Gord Taylor is an Albertan by birth, a Scot by heritage (complete with pipes, kilt and haggis), a nomad by life experience, and a Winnipegger by choice.
His father was a geologist (it was oil or cattle in Alberta!). Many family moves and going into ministry means he has lived all over: in western Canada, Ontario, in the U.S, and abroad; with a geophysics crew 400 miles north of Prince Albert (SK), alone on the prairies near windy Pincher Creek (AB), and for various times in urban areas like Pittsburgh, Toronto, Tokyo, Houston. Needless to say … he enjoys travelling now!
His family tree on his mother’s side, and his childhood interest, was not Geology but Law. His grandfather was a lawyer, and one of his favourite uncles was a judge, and Paladin & Dick Tracy featured prominently in his childhood! After a B.A. in Economics at Queen’s University, and acceptance into Law School there … he realized his calling was not to fuss over spreadsheets or contracts … but to seek wider visions of justice.
That said, Gord did not want originally to be a minister. Having grown up in a United Church family, he lost his childhood faith when, at 15, his sister was injured accidentally at a church camp. The question of life’s injustice hit home!
Despite proclaiming his atheism for several years, the Spirit was working in him. Then, an academic study of Buddhism opened his heart to the wider possibilities of personal spiritual experience. On the cusp of a career in Law, a “road-to-Damascus” experience turned him back toward Jesus and a living faith.
A thoughtful preacher at Chalmer’s United Church in Kingston, the Rev. Dr. Stanford Lucyk, transformed scripture from legalism into a lens through which one can make sense of the world’s realities. That’s where his love for the meaningful interpretations of the Bible was born. The Church began to have possibilities as the hope of the world!
Gordon completed seminary at Queen’s, and was “sent” to Red Lake, ON. What was rumoured to be a “hardship” posting turned out to be full of blessings. While there, he met Eveline, a social worker with the Northern Medical Unit in Norway House, when she returned one Christmas to visit her family. They married and eventually moved to Red Deer, Gord’s home town. Both pursued additional degrees … she an MSW in Calgary (followed by a Ph.D. [on Cultural Safety] at Memorial University in Newfoundland), and he a Doctor of Ministry at Edmonton, with a dissertation – The Role of Shame in Evangelization. As a result of all these experiences, it is no surprise that “welcome” and “hospitality” are two of Gord’s favourite values in the Church.
Gord and Eveline then made their home in Winnipeg and were blessed with daughters Katherine (now: a psychologist), Hilary (now: a lawyer), and Zoe (a West Highland Terrier). Eveline is professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Gord spent 26 years as Team Leader at Fort Garry United Church. While he has chaired Winnipeg Presbytery, and many other organizations in the wider church, his passion is congregational ministry.
He moved to UCiM in September 2013 and is having a ball here! When he manages to take time off, Gord loves to putter, tinker, dabble and travel. He plays his bagpipes occasionally, rows sculls, walks the Westie, hacks up golf courses, explores PhotoShop & social media.
(Click on each image to read a few of Gordon’s sermons.)