Grace Episcopal Church
Grace’s Residency program continues with Frans van Santen
By Verger Dave Rubin
Would you teach your child to swim by throwing them off the end of the dock? Of course not! But this is the situation in which many seminarians find themselves after graduation: called to a church and thrown right into the hurly-burly of figuring out every minute detail of the day to day operations as well as leading worship. It is to alleviate this stressful situation that Grace has begun the Residency Program; hiring a potential priest and giving them on the job training to teach them the real-world skills necessary to be a successful minister. Our first Resident, Rev. Caroline, is now serving as a priest at a church in Nashville, TN, and our second Resident, Father Daniel, currently serves in many capacities as Associate Priest. And it is with great pleasure that I’d like to tell you about our third Resident, Mr. Frans van Santen, soon to be ordained as Deacon and then Priest.
Frans comes to us from The Netherlands, growing up in the Dutch Reformed Church in an Ocala-sized town called Woudenberg. He graduated Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree from Tyndale Theological Seminary and attended an introductory weekend of the Church of England in London where he was received into the Anglican Church. Frans felt a call to the priesthood so, after moving to the Orlando area he contacted Bishop Brewer, who introduced him to Canon Justin Holcomb, the Canon of Vocations. Canon Holcomb informed Frans of Grace’s Residency Program and suggested he apply to Fr. Jonathan; he did and was accepted.
Frans is grateful to be a Resident at Grace because he feels he’ll gain experience in ministering to Americans. Preaching is one of his strengths and he anticipates sharpening his skills in that area. He also hopes to start an Alpha group – ministering to non-Christians and striving to bring them to Christ. Pastoral care is also close to his heart and he anticipates working in that area. Currently, he also leads online Morning Prayer on Wednesday mornings.
Frans is married to Erin and they have two children…but I’ll be writing about the Van Santen family in an upcoming newsletter. But now that you know a little about Frans and his qualifications, be sure to give him a warm Grace welcome when you see him on a Sunday morning.