Friend Interviews Friend

Our friend George Flores interviewed our friend Tony Loeffler on THE GATE this morning.  

We were planning to perform in a church in Cuba, and the pastor told us there would be a musician there that morning who knew who we were, but the pastor couldn’t remember the musician’s name. It was Tony! We’ve known him since the mid-90’s. 

After a three-hour service the people were dismissed, but they just kept dancing and singing and praising the Lord. Tony leaned over to me and said, “This is happening all over Cuba.”  

Here's an interview I did with Tony that day, December 11, 2016. Click the arrow below, or if you're receiving this in an email visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com (10/22).



Find out more about Tony's incredible worldwide ministry at www.TheSolidRock.org.

Here's more about our trip to Cuba: www.RichDrama.com/Cuba.

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.

The Word Endures

This morning Joyce taught on Isaiah 40:6-8, challenging us to rely on the Word written thousands of years ago to speak directly into our lives today. In a crazy, rocky, wacky world, you can stand on the Word. She mentions the liberation of Pastor Brunson from a Turkish prison. You can read more about that here: Pastor Andrew Brunson Free! She also mentions the home that withstood Hurricane Michael, and you can see it standing in the midst of desolation below...

Here are the Psalms Joyce prays over our congregation:
Psalm 2
Psalm 16
Psalm 18
Psalm 20 (for Pastors Jim and Linda Warren and our government leadership)
Psalms 56-60
Psalm 91
Psalm 126
Psalm 133
Pastor Jim Warren opens the service and addresses coveting.

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 more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo 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.

Searching for Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland

I'm descended from the brother of Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss reformer and contemporary of Martin Luther. While we were in Switzerland we did some sleuthing...

If you're receiving this via email, visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com to watch the video.



Click here for photos we took in Zürich, St. Gallen and Wildhaus, Switzerland.

For more stories from this eight-nation trip, click Europe2018.




A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Dr. Michael Guillen's Talk at Mastermedia

Jonathan Graham, NYC President
of Mastermedia, interviews
Dr. Michael Guillen. 
This morning I got to listen to three-time Emmy award winner, Dr. Michael Guillen, speak to members of Mastermedia. He opened by sharing his testimony of studying at Cornell University as an atheist and hearing Carl Sagan teach about what life is. Dr. Guillen found the answer unsatisfying, and he searched a variety of spiritual answers that didn't line up with what he was learning about science. A Valentine's Day card slipped under his door led to a reading of the Bible with the "best looking girl on campus" and an understanding that science and the Bible are confirming each other's world views. He later wrote Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree. He told us the more science progresses the more clear that this is the case. He says the things we disagree about are really minor, and the more science develops the more they will confirm each other. "Truth doesn't cancel out Truth," he said.

He spent the bulk of his time with us talking about his new book, The End of Life as We Know It: Ominous News From the Frontiers of Science. He believes the new advances in science will bring a pall over the land worse than the invention of the nuclear bomb: "This stuff just takes it an exponential step further." He ended on a high note: The Christian voice is essential as scientists are, even now, using their reason to lead them to create interspecial chimeras and the like. He believes for us not to fall into oblivion, a Golden Age of Christianity must be on the rise. He closed with, "We can provide hope to a scared world."

After getting his Ph.D. in physics, mathematics and astronomy from Cornell University, Dr. Guillen went on to teach at Harvard and became the ABC News Science Editor, and through that post he appeared regularly on Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline and World News Tonight. Here's a more complete bio: Michael Guillen: Emmy Award Winner and Bestselling Author.


A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Science and God

Our friend Eric Metaxas shows that expanding technology reduces the plausibility that the universe could have existed without a Creator.




Eric allowed us to use his testimony when we were performing in Sochi during the 2014 Olympics: Eric Metaxas' Story of the Fish. We had it translated to several languages on www.WhoistheFish.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.

Hollywood Divine International Film Festival

I'm at the Hollywood Divine International Film Festival near Harrisburg, PA. If you can't make it, you can actually start watching films before we do! Most of them are available online through October 17.

I'm up for The Divine Inspiration Award for Best Comedic Performance for my portrayal of God in "All God's Children," and I contributed to five others. Details below, or if you're reading this in an email you may need to visit www.Facebook.com/RichDrama (10/10). 




I served as acting coach on two of the nominated films, and one of the directors, Gwendelynn Martindale, was a student at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Sign up for the announcement that we're taking registrations for next summer.

The Word Is a Fire and a Hammer


This photo from a church we just visited in Helsinki is a great illustration of the fire and hammer Jeremiah is talking about, as Pastor Randy Solomon shares below.

Early in the service Joyce and I shared about our recent trip to Europe.

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

Dr. Linda Warren's opening and our report on the trip:



Here's the enacted prayer I mention:



You can hear Joyce's talk in Oslo by clicking here.

And here's Pastor Randy Solomon's sermon on Jeremiah 23:23-32 with references to Daniel, who would have heard Jeremiah's word. He mentions the book The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripkin. Dr. Linda opens:



The audio elements of this service are 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 more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

For more stories from our trip to Europe click EuroTour2018.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Review in paper near Frankfurt

This is a Google translation of a review in DER BERGEN-ENKHEIMER 13.09.2018,
Mosaikkriche präsentiert Rich Swingle's Theaterstück:

Still up to date: the subject of "slavery"
Mosaic Church presents Rich Swingle's play

Bergen-Enkheim (zbs) - The old slave Dolly had a dream in South Carolina, in the United States of the 18th century. She had run and walked until she got to the sea and went swimming there. For people like her then an impossibility. The New Yorker Rich Swingle took up the story and presented the one-man play I Dreamed I Was Free in English for the Mosaic Church Bergen-Enkheim.

Dolly served with other slaves of a Christian white family in the country. John Woolman was the first in the family to think more deeply and philosophically about what it means to be a Christian, but still possess, sell, and trade in serfs as if they were animals. Woolman has kept a diary in his day that is still quoted today when it comes to slavery.

Rich Swingle performs regularly with his one-man play

More than 200 years later, in 1997, Rich Swingle had the idea to write a one-man play out of this story, with which he performs regularly. On his tour through Europe he visited Copenhagen, Brussels, [We did perform the play in Oslo at the Nordic Black Theatre. I performed another play, Big Fish Little Worm, on that trip in Helsinki, Arrie (Sweden) and an excerpt in Greve and Copenhagen (Denmark).] and Frankfurt, more precisely: The Riedsporthalle in Enkheim. "We were really happy when Swingle agreed," says Katharina Steinhauer, Pastor of the Mosaic Church, who made this event possible.

It's about faith in God, anger and despair

In the English-language play in which Swingle's wife directed [served as house manager. The original director was Kris Hilgaertner, and revisions to the play were directed by Mac Nelson.], it's all about faith in God, anger and despair. In the work, the protagonist tells an anecdote that describes the key message well: John had heard two slaves talking on his travels. One said to the other: "If these colonists attribute everything they do to their God and Jesus, then they must be the most terrible characters." [Actual quote from a dream: "If Christ directed them to use us in this sort, then Christ is a cruel tyrant."]  He then felt obliged to do something about the situation in his country and for the slaves, no matter how much it took to release them.

Rich Swingle takes on nine different roles in the play

Swingle took on a total of nine different roles in the play. He slipped from a sublime white slave owner and within seconds was in the skin of a dying young black man who will never see his child again. The story showed the transformation of the characters of Woolman, the slave Dolly and the slave trader Michael Worthington.

In the first part of the play John Woolman was presented as a small child. In the second part he is 19 and later he returns after a long journey as a 38-year-old and wants to convince Michael how immoral he acts.

The spectators are also required in the theater performance

Another special feature of the evening was how interactively Swingle designed it. So the spectators acted as "participants" in the "Philadelphia Yearly Meeting." They stood up against slavery and were so quiet between the first and second parts for several minutes after the request of the artist [to experience Quaker Silence], that you could hear a pin drop.

After the end of the play Swingle sat down on the "Hot Seat" and everyone could ask him questions about the characters, or to himself, of course in English. [Though people were encouraged to ask their questions in German, since there were people present who could interpret.] The approximately 100 spectators asked if the problem of slavery was still up-to-date and if so, what Woolman would do about it today. "Unfortunately, there are currently almost more serfs than at the time, though not in the US [in every nation on earth]. It is still very bad. In total there are nearly 30 million worldwide. What we can do is fundamentally change our behavior towards people of whatever origin. It is now, more than ever, important to show love and to believe," were then the words of the actor.



For more stories from this eight-nation trip, click Europe2018.


I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Moses at Sight & Sound


We got a sneak peek of a filmed performance of the Sight & Sound production of Moses, which is heading to movie theaters on September 13 and 15.

I've wanted to see a Sight & Sound production for about 20 years, and I noticed some obvious differences between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Sight & Sound's stage is about twice as large as the average Broadway stage, they have at least twice the cast of the largest Broadway shows, and Sight & Sound has real animals: goats, sheep, horses and even a trained rat.

The only way Broadway trumps Sight & Sound is that they don't have Broadway stars, but that just puts the focus more clearly on The Star: the Lord.

The staging far surpasses anything I've seen on Broadway or the West End. Set pieces which would be too big for Broadway leap on and off stage, and video transitions are mind-blowing! Moses' staff, the burning bush, and the plagues are wonders!

I thought about how to depict the running in my one-man play Beyond the Chariots for months. I ended up going with running in place, which I've been told is effective, but one of the ideas that I explored was a treadmill. They have one, and it helps Moses run or walk in any direction at key transitions. I was most impressed!

I'd always heard about the spectacle of Sight & Sound, but what surprised and delighted me was that the script, music and performances fill those massive set pieces very well! There are lines that made Joyce and I gasp they were so insightful and poetic, and I'm still whistling the theme.

Another impressive element is the costuming! The variety of styles and color is dazzling!

I cry at the drop of a hat, but I've found personally that the bigger the spectacle the less likely I'll be moved to tears. This one got me! It's because it's not just moving the heart but the soul. Many times and in creative ways they point forward to Jesus.

I think I can objectively say this is best stage production I've ever seen.

Oh, here's another difference between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Broadway is twice the price. For the difference, a family in Manhattan can drive to Lancaster and stay overnight. But on September 13 and 15 people all over the US can go to theaters and pay a fraction of the cost of Broadway. Visit www.MosesEvent.com.

Parents should know: Some stage violence.






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. No treadmill, but it's an amazing story!

Joyce teaches on Jeremiah in Oslo

Joyce taught on Jeremiah for the Church of the Nazarene in Oslo, Norway. It is a Portuguese community with people from Cape Verde, Brazil and Norway.

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



Before Joyce taught, Rich performed Jonah. We were both really moved to share with this community.

Afterward we got to see the city, including the Oslo Opera House, which is in the photo above. That's Joyce in the far right.

We were in the city to perform I Dreamed I Was Free at the Nordic Black Theatre. Everyone seemed to feel that it went really well, and we're talking about a return with a longer run. Here's my report...


This is the first of a series of posts I'm planning that will share details from this trip with performances in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany: Europe2018.




A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.


American Abolitionist Heading to Oslo

Lørdag 1. September kl. 19:00 setter Nordic Black Theatre opp forestillingen «I dreamed I was free» av og med den New York baserte film- og teaterskuespilleren Rich Swingle.

Swingle er en kritikerrost skuespiller og teaterforfatter, og i has stykke «I dreamed I was free” forteller han historien om John Woolman som tok til orde mot slaveriet i de amerikanske koloniene over ett århundre år før den amerikanske borgerkrigen gjorde slutt på slaveriet på blodig vis.

Woolman, som selv var en kveker, ble tidlig overbevist om at slaveriet var en ondskap som måtte fordrives og dedikerte sitt liv til å overbevise andre kvekere om å slutte med trelldom og støtte til menneskehandel.

Swingle spiller en rekke karakterer og får fram Woolmans ensomme, vanskelige, men fredelige kamp for å påvirke en hel bevegelse om sin overbevisning

Swingle har reist Jorden rundt med forestillingen, inklusive forestillinger «off-Broadway» i New York og en omfattende turne i England.

Gå ikke glipp av denne engasjerende og gripende historien om en ekte amerikansk helt!

I Dreamed I Was Free vises lørdag 1. september kl. 19.00 på Nordic Black Theatre, Hollendergata 8, 0505 Oslo. (tel. 22 41 95 00 / 98 80 18 84)

Forestillingen er på engelsk.

Turneen inkluderer også forestillinger i Danmark, Sverige, Finland, og Tyskland.

For mer informasjon og bilder, se www.RichDrama.com/IDreamedIWasFree


English:

The Nordic Black Theatre will host New York City film and stage actor Rich Swingle in his performance of I Dreamed I Was Free on Saturday, 1 September 2018 at 19:00.

Swingle is a critically acclaimed actor and playwright. His play I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of real life John Woolman who advocates ending slavery in the American colonies more than a hundred years before the American Civil War settled the matter with bloodshed.

Woolman, a Quaker, became convinced of the evils of slavery in his youth and dedicated his lifetime to convincing Quakers to cease owning slaves and supporting the slave economy.

Playing a number of characters, Swingle chronicles Woolman’s lonely and difficult but peaceful battle to convince an entire denomination to move against slavery.

Swingle has performed the play throughout the world, including Off-Broadway in New York and on a tour throughout England.

Don’t miss this stirring portrait of a real American hero.

I Dreamed I Was Free will be performed Saturday, 1 September at 19:00 at the Nordic Black Theatre, Hollendergata 8, 0505 Oslo. For directions call 22 41 95 00 or 98 80 18 84.

The tour will also include performances and workshops in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Germany.

For more information and photos, go to www.RichDrama.com/IDreamedIWasFree

Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines

I've been praying for years that I could teach there, and recently that prayer was answered, and it was much more fulfilling than I'd imagined! Isn't that always the way with the Lord?

I guided almost forty students as they created four separate sketches through sociodrama.

After our final rehearsal I suggested that two or three of them should close us in prayer. Over an hour later they reluctantly went to bed. One of our students realized her headache was gone. We prayed and laughed and wept in the joy of the Lord. Revival! Sweet revival! Friday morning they announced that lunch would be delayed 15 minutes, so Mark Hamby, the director of the Guild invited students up to testify. Within seconds a student behind me said, "Your prayer was answered!" The night before I'd prayed that our students would get the chance to share! On the shuttle to the bus station Peter Fecteau, his son and I counted up 24 distinct miracles we'd observed this week. Moments later He made it an even 25! I was able to get the earlier bus, and the gentleman waived the change fee!

I just got a note from one of the students saying he and some others are going to collaborate on an audio drama! Praise the Lord!

Here's the film our students created:


I helped with casting and wrangling extras.

Visit www.LamplighterGuild.com for more photos and info.


I'm happy to do workshops anywhere in the world: www.RichDrama.com/Workshops.

Beautifully Broken


We saw a screener of this film about a true story, and it's just incredible! Be sure to put it in your calendar for August 24 and see it in a theater.

Child sponsorship is a central part of the plot, so if you are inspired to sponsor a child, visit www.RichDrama.com/Compassion.


Because of the subject matter parents of pre-teens should take care, but it very creatively explores heavy events by giving you enough to know what's going on and no more.



I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War. Follow us as we bring the play to the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway: www.RichDrama.com/Updates

Courage to Face What's Ahead

This morning I got to perform Revelation 1:9-20 at Westchester Chapel.

Dr. Linda Warren taught on Revelation 1:9-20. She shares from the pain of a miscarriage they endured, and how the presence of the Lord gave her courage to speak about it. Pastor Jim Warren opens and prays over Joyce and I as we prepare for our trip to Scandinavia.

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 more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.


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.

Moses is coming!


We got a sneak peek of a filmed performance of the Sight & Sound production of Moses, which is heading to movie theaters on September 13 and 15. I'll post my review on September 12, but don't wait to reserve your tickets: www.MosesEvent.com.



I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Courage to Walk in the Impossible

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Matthew 14:22-33. Pastor Rachel Taylor shares announcements, including information on the Swingles' upcoming missions trip to Scandinavia.

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.

We showed this video just before the sermon:



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


Help us take I Dreamed I Was Free to the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway: www.RichDrama.com/Scandinavia

Scandinavia

This outdoor performance was steps
away from what used to be
John Woolman's orchard.
My one-man play I Dreamed I Was Free  (formerly A Clear Leading) has been accepted for the fall lineup at the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway!

The theatre focuses on stories about people of color, and I Dreamed I Was Free tells the true story of how John Woolman spoke out against slavery a full century before the Civil War in America. 

In addition to renting the theatre in Oslo, Rich is hoping to offer workshops which will help local Christian actors develop and perform their own dramas.

The Nordic Black Theatre is holding the date of September 1, and they've given us until the end of June to secure funding. 

Please pray about partnering in ministry to the most secular nation in Western Europe. It is estimated that 45% of Norwegians are atheists, as compared with 5% in the US. 

Funds will go toward 
*Theatre rental
*Travel, board and lodging for Rich and Joyce Swingle. Joyce will serve as stage manager and production manager.
*Travel, board and lodging beyond Oslo. Our goal is to perform in every Scandinavian country as opportunities unfold. 

Visit www.RichDrama.com/Scandinavia to give.

We are not a non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible. 








I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.