Overcomer, War Room), cast me as the father in their short film, inspired by The Screwtape Letters. The photo to the right captures how I taught the voice actors sociodrama over video conference, since there wasn't enough room on set to invite all the voice actors over. 

We had incredible guest speakers including a couple of heros of mine: Eric Ludy and Joni Eareckson Tada. Another favorite for me was the family featured in the film Free Burma Rangers, which we also watched. Talk about facing fear with faith! That family of five "runs toward the gunshots" in some of the most dangerous places on earth, including Myanmar and Iraq. 


Here's the short film:


Here's a video recap from the photography department:


Sign up for announcements for future events where I'll be teaching: www.RichDrama.com/Updates.

Interrogation

At the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp last month we filmed three projects, and the first was just released today:



Our students did everything on both sides of the camera...except play the interrogator and the guard. Zack Lawrence plays the first, and you may recognize the second, lurking in the shadows.

This year all of our students (who registered by an early deadline) were able to watch a private live-stream of Zack editing this film. That was obviously helpful to our filmmaking students, but I was thrilled that Zack let our acting students watch, too, since they need those skills to edit their reels... which now have footage from one more film... two more to go! Don't miss the announcements: www.RichDrama.com/Updates.


Be sure to get the announcement that registration is open for next year's Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp: www.RichDrama.com/Updates.

To Advance the Church Obey the Holy Spirit

Joyce teaches on Acts 8:26-40, Philip and the Ethiopian, at Westchester Chapel. She points out how Philip's obedience to leave a thriving ministry to talk to an Ethiopian on a desert road resulted in a nation today that is 60% Christian, and they know his name: Simeon Bachos.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:



Joyce refers to this map of Philip's journeys from www.TheBibleJourney.org.

This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to know more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.



Joyce also refers to a map showing the long journey both ways by the Ethiopian. That map is adapted and used by permission from Jeff Dahl.

The live service closed with the song "Jesus Shall Reign," sung by Eric Liddell, or at least me playing Eric Liddell. It was a part of The Global Hymn Sing in 2018, and you can see the introduction and hymn below...





Photo of Pastor Joyce courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp 2020

This photo has all of our acting students, but two of the
filmmaking students left before this photo was taken.
Photo courtesy of Pete P.
We had what we as faculty thought was our smoothest Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp to date! This was the 12th year of Film Camp, and I've taught there annually since 2013.

We were concerned that we'd be shut down by the coronavirus lockdown, but we kept moving forward, and though we lost a few students, we had the ones who helped make it such a smooth week.

We completed three films! After taking out a day for pre-production and auditions on the front side and auditions for some upcoming professional projects on the last day, we completed one short film per day, three days in a row! Our first day had 17 setups! It's really extraordinary, and we know the hand of the Lord assisted us. All three films glorify Him, and I can't wait to let you know once they're released. The rough cuts look fantastic!

It was such a blessing to escape lockdown and spend time in the Colorado Rockies at Ministry Haven and co-teach with Ken Lawrence and his son, Zack Lawrence. We reminisced about how Zack, who was working as the gaffer on Indescribable, wore a shirt with the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp logo. I told him I'd love to teach there someday, and it's been such a tremendous blessing!

In addition to a full filming week we had a couple of guest artists who enhanced our experience.

The producer and director of the series Vindication, Jarod O'Flaherty, did a video conference with our students, and he talked about how it went from a single short film to a series because the right people saw it at a film festival and encouraged him to keep going. Now they're in pre-production for Season Two!

My mini-review is at www.RichDrama.com/Vindication.

Our acting students were so blessed to have Mimi Sagadin join via video conference! Mimi played Corrie ten Boom in Return to the Hiding Place. I've taught with Mimi at the Christian Worldview Film Festival Guild performed with her in Princess Cut and Skydog. I had her speak to our acting students because they were working on a short film I wrote that alludes to Corrie ten Boom's book The Hiding Place. Mimi was kind enough to read the passage our film mentions with the accent she learned while playing Corrie. It was AMAZING! You can see a brief clip from her talk with us below.

The film also deals with loss, and my friend, Chad Moore, was kind enough to create a video clip for our acting students and happened to do it the day after severely damaging his leg! He talked about how he and his family lived through the same loss our screen family was dealing with in the film. It was a powerful addition to our work!

Our newest
screen children!
And speaking of screen families, I added three to our roster of screen children! Though Joyce didn't play their mother, I did a sociodrama with her to help prepare to play my character, so we're adding them to the list, bringing our total up to 28.

My favorite moment actually came after camp was over, when a filmmaking student wrote to me to let me know she was pursuing the Lord more deeply because of a talk I'd done on revival! I had shared a video about the Asbury Revival of 1970, where chapel went for eight days straight around the clock. You can check it out at www.DayAndNight.org/thegreatexperiment.

Here's a short excerpt from our video conference with Mimi. Future students of the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp will be able to see the entire session.





Sign up to get the announcement that the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp registration is open for next summer.

Vindication


We’ve been overjoyed to discover a crime series with Christian themes. Hurrah! They’re not afraid to show that a relationship with the Lord transforms people. It's my second favorite series, next to The Chosen.

The producer and director, Jared O'Flaherty, did a video conference with our students at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp last week, and he talked about how Vindication went from a single short film to a series because the right people saw it at a film festival and encouraged him to keep going. Now they're in pre-production for Season Two!

We re-watched Season One again, and their cliff-hangers kept us up later than we'd planned on more than one occasion. Just as exciting as the masterful plot points are the creative ways they show criminal activities without titillating or showing that crime pays.

Parents, some of the episodes are rated 13+ because of themes. 




We made three short films at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Subscribe to get the announcements as they're released.

The Overthinkers

My friends and colleagues Joseph Holmes and Nathan Clarkson are running an amazing podcast called The Overthinkers.

It's a very thoughtful deep dive on various topics at the intersection of Christian faith and culture.

Below I talk briefly about my favorite episode so far...


I absolutely love their discussions and most of their observations. I have a quibble with two elements:

Joyce and I are very prayerful about the media we consume. You are what you take in when it comes to media choices, and they actually talk about that in their first (I think) episode. But they talk about shows we've avoided. Seek the Lord's peace on everything you take into your spirit.

Holmes and Clarkson close each show with each of them mentioning one creative expression (most have been TV shows, films or books) that they'd like to bless and one they'd like to curse. It's a creative version of the rating system Siskel and Ebert used. For those who don't remember, they gave shows thumbs up or down. It's not intended to be a true curse, but the Lord has been speaking to Joyce and I about the power of words, and curses are powerful. Romans 12:14b says, "...bless and do not curse..."

Those caveats aside, their shows are a great exercise for your gray matter.

You can find The Overthinkers on Spotify.


I released “Pentecost: Beyond the Imagination,” a scene from my one-man play, The Actsat www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.


Interview on The Gate

I was interviewed on The Gate Radio by my friend George Flores. I let him know that I'd released the scene about Pentecost from my one-man play The Acts, and he invited me to talk about that and several of my other projects as well.

It will was aired at various times between May 29 and June 1 on The Gate Radio. I got permission to post it here for those of you who missed it:



Here are links to some of the things I spoke about:
The Adventum
Beyond the Chariots
www.RichDrama.com
Five Bells for 9/11

I Dreamed I Was Free
The Revelation
Big Fish Little Worm
The Acts
www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

Pentecost


Since 1991 I've been performing one-man plays in theatres, schools and churches. Since no one's been bringing me into their communities lately due to the pandemic, I felt led to start making some scenes from my plays available for churches to stream for their online services and in their sanctuaries once they start meeting again.

I thought the first one I would make available is the scene describing how the Holy Spirit was given to the Lord's people at Pentecost from my one-man play The Acts, and it's now available for Pentecost Sunday, which is May 31 this year.

Photo courtesy of Ken Bizzigotti
 of Times Herald-Register.
Joyce and I lived through 9/11 in NYC. I wrote a play about how the Lord walked with three individuals on that dark day, Five Bells for 9/11. In the wake of that horrific tragedy people flooded the churches looking for answers to their questions. W. Scott Lamb, of The Washington Times, said that, "...four out of ten (evangelical congregations in Manhattan) were started in the decade after 9/11...." Lamb is reporting on the research of Tony Carnes, president of the Values Research Institute, who says NYC has become a "postsecular" city.

We're praying for a similar worldwide revival in the wake of this pandemic, and we hope offering this scene about Pentecost will help spark a hunger for a new work of the Holy Spirit in our day and intensified prayer to that end.

In my one-man play The Acts the main story teller is a fictional character named Nathan who was hired by Saul of Tarsus to spy on the followers of Jesus. Nathan realized that they were telling their stories as if they believed them, and Nathan's faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ began to grow. In this scene, Nathan brings an old codger named Ulrichus off the streets to tell his first hand account of how the Holy Spirit fell on followers of Jesus.

I hope you enjoy the scene, and if you do, please encourage your pastors to download it to play on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, this year. You can send them to www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

I've now taught and performed in 39 nations, so it's my prayer that this will literally be shown around the world, and I hope some of you will create translation subtitles.

Let's pray that the Holy Spirit moves in a powerful way during these unique times we're experiencing!

To watch it in your home we suggest a donation of $2 (www.RichDrama.com/Donate)

To download it to show for a group and to stream it as a part of a service (please do not post it online on its own) we suggest a donation of $20 (www.RichDrama.com/Donate).

Once you've made a donation, click this link. Praying it blesses you and your whole congregation for Pentecost or any Sunday! To show in churches, look for the download button below the video on this page.



Rather than sharing the link above, please send others to www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.



Credits:
Written, performed, filmed and edited by Rich Swingle
Concept: Through Fran Warren
Producers: Jim and Linda Warren
Dramaturgy: Jim and Linda Warren, James Masters, Joyce Swingle
Language Coaches: Adam Rudinsky (Hebrew), Tim Tsohantaridis (Greek), Wojtek Typrowicz (Latin)
Costume: Fran Warren
Costume consultant: Selah Cohen
Acting coaches: Selah Cohen and Judy Dodd
Consultants: Micah Derksen, Ethan Hill, Jenny and Niklas Holmgren, Paula Kasica
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100564 Artist: http://incompetech.com/


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.