Staff Bios

Rev Lori Miller is a native New Yorker, raised on Long Island in the Lutheran Church. Lori became United Methodist while at Williams College and after seminary at Harvard Divinity School was ordained an Elder in the New York Annual Conference in 1987. She served churches in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Pound Ridge, New York and Gaylordsville and Wilton, Connecticut before coming to Newtown in 2016. While in Newburgh, Lori became involved in conflict resolution in local churches. That prompted her to return to school in 2002 for a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology at Teacher’s College

Lori has served on numerous district and conference committees, including current membership on the Board of Ordained Ministry. One of her great joys is mentoring candidates for ministry. Her passion is deepening the call that every follower of Christ has to love and serve God “best of all.”

Lori is married to the Rev. Dr John Halbrook, a Baptist clergy and psychotherapist with a private practice in New York City and Beacon, New York. They have two sons, currently both in Greenville, South Carolina–Jaan Paul is a paramedic, married to Samantha with three children: Alex, Connor and Hailey. Gregory is 22 and a student at Greenville Tech.

In her spare time, Lori enjoys reading, exercise, going to movies and talking theology, politics, philosophy and other Big Ideas over dinner.

Rev. Sue Klein is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music, an ordained Deacon in the New York Conference, and has been minister of music and organist at Newtown UMC for many years.  Our choir. which is open to all including students, rehearses every Thursday evening and sings every Sunday.
A Tone Chime Choir of seven ringers is directed by Marcia Maurer.  You are invited to share in this ministry!

Rahnna Peck is the Director of the Wesley Learning Center at the Newtown United Methodist Church. She has been working here since 1993 when she and a few other church people got together to start the school. Rahnna was raised in Sandy Hook where her parents still reside. She attended the Newtown Public Schools and graduated in 1972. She continued her education at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield majoring in Business Administration and graduated in 1975. Rahnna decided that working with kids was really where her heart was, so she began attending Naugatuck Valley to get her degree in Early Childhood Education. She served as President of the Greater Danbury Directors Group for many years. She was a member at large on the CAEYC Board for 7 years. She currently resides at Oxford Greens in Oxford, Connecticut with her husband Bill of 40 years. She has one son, Justin, who lives in St. Paul, MN with his wife Katie and their dog, Mollie Jade.

Barb Carlson, NUMC Administrative Assistant
Barb lives in Sandy Hook with her husband Ken.  She began her duties in 1973 working as a volunteer in the office–a job which eventually became a five-day, paid position.  Barb has worked with 5 pastors and says it is a job she truly enjoys because it has enabled her to take care of her children and grandchildren when needed.  Not too many jobs are that flexible!
Barb and Ken will be married 57 years on May 6th.  They have four children, 10 grand children and 2 great grandchildren, with 2 more on the way.  The whole family lives close by which gives Barb the chance to see them often.  A church member, Barb has served on and chaired many church committees and sings in the Senior Choir.  She has also been involved in many community groups, including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Junior Women and PTA. Ten of Barb’s grandchildren and great grandchildren attend or have attended our Wesley Learning Center!


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