rev. Lori Sawdon
A native of Nebraska, Pastor Lori spent her childhood and youth in Sparks, Nevada. Upon receiving her call to ordained ministry as a youth, she attended University of the Pacific, a United Methodist-related university. She received her Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Prior to First UMC, Santa Rosa, she served United Methodist congregations in San Jose, Rio Linda, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Merced, Lafayette, and Lodi, California.
Lori has an interest in spiritual formation through small group ministry. She has participated in Volunteer in Mission trips to Costa Rica and Sierra Service Project in Spokane, Smith River, and Susanville. She was the founding pastor of a campus ministry, Wesley Foundation Merced, serving students at U.C. Merced and Merced College. In 2018 she was certified as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist.
Lori and her husband, Mark, have one son, Jeff. He works in Southern California in film production. In their leisure time, they enjoy musical theater, movies, hiking, and travel.