Staff and Leaders
Pastor Erich Kussman
Pastor Erich is unabashedly Christian, but his message is full of hope, faith, revolutionary social justice, combined with piercing insight into the power of radical love. He served time in prison and has graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Vicar Andy Jones
Jo-Ann Sciarrotta is a critically acclaimed collaborative pianist, music director and award winning music educator. She has performed at the White House, United Nations, Atlantic City Casinos, gubernatorial inaugurations, Amato Opera and numerous theaters, churches, colleges, universities and concert venues on the East Coast. She has accompanied Broadway and Metropolitan Opera stars and collaborated with countless conductors, vocalists and instrumentalists. Television credits include featured pianist in the PBS documentary, “To Grandfather’s House We Go”. She is best known for her sensitive playing and sight reading skills.
Mrs. Sciarrotta (nee Rubay) graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), holds a Master’s degree in Music from Boston University and did additional graduate study at Westminster Choir College and in Europe. As a music educator, she was the recipient of the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award and from a field of over 1,000 teachers, was chosen Hamilton Township Teacher of the Year. She was an adjunct faculty member at TCNJ, Guest Artist at Beaver College (Acadia) and taught at numerous public and private schools.
In addition to her position at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Mrs. Sciarrotta is presently on the Professional Performance staff of The Central Jersey Choral Society, Trenton Children's Chorus and St. Paul’s Children's Choir.
She and her husband Nick are both Gold Card Members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local No. 62 and reside in Chesterfield, New Jersey with their son Christopher.
It is a great honor to introduce myself to you all. I am humbled by your welcoming me to serve as your vicar this academic year. I am certain this will be a time filled with learning, growth, and excitement for all of us, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. A little about me: I come from Roanoke, Virginia, which is the largest city west of Richmond in the State. My mother was a legal secretary and my father served as a police officer. I also have a twin brother who now works for the State of Virginia. Throughout this time growing up, the Church was always a part of my life. I am a cradle Lutheran and am thankful to be working towards filling out this call. I tried very hard to do other things, however. After graduating from East Carolina in 2018, I did several things from serving coffee to welding as I discerned my next steps. Eventually, it was apparent that I could not shake this call. After navigating the Pandemic, and online class, I am thrilled to be here at St. Bart’s and look forward to living out our faith in a vibrant, active way.
I carry with me the motto of my home church, which is “Loving God, Loving Our Neighbor.” I’ve been reflecting on that recently and am grateful that the mission of St. Bart’s lives out its faith in its actions. I firmly believe that we encounter God the most when we are able to serve others, in deeds great and small. It my joy and privilege to journey with you all as we serve our neighbors together in Trenton and the World