Our Mission

Our mission at St. Bartholomew's is Helping Everyone Become The People God Created Them To Be

To accomplish this we're committed to creating a welcoming, safe community where people can explore God, Jesus, and faith at their own pace. 

While we have a particular, Episcopal way of worshipping on Sundays (ministers in robes, times to stand and sit, ceremonial movements like bowing and the Sign of Cross) but it's a core value for us that everyone's welcome to participate in their own way as they feel most comfortable. And we especially work to explain why we do these things so they make sense and you can participate if you'd like to. 

The most important thing at St. Bart's for us is the person and teaching of Jesus Christ. As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said: 

"Being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teachings seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God’s dream." 

That's what we strive to be do at St. Bart's. 

Our pastor

Father Joel Prather is the husband of Tammy and father of their son in college. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago loving Boy Scouts, Marvel Comics and music. When he was 19 years old he read the New Testament of the Bible and was "completely amazed by Jesus...what He said...what He did." That amazement continues today. 

After a decade with State Farm Insurance he heard God say "Go" leading worship on a beach in the Amazon. So the Prathers went. Moving to Wisconsin where he and Tammy went to seminary and upon graduation were called to Dallas to plant a new Church together. 

Longing to return to the great state of Wisconsin they were invited to Delavan for four years, and then St. Bartholomew's in 2018. Fr. Joel loves being of part of this Christian community that "loves Jesus deeply, is incredibly dedicated, and strives to be a safe place for people to explore God." 

Fr. Joel loves to travel with his family, cook; read about monks, Navy SEALs, and Jesus; play heavy metal guitar, attempt to lift weights, and can always be found with a cup of coffee nearby. 


Ethan Tarvin grew up near Slinger, WI and attended the Lutheran Church. He pursued a degree in Music Education at Augustana College, in Rock Island, IL and has performed as a pianist and a vocalist in college ensembles, opera and even toured Germany (which solidified his love of travel!). After graduation he lived in Wuhan, China, lecturing at the Zhongnan University of Economics & Law on English and a Western Survey. Returning to the U.S. he taught K-12 Music in Richland Center before his current role teaching Upper Elementary & Middle School music for the Hartland-Lakeside school district. He moved to Pewaukee in 2017 where he continues to seek experiences traveling, cooking new foods, running, and in local theater groups.

Ethan says, "My vision for worship at St. Bartholomew’s is create an experience that enhances our worship of God. God asks that his children make a joyful noise, and I want our “noise” to be one that praises Him, and not music for music’s sake....As the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach writes on his pieces: Soli Deo Gloria! Praise to God alone!"


Jan Watter is Wisconsin native with a diverse background as an Interior Designer and Instructor at Wauksha County Technical College, and non-profit leadership with Our Next Generation and Nashotah House Theological Seminary.

Jan has served in multiple levels of leadership both at St. Bart's and in our Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee where she currently serves on the Standing Committee.

At St. Bart's she currently handles our parish administration, internal communications and leads our volunteer office staff. 

She and her husband Jeff enjoy regular trips to Maryland to build pillow forts and eat pancakes with their two grandchildren.


Our 2024 Vestry is Fr. Joel Prather (Rector / Pastor), Joan Hart (Sr. Warden), Ellen Dunbar (Jr. Warden), Mike Delmore (Treasurer), Bob Thompson-Gee (Clerk), Diane Baehr, Tom Corbin, Hannah Gordon, and Leann Nitschke.

Episcopal Parishes are governed by a board of elected parishioners. The name "Vestry" comes from the name of the room the clergy and choir used to put on their "vest-ments", where the Governing Boards used to meet centuries ago (they don't meet their anymore but the name stuck!).

The Vestry helps guide the Mission of the congregation and serves as our the legal and fiduciary agents.