Toronto church podcast offers a ‘call to rest’

July 28, 2021 | News | Volume 25 Issue 16D
Christen Kong | Special to Canadian Mennonite

A proposal made by Toronto United Mennonite Church’s worship committee has evolved into a new podcast project called “TUMC On Air.”

Hosts Peter Haresnape and Michele Rizoli, the church’s pastors, explore new ways of conducting church solely through audio. The podcast encourages congregational members to disengage their eyes and focus on listening.

Haresnape says, “It is important to hear the call to rest as it is part of God’s creation,” and he wonders what it would look like to collectively rest as a congregation.

Each episode shares a “meditative experience, Scripture and a brief discussion” on rest, he says. The episodes air on long weekends when most congregational members are away, in order to provide an opportunity to connect them spiritually with God and their church family.

Rizoli, co-producer and host, collects original sounds and ambient noise of early morning birds, waves from Lake Ontario and singing from various congregational members. Each episode curates thoughtful environments for prayer and contemplation that fosters rest in the everyday.

To listen to “TUMC On Air,” visit


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