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.

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

Rev. E. 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!

Rae Steare, NUMC Administrative Assistant

Rae lives in Sandy Hook with her husband Doug and 3 children, Anna, Olivia & Sam.  She began her current duties as a volunteer early in 2021 and transitioned to a permanent role in May.

Rae and her family have been members of NUMC since relocating to Connecticut in 2007. Originally from North Carolina, she was raised on Southern Baptist traditions where she has fond memories of a strong community of faith and fellowship. These memories led to active participation as a volunteer within NUMC as a coordinator of “Family Fun” events such as “trick or trunk”, fried turkey potlucks, “shop ’til you drop” (holiday opportunities for a parent’s night out), youth baking nights and more. She also served previously as our Church School Leader and twice as a member of our Board of Trustees.