We pray for blessings and joy for you this wondrous season of celebration of our Savior Jesus Christ’s birth. May you take the time to share in the wonder of God’s marvelous provision for our salvation in the humble act of incarnation as a Jewish baby boy. May the precious sacrifice mean more to you this year than ever before.
We Swingles have had our usual action-packed year. We have settled into this not-so-new-anymore apartment and begun to make real connections with neighbors, starting with a free showing of Rich’s powerful play A Clear Leading and culminating in a recent Thanksgiving season Open House party. We have very much enjoyed getting to know and spend time with our neighbors.
Joyce continues to develop her Christian counseling work (RichDrama.com/ReconciliationRoom), taking appointments in White Plains (where our church is) and in Manhattan (where our home is). While difficult work, it is most rewarding to see clients discover who they were created to be and begin to achieve their dreams for their lives. Joyce continues to serve as one of the pastors at Westchester Chapel Church of the Nazarene (WestchesterChapel.org), where the work is at times frustrating, at times rewarding and always filled with hope.
Rich’s year has been filled with excitement:
* A last-minute call came to perform Beyond the Chariots at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The ground was difficult but the experience blessed and joyful.
* Rich’s first commercially viable movie, A Christmas Snow, was followed quickly by three other films yet to be released: For the Glory, Pawn’s Move and a fourth film soon to be announced. Be sure to sign up at RichDrama.com/Updates if you didn't receive this as an email. This has been a long-time dream come true: To bring Godly messages in a more persistent form, expanding the reach and impact for the good.
*A tour of Asia, which included a return to Singapore where Rich performed Beyond the Chariots before an audience of about 5,600. That trip also saw us standing in North Korea in the Joint Security Area in the DMZ, praying for God’s best for that region. This last episode occurred during our visit to South Korea -- Joyce’s first and Rich’s second -- where we were blessed to be guests of Joseph Kim, son of the noted evangelist Billy Kim, who also hosted us at his radio station for breakfast and a chapel performance of Big Fish Little Worm. We also visited Malaysia, where Joyce had the opportunity to preach and Rich to perform.
Our saddest moment this year was the loss of Rich’s dear Grandpa Miller -- a holy man of God who went home at age 93 in November. He was a missionary, history professor and runner, all of which inspired Rich from an early age. Rich helped create a memorial page: cliffmillerphd.blogspot.com. We mourn his death but not his life and look forward to the day when we will see him again in the presence of the Lord.
We already have many projects lined up for 2011:
* God of Hope, for which Rich recorded the voice of Paul for the Audio Book (to be released any day now: Keep checking RichDrama.com/GodOfHope), will be filming a live version for DVD. That is expected to be released sometime before Easter. Rich can perform the play live for your group any time: RichDrama.com/GodOfHope.
* For Rich's fourth film project he'll be flown to LA to record the voice of another character who looked the part but didn't have the right sound.
* Rich will direct the theatre program at The MasterWorks Festival for the seventh year. He'll also be directing the play, Cyrano de Bergerac. He'll be joined by a marvelous faculty soon to be announced.
* Rich has been invited by Terry Ewell, a MasterWorks bassoon instructor, to narrate a piece he's composing for bassoon and oboe based on Milton's Paradise Lost. The piece is being submitted for performance at the International Double Reed Society conference in May. It will be available for performance after that.
* We're both leading a trip to Israel and Jordan where we'll actually see the hills of Bethlehem, so we hope you can join us: RichDrama.com/HolyLand.
We both consider it an honor and a privilege to serve our Lord with our lives and have found that any sacrifice this entails has been overwhelmed by the blessing it brings. Among those blessings is our treasured friendship with you. May you be enriched with all that God has for you now and in the year to come.