Sunday, April 19, 2015

Intro to God's Choices for His Beloved

Pastor Joyce Swingle launches a new series, God's Choices. She preaches on Psalm 119:169-176. Opening by Tim B. Testimony by Liz J. Prayer and announcements by Pastor Randy and Melanie Solomon.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

WCCC Worship 4/19/15 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

 Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

The Sticky Note

Our students from the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp produced "The Sticky Note," a short film that was selected to be screened at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They were unable to attend because of a performance, so I answered questions as I could, though they produced the film before I worked with them. I believe they had already been to a previous camp before the production.



We still have a few more slots left on the acting and filmmaking side of the camp...

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Njeri "Miller" Gitonga

With Njeri in 2007.
As soon as I could understand English I was hearing stories about my mom growing up in Kenya when my grandparents were missionaries there from 1948-1953. So I grew up grateful for Njeri Gitonga, who watched over Mom and my Aunt Jeri when Grandma and Grandpa Miller were away ministering in the bush.

Our families had lost touch, but sometime in the mid-90's my Aunt Jeri was visiting Kenya and asked someone how she might go about finding Njeri. The local asked her what her maiden name was, and when he heard, he exclaimed, "There's an Njeri Miller living up on that hill." Aunt Jeri knocked on the door, and Njeri invited her into her home, where Aunt Jeri saw photos of herself, Mom, and my grandparents. We've stayed in touch over the years, and though I haven't made it to Kenya yet, I have had two miraculous connections with Njeri!

Njeri in 1999.
In 1999 I did a 16 city tour of England with my play A Clear Leading. I happened to be there the first time Njeri visited England to visit her children who were staying there. Though Njeri wasn't there when I was performing the play, her daughter, Alice, made it to a performance in Muswell Hill, a suburb of London. When I performed the dream of my character Dolly swimming to Africa I had tears streaming down my face. I'll never forget that performance.

With Mom and Alice in 1999.
When Njeri did arrive we spent time at a mall, where Alice interpreted for Mom and me. One memory of that visit was when Njeri got on an escalator for the first time. What a frightening contraption that must have looked like in her eyes.

Then, in 2007 I was back in England, where I got to perform "Lazarus" with some Swahili translations for Alice's church. I learned the start of a Swahili praise song, and opened the piece with that. They all joined in and went way past what I had memorized! I can still sing some of it: "Sifu bwana, sifu bwana, dayama. Moyuwangu, sifu bwana, dayama."

Later I was at Eltham College, where Eric Liddell had attended school. I was interviewing the headmaster and had an idea for a shot of their choir singing a song which was written about Liddell for the documentary Olympic Hero in China: The Eric Liddell Story. In the midst of scouting for the documentary I got a text from Mom saying she couldn't get to Heathrow in time to greet Njeri. So I hopped on the next train... the wrong way! I turned around, got off at Piccadilly and transferred to the metro bound for Heathrow. As soon as the door opened I sprinted for Arrivals. Just as I came bounding up, someone was pushing Njeri out in a wheelchair. I calmed my breathing, walked up like I'd been there for a good long while, gave her a Kenyan handshake (flying down from up above), and said, "Jambo!" That's a Swahili greeting. I also know a few phrases of her tribal language, Kikuyu, so I was also able to say, "Wimwega." That was about it until Mom was able to arrive with Alice who was able to take over the translations.

In my post from December 14, 2007 I wrote:
What are the chances my trips corresponded with hers without either of us knowing of the others' schedule either time? Only the One who set up both visits knows.
Njeri "Miller" Gitonga went to be with the Lord earlier this month. My heart is filled to the brim with gratitude for how she cared for my mom and how the Lord allowed our schedules to connect in England twice!!

Our prayers are with her whole family!

With Njeri, her son, Kamau, and Mom.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Providence



I'm playing the lead role of Mitchell Little in the silent film Providence.

It's a charming film from the makers of award-winning silent film, The Good Book. I play the adult version of a character who has known a girl most of his life. Circumstances and shyness have kept them apart, but the Lord brings them together in His timing.

Director, Sharon Wilharm, wrote about how the film came into existence: You're Invited on Our Filmmaking Journey.

I'll be in Nashville over three weekends, and the dailies are looking great! Here's a rough cut of my character's proposal scene:



Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to find out when and how it's being released.

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The Victory of the Resurrection!

Pastor Joyce Swingle preached our Easter sermon on I Corinthians 15. Prayer and comments by Tim B. Opening, prayer and announcements by Pastor Linda Warren. For information on Beyond the Mask visit www.RichDrama.com/BeyondTheMask.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.


Other Options

WCCC Easter Worship 2015 by RichS on Grooveshark Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad. Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.
Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Seeing Jesus

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches the Palm Sunday message on Matthew 21. Opening prayer by Pastor Linda Warren. Scripture reading by Tim B., Liz J., and Tamara W.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Christian Post covers Beyond the Mask

New Faith Based Film 'Beyond the Mask' Uses More Green Screen and CG Effects Than Any Other Christian Movie

And they pull it off well! I got to see Beyond the Mask with over 700 people in San Antonio at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They all leapt to their feet as the credits rolled. After the show John Fornof, who directed Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings and Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, told me, "Tonight everything changes."

Then he sent me this: "I remember when Star Wars came out--it revolutionized how movies were made. I got that same feeling watching Beyond the Mask. Rich and I were stunned. We both agreed. This is truly a breakthrough movie in Christian filmmaking. It fires on all cylinders--an intriguing and exciting story of God's redemption with plenty of surprising twists and turns, solid acting, captivating cinematography, blow-your-mind special effects and sets, and a powerful music score. Beyond the Mask sets a whole new standard for what a faith-based film can be--and should be.”

I was thrilled that The Christian Post included me with the featured stars and also highlighted the NYC screening! If you know anyone near the NYC area please send them to www.RichDrama.com/BeyondTheMask. We still need to fill 84 seats before the event happens.

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Beyond the Mask Featured in BreatheCast

Jeannie Ortega, who used to open for Rihanna, covered Beyond the Mask in BreatheCast:

Action Film 'Beyond the Mask' Set to Hit Theaters April 6 in NYC For Special Screening

I was grateful she highlighted my performance in the film and our NYC screening!

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Faith Flix

I was recently featured in Faith Flix, an online magazine: Rich Swingle--Actor.

Thankfully my interview got lost, and resubmitted it with information on the NYC screening of Beyond the Mask. Hopefully that helps us fill the 84 remaining seats to make it actually happen!

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Beyond the Mask


Beyond the Mask, in which I play Dr. Bonneville, will be in theaters across America on April 6. If you're near New York City, I hope you'll join us...


Tickets are only available online. You'll be turned away at the door if you don't have a ticket.

Invite your friends to our Facebook Event: Beyond the Mask in NYC and send them this email.

The Christian Post included me and this screening in their article "New Faith Based Film 'Beyond the Mask' Uses More Green Screen and CG Effects Than Any Other Christian Movie."

They most certainly pull it off! I got to see Beyond the Mask with about 1000 people in San Antonio at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They all leapt to their feet as the credits rolled. After the show two-time Emmy Award winner John Fornof, who directed Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings and Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, told me, "Tonight everything changes."

Then he sent me this: "I remember when Star Wars came out--it revolutionized how movies were made. I got that same feeling watching Beyond the Mask. Rich and I were stunned. We both agreed. This is truly a breakthrough movie in Christian filmmaking. It fires on all cylinders--an intriguing and exciting story of God's redemption with plenty of surprising twists and turns, solid acting, captivating cinematography, blow-your-mind special effects and sets, and a powerful music score. Beyond the Mask sets a whole new standard for what a faith-based film can be--and should be.”

All of these fantastic elements come together in a fictional story based around actual historical events. I play a doctor who helps an assassin recover in a village that thinks he's the expected pastor. He must immerse himself in the Word and there comes face to face with Grace. He's ready to leave his past behind him, if only his former boss--played by John Rhys-Davies (who carries a significant amount of screen-time) will let him.





Rich plays the doctor who nurses a
reformed assassin back to health in the
village where he is thought to be the
new pastor.
Faith Flix and Jeannie Ortega, who used to cover Rihanna, also covered my performance and the NYC screening: Action Film 'Beyond the Mask' Set to Hit Theaters April 6 in NYC For Special Screening.

The Hollywood Reporter reported: "John Rhys-Davies' Faith-Based Film Aims to Top 'Theater-on-Demand' Release Record

Dr. Diane Howard reviewed the film and included elements from an exclusive interview with producer Aaron Burns for Sonoma Christian Home: "'Beyond the Mask' Movie About Freedom and Personal Salvation."

You can watch the first minutes of the film online.

We had been hearing about the film for over a year before I was cast in it, and I believe the first time we heard about it was when we were on the set of IndescribableBeyond the Mask is a spectacular story, written by Paul McCusker, who wrote for the children's radio program Adventures in Odyssey.

I was cast as Dr. Bonneville by Bev Holloway and got to work with acting coach John Kirby, both of whom I've worked with a number of times over the years.

It was a delight to reconnect with crew from Christmas GraceThe ScreenwritersIndescribablePawn's Move, and Alone Yet Not Alone, and to work with a lot of new friends, many of whom I would work with on later projects like Princess Cut and Polycarp.

John and I both think Beyond the Mask is going to be a hit. He was thrilled with what he was seeing in the monitors.  


To learn more about the film and get involved in spreading the word, go to www.beyondthemaskmovie.com.
 

This is the set, where I performed my scenes.
Here's a Behind the Scenes piece they did on the mansion. You can see me briefly at the start.



I thought it was a beautiful parallel that the mansion is a place of healing, and that was the central scene that we shot there. I pointed that out to director Chad Burns, and he invited me to pray before we shot that scene, which he also did before the film screened at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. 

Here's an article on the project: 'Lord of the Rings' actor John Rhys-Davies joins new Christian action film.






Christians should also know:

*The film is rated PG. 
*There’s some swashbuckling action, mostly aimed at stopping the villains. At one point someone gets conked on the head with a candlestick, but it’s stumbling over the fallen candlestick that puts an end to the fight. You see him tripping from the knees down, and then there’s a cut to him lying on the fireplace hearth. At one point someone gets electrocuted, but it’s seen from a distance.
*There's one smooch to celebrate [Spoiler Alert] an engagement.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Giving and Praying

Pastor Joyce Swingle preaches on Romans 16:17-20. Opening prayer by Pastor Randy Solomon.



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've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Spiritual Lives of Characters

Today I'm speaking at the Christian Worldview Guild about "Exploring the Spiritual Lives of Your Characters" as a part of their Acting Track.

Here are references and links to some of the things I mentioned:


Audience members who are highly transported often experience attitude and belief changes in line with those expressed or demonstrated in the story.” 

Green, M.C., & Carpenter, J.M. (2011). Transporting into narrative worlds: New directions for the scientific study of literature. Scientific Study of Literature

Kansas State University’s Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics video: Caroline's Story

Patricia Mauceri (Spiritual Lives of Characters): www.PatriciaMauceri.com

John Langlois (Spiritual Lives of People): www.Anglicantas.org.au

Seasons of Gray: www.SeasonsOfGray.com

Our actor who explored the spiritual life of Joseph/Grady was Greg Tull.


Now taking applications for the filmmaking program at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Help make history with Beyond the Mask

We've now seen Beyond the Mask and absolutely loved it! It looks like they spent many times more than they did! They're on target to become the most requested film through the theatrical on demand model, but we still need to fill 112 seats before it actually comes to NYC. Please remind your friends they must book their tickets online by March 27.

You are invited to see the movie, Beyond the Mask!
View this email in your browser

You Are Invited!

Beyond the Mask is a revolutionary new family film that brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure that celebrates grace, liberty, and true freedom that can only be found in Christ.
Rich Swingle plays the doctor who nurses a repentant assassin back to health in a village where he is thought to be the new pastor. He must dig into Scripture in order to preach, and runs headlong into Grace.

Adventure. Romance. Patriotism. Faith,
and Family values.

This is the upcoming movie, Beyond the Mask!
Synopsis: The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and now is on the run to the American Colonies.

Working to redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will must gain the trust and help of his beloved Charlotte - and Ben Franklin - as he races against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions.

You can watch the movie trailer and more by visiting the link below.


“A film that will give Hollywood a run for its money!”

- Stephen Kendrick // Producer of Fireproof and Courageous
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Monday, April 6 @ 7:30PM
- - -
WHERE
Union Square Stadium 14, NYC
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS
Let your friends in the New York City area know!
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  • Limited space is available, sign-up early!
  • A minimum number of 116 tickets must be reserved for the theater to "go live" or "tip" and enable the showing to happen. Your card will not be charged until enough seats are reserved.
  • There will be no "previews" with material that is inappropriate for families.