Leadership Team

the (Rev.) Dr. Gordon 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.

You can reach Gord at gordon.taylor@ucim.org

Stacey Milne-Ciecko is our Communications Co-Ordinator and our Christian Education Co-Ordinator. Stacey has lived in River Park South for 14 years and has been involved at UCiM since 2009. Stacey also works as an associate at CKGolf and is a substitute Educational Assistant in the Louis Riel School Division. Stacey has a great passion for working with kids and enjoys providing many opportunities for kids to grow and learn in their faith. She is married to Mike and together they have 3 boys who keep them very busy. Her favourite hobby is reading and she always has 2 or 3 books on the go.

You can reach Stacey at ce@ucim.org

Sandy Katyrynuik is our Office Administrator. Prior to coming to UCiM, Sandy was the Church Administrator at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church for 6 years. Sandy moved to St. Vital 25 years ago and loves the community with all the amenities. She is married with 2 adult children. She enjoys gardening in the summer and spends her winters evenings knitting and crocheting.

You can reach Sandy at ucm@ucim.org

Brendan McKeen is our Music Director. Brendan was born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg. He has conducted orchestras all over North America, including Manitoba’s Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Brendan completed his Masters of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at Northwestern University in 2015. Brendan is passionate about Opera and leading others, which led to him founding the Manitoba Underground Opera in September 2008. Brendan also serves on the Manitobans for the Arts Advocacy Committee. This organization is devoted to advancing arts, culture, heritage, and creativity in Manitoba.

You can reach Brendan at brendan@ucim.org

Megan Dufrat is our accompanist. Megan has a Bachelor of Music, in the Piano Performance Program, she studied under the tutelage of Dr. David Moroz.  Megan has won numerous awards and scholarships and is the accompanist with a number of choirs in Winnipeg. Megan brings many talents to the music program at our church.

You can reach Megan at megan.dufrat@gmail.com

Candace is our Talking Teens Leader. She currently worships at Westworth United Church. Candace has completed the Master of Divinity – Interdisciplinary program as well as a Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies. She is presently working towards completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Her hope for the future is to continue to minister to children and youth in a church environment and she is also pursuing military chaplaincy.Candace recently joined the Health Promotion team at 17 Wing Winnipeg where she works full-time as the Health Promotion Administrative Assistant and part-time as a Youth Worker with the Military Family Resource Centre. Prior to this, a substantial portion of Candace’s professional work has involved supporting services to Winnipeg’s most vulnerable and under-loved. Candace served as the Communications and Development Assistant at West Broadway Community Ministry for three years, as the Church Administrator at Willowlake Baptist Church for three years, and as the Office Administrator at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church covering a one-year maternity leave. She has been actively involved in various aspects of church life including preaching and coordinating services, financial and budget administration, being on worship team, serving as a greeter and usher, assisting with youth ministry, and organizing and leading women’s ministry events. In her free time, Candace enjoys trips to BDI with her boyfriend and chasing after her pet bunny, Lola.”

You can reach Candace at ucim.youth@gmail.com

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