Grassroots podcast launches for Mennonite Church Canada nationwide family of faith and beyond

The MennoCast hosts share why connecting our nationwide family of faith is important now


(Photo caption: Moses Falco, Carrie Lehn, Ryan Dueck. Source:


If you ask Ryan Dueck and Carrie Lehn, co-hosts of the new podcast The MennoCast, how the idea for the project came about, they will both point a (virtual) finger and say, “It was Moses’ idea.”

Moses Falco, pastor of Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, Man., co-hosts the podcast together with Dueck and Lehn (pastors of Lethbridge Mennonite Church and Ottawa Mennonite Church, respectively).

“I've always been fascinated with how the church can use technology and media to do things differently,” says Falco, who studied communications and media at Canadian Mennonite University.

Falco wanted to work alongside Dueck and Lehn on The MennoCast and they were up for it. Now, three years later, they are launching a six-episode pilot season.

The three hosts are young pastors who have been ministering in their congregations for up to ten years. The motivation behind the podcast is to create a space for connection for Mennonite Church Canada’s nationwide community of faith. The pilot season, recorded in 2020, features interviews with guests on topics like the relevance of Scripture today, racism in the church, worship and Voices Together, and how each of us theologize in ordinary moments.

In this interview the co-hosts share why a nationwide articulation of faith is important and their hopes for the podcast.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.


In the trailer you give a great nugget about the motivation behind this podcast. Can you unpack the motivation behind the project?

Ryan: With the change in structure of Mennonite Church Canada in 2017 there was less formal institutional spaces for connection across the nation. A significant part of the rationale was how can we generate conversation across this vast geography that is at least somewhat representative of who we are, or aspire to be, across regional churches.

Moses: I enjoy podcasts and listening to conversations about church, faith, theology and wanted to listen to something from a Mennonite-Anabaptist perspective. With the restructuring, I thought, "If we don't do this, no one's going to do this." Things aren't coming from the top down anymore so things have to emerge from us as churches if we want to keep this body connected and alive. I'm doing this because I love not only our local church but our wider family of faith.

Things aren't coming from the top down anymore so things have to emerge from us as churches if we want to keep this body connected and keep it alive.

Carrie: I hope it does help people connect. Even with the three of us: we weren’t really friends until the podcast. Just in a little while we’ve really gotten to know each other. It's very clear that we have different perspectives and experiences, because of our geography, because we're rural/urban. I hope we do represent the nation in a way, and that we can be a resource for the Mennonite-Anabaptist world.

Why is a nationwide articulation of our faith important?

Carrie: We can share and learn. People in other parts of the country experience different things, learn different things. Why wouldn’t we share that? In an age of technology, why shouldn't we bounce ideas off each other? We don't need to reinvent the wheel every time. 

In an age of technology, why shouldn't we bounce ideas off each other? We don't need to reinvent the wheel every time.

Ryan: It's surprisingly difficult to give a good articulation of why Mennonites who occupy this chunk of dirt should have any connection to each other. You can anchor it in history and say that we have been connected and therefore we should still be connected but history isn't a reason. I do think there is value in the fact that our historical trajectory has led us to this point and you can't just cut it off and say that we don't have any awareness or even concern about how it's formed us as people. But it will look very different going forward and my hopes for the podcast are that it actually does go beyond just the Mennonite world.

Moses: When we say this podcast is meant to enrich the church and engage the church, that is far broader than just Mennonite Church Canada, but that's where we are, what we're part of and what perspective we can bring. Just like in my own family, we want to learn to grow together and journey this road together, even with our differences, with our disagreements and our diversity. We can do far more together than we could ever do alone.

What can we expect from the pilot season?

Carrie: You can expect us figuring out who we are as a podcast! (laughs) Ryan and I are getting the hang of what it means to be podcast hosts and we're learning a lot. We call Moses “the podcast coach.” It's a diverse group of conversations this season. We hope to replicate that diversity in the future.

Moses: We want each season to be focused on a different theme or topic, but this pilot season just brings together different things and tests the waters.

Can you describe a memorable conversation that each of you have had so far in the pilot season and why?

Carrie: We spoke with Anneli Loepp Thiessen, from the Voices Together Hymnal committee. She gives such a behind-the-scenes look at how the new hymnal came to be. If you're not a hymnal junky you would have no idea what goes into it. I'll never pick up that hymnal and not appreciate what went into it.

Ryan: I enjoyed our conversation with author Meghan Larissa Good. We talked about the Bible and how it's used in the church and in individual lives and all the perils and opportunities thereof. I appreciated the tone and the spirit that she was able to maintain, this balance between critical distance and also a lively engagement with and reverence for Scripture. It's something I aspire to as someone who handles the Bible regularly.

Moses: I would point to our conversation with Anthony Siegrist. He wrote a book called Speaking of God. What spoke to me was how he framed theological moments as happening for all of us in everyday life, not just for professionals. It broadened my view of how we think and speak about God. How do kids theologize? How do people whom we push to the margins theologize about God and what can we learn from those people about who God is?

What do you personally hope to learn and what do you hope others learn from this project?

Moses: I didn't grow up Mennonite and I found real life in the Anabaptist tradition and something life-giving about the way Mennonites view Jesus, church, community and the work of peace. I hope that this would be a companion piece for people who are curious about what Mennonites are all about. I’ve already learned a lot from the people we've brought on and I continue to learn and also from Carrie and Ryan just about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. That’s naturally a benefit for me as a pastor because I'm being formed more in my ministry.

Ryan: My experience is the exact opposite. I've always been an insider in the Mennonite world. I've deliberately sought to go outside of those boundaries in my education and whatever else. I hope this podcast can be a way for engagement beyond the Mennonite Church. Within it, I hope we reproduce what it might be like if you were discussing important things with friends around a coffee table.

I hope this podcast can be a way for engagement beyond the Mennonite Church.

Carrie: My hope is that we can elevate voices that will be beneficial, nurturing and challenging to the church. There are certain guests this season that have their own books, but then we've also have guests whom people might not know, but yet have such valuable things to say. I think it’s awesome if we can be a platform for voices that need to be heard.

Ryan: I also hope that we are a space where we can be somewhat self-critical at times. That’s something that doesn't come easy to us as human beings, but I think it's desperately necessary.

Moses: That's part of the reason why it's not a top-down project. This is bottom up, which allows us the freedom to speak honestly about where things are at.


For more about Moses, Carrie and Ryan and The MennoCast, visit

The Mennocast podcast is a grassroots project emerging from the Mennonite Church Canada community. Although not an official program that is financially supported by Mennonite Church Canada, they partner together through CommonWord.