Rev. Michael Mudgett was ordained by San Diego Presbytery in 2007 after a career in law in which he served first in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) followed by an extended civil law practice with a local San Diego firm. In his first call, Michael served as the associate pastor for Malibu Presbyterian Church for nearly seven years. Six months after arriving in Malibu, the church facilities were completely destroyed in the 2007 Malibu fires, which made for a most interesting and challenging call. Michael then served for two years as interim solo pastor at St. Mark’s in Lomita, CA, before assuming the interim executive presbyter position with the Presbytery of San Diego on November 1, 2015. He was installed as the permanent EP on May 16, 2017. Michael is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Georgetown Law Center, University of San Diego Law School, and Arizona State University (B.S. Civil Engineering). As part of his continuing education, Michael participated in the “Walking in the Footsteps of Paul” study tour in Turkey and Greece (2012); a biblical tour of Israel through the adult/pastors’ program at the Jerusalem University College (2009); and mission trips to Haiti, Uganda, the Amazon River, and several Mexico home building missions. Michael is indebted to his beautiful wife Karen, his son John, daughter Sarah, and his wonderful grandchildren. He likes playing the guitar (a self-taught novice), reading, walking, working out, and appreciating the life with which God has blessed him.
Frances Lin was born in Taiwan, raised as a Buddhist and immigrated to the United States when she was 14. She dedicated her life to Christ at age 17. Frances was awarded a degree in Mathematics from Indiana University, Bloomington. She also received a Master in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Frances was ordained as a Ruling Elder in 2008. She has served as a commissioner representing San Diego Presbytery to the PCUSA General Assembly 2012 and 2014. Subsequently, Frances served as the Vice Moderator to the Middle East Committee at the General Assembly 2016 in Portland.
Frances is currently serving as the Executive Director at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church. She also serves as a coach for the 1001 New Worshipping Communities initiative of PCUSA and a grant reviewer for the Missional Development and Resources Committee for the Mission Agency of PCUSA. Frances has a passion for planting new worshipping communities. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the harp and hanging out with friends and family.
Bookkeeper - Kari Shenk
As an Independent Contractor, Kari provides small business owners with bookkeeping services, tax preparation, and HR support. Kari brings this experience to the Presbytery along with many years of general office administration. She and her husband live in the Point Loma area with their two children. They are parishioners at St. Agnes Church in Point Loma and have been part of the local Catholic community for more than 25 years. Their children attended St. Charles Borromeo Academy, Academy of Our Lady of Peace and St. Augustine High School where Kari and her husband were active volunteers on campus and various committees. Kari can be found serving the Presbytery Monday –Thursday mornings.
Office Manager - Jennifer SEdgwick
Jennifer grew up in Los Angeles, CA and first came to live in San Diego to attend UCSD. While there she started attending La Jolla Presbyterian Church where she met her husband, Jim. After several more years in the Los Angeles area they returned to San Diego with their two daughters in 2012. She continues to be active at La Jolla Presbyterian playing handbells, assisting with the Sunday service AV, and going on short-term missions. She is also the class coordinator for the Community Bible Study La Jolla class. Outside the church she keeps busy helping at the girls’ schools, leading a Girl Scout troop, kayaking, swimming, and relaxing with a good book or her knitting. She is in the office Monday-Wednesday.
Presbytery Moderator, Rev. Fairlight Lower
Rev. Fairlight Collins Lower has been an active part of the San Diego Presbytery since 2007, and was officially received as a Member-as-Large in 2016. She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, grew up Pentecostal, and served in Presbyterian, Lutheran, and AME Zion congregations. She attended Eastern University in Philadelphia, PA where she studied French, Youth Ministry, and minored in Anthropology.
Pastor Fairlight earned her Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained and installed in Philadelphia Presbytery in 2005. She has ministered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and California. She is ecumenical, but yer theology is distinctly Reformed. In 2007 she moved to San Diego where she began working in the corporate setting (educational technology). It was there she met her husband, Jeff, a Roman Catholic, and they were married in 2010. They have a son, James Gideon, who is 5 1/2 and recently started Kindergarten.
In addition to her theological experience, Pastor Fairlight earned an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Change in 2009. She has practical experience with recruitment, sales, accounting, marketing, employee training, procurement, project management, and team leadership. She loves language, is bilingual (French and English) and was the Hebrew and Greek tutor during her seminary years. She is currently a consultant on sleep, parenting, and nutrition for families across the US. She enjoys singing, playing guitar, exercising, preparing meals with others and has completed 42 solo skydiving jumps.
During her tenure in San Diego Presbytery, Pastor Fairlight has served on CPM and on an Investigative Committee. She has visited many churches as a guest preacher and a guest music leader. She recently completed Transitional Ministry training and has attended General Assembly four times.
Pastor Fairlight is currently seeking a call and also considering the opportunities opening with Cyclical and New Church Developments. Her desire is to live a colorful life of Shalom, showered with music, joy, and authenticity, empowered by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Presbytery Vice-Moderator, Ruling Elder Wells Lyman
Wells Lyman was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1966 and on that same day entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant. He served his final year of a two-year commitment as a forward observer with the infantry in South Vietnam, earning two Bronze Stars for valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation for Heroism and Air Medal.
Upon discharge he drove to California for two weeks and ended up staying for the rest of his life. For him the rest of his life meant living for forty years with Leola, the love of his life, best friend and “long-suffering wife.” They have three successful adult children and are also blessed with five lively grandchildren.
His professional life began with his employment in 1968 to work with the War on Poverty under the Federal Economic Opportunity Commission, evaluating all of the poverty programs in San Diego County. In 1969 he entered California Western School of Law. After graduating and completing the Bar Exam, he began a sole practice of law, emphasizing on any case that might come through the door. He ultimately specialized in Family Law and Bankruptcy. During his legal career he became active in Bar Association community service and was elected President of the East County Bar Association, President of the San Diego County Bar Association, Vice President of the California State Bar, and member of Merit Selection panels for federal judges. For thirty-five years he has served the San Diego Superior Court as Judge pro tem in Family Law and Small Claims hearings. He has also served as President of the El Cajon Optimist Club, Chair of Cajon Valley School District Affirmative Action Committee, and Board member of La Mesa Democratic Club.
He is, happily, an active member of Palisades Presbyterian Church. He sings in the choir and plays guitar every week in the praise band. Strangely he is more than fifty years older than the band’s youngest member. From 2016 to present he has served Palisades Church as Finance Chair.
It is a blessing and honor to serve the Presbytery of San Diego.
Chair of the Executive Committee, Ruling Elder Sue Skala
Susan Skala gave her life to Jesus at the age of seventeen. She had been raised an Episcopalian, but realized the full joy of God’s love through her fellow camp counselor’s witness. Raised in Oakland, California, Ms. Skala has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, New York. Ms. Skala is married to the best husband in the world, Whitney, and has three super children; JR (30), Teresa (28), and Kirsten (27). Influenced by her grandfather, Ms. Skala became an architect to promote good design that changes people’s lives. In a culture where the arts are diminished by the lack of funds for public education and mediocre efforts are acceptable, Ms. Skala is passionate about increasing awareness that excellence need not cost more, nor be exclusive. Susan K. Skala has owned and operated Skala Architecture A P.C. since 1987. In addition to her professional duties, Ms. Skala has sat on a fund-raising board for the San Diego Crew Classic; Makua, an auxiliary fundraising group for Voices for Children; the Inner Circle of the San Diego Repertory Theater; and Mothers and Daughters Club Assisting Philanthropies. She currently is a member of the Charter Hill Society of UC, Berkeley and has been the chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry for the Presbytery of San Diego. She is a member of the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church.