Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hope of Christ's Coming

This last Sunday of the year had triple coverage at Westchester Chapel! Pastors Linda Warren, Joyce Swingle and Jim Warren each preached on a section of Revelation 1:4-8:


Pastor Linda, The Person of Christ: Revelation 1:4-5a
Pastor Joyce: The Purpose of Christ: Revelation 1:5b-6
Pastor Jim, The Promise of Christ: Revelation 1:7-8 
Opening and announcements by Pastor Linda. Pastor Joyce talks about our recent honeymoon and The Lord of the Rings.



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.


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas on Salvation Street

I was supposed to perform at a retirement center tonight as a part of our church's Christmas Eve service. I've been looking forward to it since I heard the idea of it, but I've felt a cold coming on, so this morning I asked to be excused. My grandpa died of complications of pneumonia, and it seemed in my mind I could hasten someone's end by taking my contagious self to project germs to the frail. It was a difficult decision, and it's made it my hardest Christmas Eve in memory. A friend sent an essay on the power of simple acts of kindness that can birth something profound, and the essay birthed something profound in me. I began to weep. I realized that even if none of the residents ever know my choice was made out of love, the very act of choosing to love births something profound. 

So I looked for a film about the true meaning of Christmas to watch in lieu of the Christmas Eve service. I found it in Christmas on Salvation Street. It reminded me of The Cross and the Switchblade, which our mom read to us as kids. I'm sure she had no idea it would be one of the things that would inspire me to move to NYC, but tonight this similar story inspired me all over again. 

In The Cross and the Switchblade, David Wilkerson is a pastor in Pennsylvania drawn to minister in NYC's inner city. This film I saw tonight the pastor is in Southern California, and he's drawn to a rough section of LA. Maybe it's close to where I was staying when someone broke into my hotel room while I was sleeping. The transformational stories in Christmas on Salvation Street may seem far fetched, but they're inspired by true events. I watched similar stories play out when I was an intern at The Lamb's Church of the Nazarene on Times Square for four years, where we saw people set free of addictions and instincts they’d learned on the streets.

Granted, I was ready for a good cry, but this one certainly met me at my place of need. Maybe by the simple act of sharing about a film I wouldn't have seen will birth something in you



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Monday, December 21, 2015

Interview for the Christian Worldview Film Festival

I was recently interviewed for a Christian Worldview Film Festival podcast. You can click here to hear it. It's Episode 10.

Here are links to some of the things I mentioned in the interview:

• The interview was conducted by Phillip Telfer and Rhett Simkins for the Christian Worldview Film Festival. Phillip is the founder of Media Talk 101.
• Phillip reveals some very exciting news about The Screenwriters.
Alone Yet Not Alone
Indescribable
Providence
• When talking about an early production I meant to say 4th grade Ricky, not 4-year-old Ricky.
Ron Mulkey
Good News Club
Ken Redford
• Performances in 28 Nations
Olympics
• Puerto Rico
Romania
• London
Dr. Alma Villegas (scroll down)
Professors at Hunter College
Bev Holloway
• A Christmas Snow
• My undergraduate school was George Fox University
• I went to seminary at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Mac Nelson
John Kirby
Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp
Actor’s Co-Op
Patricia Mauceri
Treasure Seekers
• One-man play about John Woolman, who spoke against slavery 100 years before the Civil War: A Clear Leading
• You can find Bible reading schedules on the YouVersion app for iPhone and Android.
Jimmy Sites: Spiritual Outdoor Adventures
Cindy Dupree
Kathy Trocolli
YouVersion celebration of 200M downloads
Romans 12:2
www.GraceworksInc.com
The written story of getting into Manhattan Plaza
Jenn Gotzon
Gary Bosek
Jeff Rose
The Messengers Box
Lifestone Velocity
Daniel Knudsen
Jim Goodwin
Rather to Be Chosen
The Dragon and the Raven
John Fornof
John Rhys-Davies
Helen George
Mayflower II
The Grace Card
• A JOURNAL OF THE LIFE, GOSPEL LABOURS, AND CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES OF THAT FAITHFUL MINISTER OF JESUS CHRIST, JOHN WOOLMAN
• I can be reached through www.RichDrama.com.

A couple of days after this interview I realized it's an extremely intelligent position to stand against vulgarity in Christian-made films. God was smart enough to speak the world into existence, and He's the One who said, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain," (Exodus 20:7) and inspired his disciple Matthew to say, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37) Screenwriters (or directors who add vulgarity) carry a deeper responsibility than the man on the street because they're demanding that the actors who speak carelessly--and any they inspire to do so--bring condemnation on their heads.

The Lord also inspired his beloved disciple to say, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2)

Vulgarity is typically used when there is an end to creativity.  The vulgarity is a nonspecific response to something beyond a person's immediate solution. If God has asked us to refrain, surely we can press into the Creator for more creative solutions.


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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Is He Your King?

The recording of this morning's service at Westchester Chapel was corrupted. We believe it was the cable, which has been replaced, but Pastor Jim Warren, who preached the sermon gave me permission to summarize it, and that is what you will hear below. Pastor Jim preached on Matthew 1, Mark 8:27-30 and 1 John 1:5-2:2. Here is a list of the 354 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ.



Pastor Linda Warren mentioned the song "What God Wants for Christmas," and she said she believes what God wants for Christmas from Westchester Chapel is for us to celebrate Christmas with The Kensington Assisted Living Facility in White Plains. Sia and Stephen T. will lead us and the residents in Christmas carols, and Rich Swingle will dramatize the Scriptures of the Christmas story. Hope you can join us Christmas Eve at 6pm. Paid parking is available at the Municipal lot behind the Kensington. We should be back to our cars by 8pm.



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.

Register for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Also, we're now taking sign-ups for Rio Ready.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

One Film Fan Reviews Providence

With Juli Tapken.
Here's a very encouraging review of Providence by One Film Fan: Indie Film Review “Providence”

Here are some excerpts:
Honestly, enough cannot be said for all the actors present in this story, as again, there isn’t a single moment of speaking, and therefore it all has to come together through the actions each character takes. Each incarnation of life presented for Rachel and Mitchell is wonderfully dramatized, and the unfolding beauty of their first meeting as children to the moment of “yours forever” connection as adults is a wonder to watch through both the acting and the varying music that follows their journey lyrically and/or stylistically. ... Tapken and Swingle finish things as the adults in such a profoundly honest and frank way that the viewer cannot help but be entranced by all the events that lead them to the pivotal moments in their coming together.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sir Michael Quimby Tells Legends of the Candy Cane

Join us tomorrow, children, for a special visit from Sir Michael Quimby at Treasure Seekers.



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



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Friday, December 11, 2015

Interviewed by a Nigerian

With Lori Towns in Providence.
More behind-the-scenes photos.
Israel Eziedo of Nigeria interviewed some cast members of Providence for Gospel Movies: Juli Tapken, who plays my character's love interest, and Irene Santiago, who plays her mother.

Here's my interview...

GM: What was your role in the movie?
RICH: In Providence I play Mitchell Little. Actually I play the adult version of the character. A...
Read Full Post »

Providence opens in select AMC Theatres starting February 12. Be sure to let producers know you'd like it in your city.



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Saturday, December 05, 2015

When I'll be on TV next

Click through to add me to your picks and get alerts when I'll be on TV next...


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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A year filled with graditude

We wish you a blessed Christmas Season!

I was honored to kick off Advent at our church, and you can hear it here: "Start the Journey to Bethlehem, Wise People." On the last Sunday of Advent we had a technical disaster, so I got to record a summary of the Christmas message: Is He Your King?.

I've been reflecting on the Lord's goodness this year, which marks my 20th without income from anything but the performing arts and applied theatre. I'm really overwhelmed to think of all He's done in and through us this year. I had opportunities to perform and/or teach in 17 states, London and Northern Ireland, performed in two audio dramas, five films, celebrated three theatrical releases and six DVD* releases for films in which I've performed. Many of those projects proclaim the wonder of God's great Gift to mankind in the birth, life, death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Playing Mitchell Little in Providence.
To top it all off Providence, in which I play one of the leads, has been selected by AMC Independent, for a nationwide theatrical release in select cities starting February 12, and Times Square is where one of those theatres is located! The producers are also arranging for theatrical-on-demand screenings in cities where AMC doesn't have a presence. Please take a moment to visit www.RichDrama.com/Providence and follow the link to their Facebook event and let them know your home town.

Here are a few of the other highlights from the year:

February
• Played Jeeves the Butler in Renting to Parakletos.

Committing Lifestone Velocity
to the glory of God. Left to right:
Jim Goodwin, Daniel Knudsen,
Rich Swingle, Beth Becka, acting
coach on War Room.
March
• Confessions of a Prodigal Son released on DVD.* Played a homeless man.
• The new www.GraceworksInc.com is launched. Rich has been a Freedom Finder for Graceworks since 2001.
• Interviewed by Sharon Wilharm for FaithFlix. She later cast me in Providence.
• Taught at the Christian Worldview Film Festival Guild.
• Played Dr. Alistair Walker in Lifestone Velocity in a scene filmed for a class at the Christian Worldview Film Festival Guild.
• Performed "Sheepish" at the Christian Worldview Film Festival.
• Co-lead annual Graceworks workshop at Princeton University.
• Performed Beyond the Chariots for Alistair Begg's church.

April
• Beyond the Mask released through theatrical-on-demand model. Played Dr. Bonneville.
• Played Mitchell Little, a lead, in Providence.
• Performed Journey to the Garden for Biola University's Easter Chapel.

Portraying Harmon Schmelzenbach in
Mkulunqanda: The Great Beginner
May
• Played Jesus in The Messenger's Box.
• Recorded Additional Digital Recordings for The Screenwriters.
• Performed a new short piece on Harmon Schmelzenbach, one of the first Nazarene missionaries to Swaziland, at the New York Metro District Assembly.
• Nominated for Best Actor at The Aletheia Fellowship of the Arts Truth Awards for playing Micah Maslow in The Unexpected Bar Mitzvah.
• Taught and coached Week 1 at The Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Playing Dr. Bonneville in
Beyond the Mask
June
• Beyond the Mask national theatrical release.
• Polycarp released on DVD.* Play a slave trader.
• Taught and coached Week 2 at The Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.
• Performed in a yet-to-be-announced documentary.

July
• Performed four voices in The Dragon and the Raven in London.
• Performed "Lazarus" in a sheep field in Northern Ireland.
• Alone Yet Not Alone released on DVD.* Played a land speculator.

Playing Nigel Livengood in
Princess Cut
August
• Princess Cut released in theaters. Played Nigel Livengood.
• Taught and directed at the Salvation Army TAM Conservatory. Princess Cut screened for Conservatory.
• Performed Big Fish Little Worm for Joni and Friends.
• Interviewed on The Dove.

September
• Beyond the Mask released on DVD.*

October
• Performed A Clear Leading, about John Woolman, at the Woolman Memorial Centennial.
• AMC Independent picked up Providence for a limited national theatrical release starting February 12.

November
• Played Mr. Cole in "The Staying Kind."
• Princess Cut released on DVD.*
• The Messenger's Box released on DVD.*
• Rich and Joyce attend the premiere of Providence in Franklin, TN.

Performed with John Rhys-Davies
December
The Dragon and the Raven released on CD*
• AMC Empire 25 on Times Square chosen as one of the theatres to host Providence.
• Rich interviewed by Nigerian Israel Eziedo.
• Reviews of Providence begin.

We're so grateful to all who have prayed for this ministry over the past two decades, and we're tremendously grateful for prayers moving forward. In 2016 besides the February 12 release of Providence we're excited about our trip to Rio for the Summer Olympics.

*The CD and DVD releases are also available in other forms, such as Blu-ray and Digital Download. Even if you've seen the films I've mentioned, they make great stocking stuffers. If you want to see more films with a Christian worldview, please support films made by Christians.


Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Also, we're now taking sign-ups for Rio Ready.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Red Carpet Interviews

We drove 2000 miles round trip for the premiere of Providence. Here are some photos:

I was being interviewed about my role in Providence Movie, and I made reference to a photo I couldn't find on Facebook....
Posted by Rich Swingle on Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I was interviewed on Music City Corner with my character's younger selves, Josh Allen and Chase Anderson. Our interview kicks off a long lineup including
• Stacey Bradshaw (4:50 and 13:27)
• Emily Elizabeth Knapp (9:16 and 13:27)
• Juli Tapken (13:27, where you can see the actors playing my character's love interest over the 40 years the film covers)
• Thom E. Booton (26:15)
• Chuck Shaw (29:38)
• Brenda Sisson Reutebuch (36:18)
• Lacy Labbé (39:37)
• A. Michelle Missy Harleston (42:47)
• Cara Carter (46:10)
• Apolonia Davalos (49:13)
• Katie Pavao (52:40)
• Rebekah Cook (1:02:33)
• Linda Ryan (1:10:15).
You can watch the interviews below or at www.RichDrama.com/Providence where you can let producers know which AMC Theatre is closest to you when it's released February 12 nationwide.



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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Start the Journey to Bethlehem, Wise People

I got to kick off the Advent Season at our church this morning. I mentioned that there are 354 prophesies in the Old Testament which are fulfilled in Jesus ChristPastor Linda Warren preaches on Malachi 3:16-4:6. Announcements and prayer by Joyce.



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.


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

I've been a Freedom Finder at Graceworks Inc. for 14 of their 20 years, and for this and all of these things and more I give thanks!



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Monday, November 23, 2015

e világon

One of our students from the Arts Camp where we taught in Romania created this music video:



Here are the English lyrics:

I would like to go back Home, but I'm afraid I will be outside forever
I haven't another home just the world's prison of darkness
By day they fool you and midnight they rock you with new hope
I'm thirsty for real but they give me lies.

The silence is not mute. It's just I was so deaf.
You spoke to me, but I lost your voice.
I was waiting for my body, but it was sleeping forever
Until my soul wakes up with You.
Where may I go? Where may I run?
In this world I have no place.
Where may I go? Where may I run?
Your arms are waiting for me,
And it's enough for me…

I wish the pain froze in the past that which is in their heart.
The love which has changed for power and money can't help.
All people wanna shine but without dark it is impossible.
If their shine makes them blind they will not laugh anymore.

The silence is not mute. It's just I was so deaf.
You spoke to me, but I lost your voice
I was waiting for my body, but it was sleeping forever
Until my soul wakes up with You.
Where may I go? Where may I run?
In this world I have no place.
Where may I go? Where may I run?
Your arms are waiting for me,
And it's enough for me… x3

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's Wise to Ask for the Gift of Wisdom

Joyce teaches on 1 Corinthians 2:1-16Melanie S. shares how part of our giving goes to Nazarene Missions International and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Agnes G. mentioned that The Church of the Nazarene helped when her home country of Dominica was devastated by Erika. The question was raised as to whether or not any percentage of our weekly tithes and offerings go toward the Syrian refugee crisis, and the Church of the Nazarene has a fund for specific donations. Adrienne C. reports that we collected 37 shoeboxes last week for Operation Christmas Child.



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.

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