St. Francis in the Keys

Anglican Worship in a Tropical Setting


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ELCA Bishop Visits St. Francis

Posted on December 13, 2014 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The Rt. Rev. Robert G. Schaefer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be presiding and preaching at the 8:30 am Eucharist at St. Francis. The Rev. Schaefer was elected bishop in May 2013, assumed office on August 1, and was installed as the Fourth Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod on August 31, 2013. Fr. Chris attended and voted in his role as Interim Pastor of our sister church Lord of the Seas Lutheran.


When elected, the Rev. Schaefer was serving as co-pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice. Bishop Schaefer was an executive for worship with the ELCA churchwide organization from 2009 to 2011. He served as assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod from 2004 to 2009 and co-pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Tampa, Fla., from 1998 to 2004. Before coming to Florida, he served congregations in the Metropolitan New York Synod.


He earned a degree in psychology and sociology from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1979, and earned a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1984 and was ordained that year.


Schaefer is married to the Rev. Jennifer Schaefer, who is serving as interim pastor at Trinity, St. Petersburg. Together they have three adult children and one grandson. 

After the service, Bishop Schaefer will preside and preach at Lord of the Seas just down the road on Key Deer Blvd. That will be followed by a potluck at whcih he will be a guest. Come join us!

2 Churches Celebrate Holy Week Together

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The 12th annual joint observance of Lent by St. Francis-in-the-Keys Episcopal Church and Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church climaxes with Holy Week. Both congregations will celebrate Maundy Thursday at Lord of the Seas at 7 pm. The service will include footwashing, an anthem by the choir, Eucharist, and a homily by Interim Pastor Chris Todd.


Next day the 2 parishes will observe Good Friday at St. Francis-in-the-Keys at 7 pm. The service, led by the Very Rev. Chris Todd, Priest-in-Charge, will include the Stations of the Cross with pictures by the children.


Then both churches will celebrate an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:45 am at the end of Bogie Drive. That will be followed by breakfast at the Lower Keys Property Owners Association Building. St. Francis will then hold an Easter service at 8:30 am and Lord of the Seas will hold an Easter service at 10:30 am.The public is invited to all events.

Lord of the Seas is at 1250 Key Deer Blvd, 1 mile from the stoplight, just up from the softball field and is the tallest church on Big Pine. Its phone number is 872-3612. For more information check go to or the church's Facebook page.

Ash Wednesday Services

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Those who wish to begin their observance of Lent by participating in an Ash Wednesday service have 2 opportunities this Wednesday. If you wish to start your day with the imposition of ashes and the Eucharist come to St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church at 8:30 pm. If you want to celebrate in the evening, come for the imposition of ashes and the Eucharist at Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church at 7 pm. The Very Rev. Chris Todd will preach a homily entitled "Preparing for the Banquet" at both services and churches. This will be the first in a sermon series that will continue on Wednesdays during the joint Lenten Supper and Services which will alternate between each church. The potluck meals will start at 6 pm and the worship services at 7 pm. The first will be held at St. Francis on March 12. The public is invited.


Posted on February 19, 2014 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

St. Francis in the KeysBargain hunters will want to get up early to and stay late at the Annual Yard Sale at St. Francis in the Keys. Because the sale begins this Friday and Saturday at 8 am. Yardsalers will discover great deals on furniture, boat gear, appliances, tires, TVs, cool toys, electronics, books, housewares, collectables, clothes, and more. But as the hour approaches noon on Saturday, outrageous discounts will appear. You can keep your energy up as you shop with delicious items from the bake sale as well as hamburgers, hotdogs, soda and fresh hot coffee. The Yard Sale goes from 8 to noon both days. 

Christmas Week at St. Francis

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

St. Francis in the Keys will kick off its celebration of Christmas week with the Greening of the Church after the 8:30 am service on Sunday the 22nd.  Come to decorate the sanctuary and stay for the delicious lunch afterwards.


Christmas Eve‘s worship will begin with Lessons and Carols at 6:30 pm Tuesday, during which readings from the nativity narratives in the gospels will alternate with the appropriate carols. The Holy Eucharist for Christmas will follow at 7:00 pm. The annual candlelit singing of “Silent Night” will again be a highlight of the service. Fr. Chris will preach a homily entitled "The Light of Hope." And there will be plenty of fabulous Christmas food and drink after the service.  

Father Chris is now Dean of the Keys

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (7)

The Rev. Chris Todd is now officially the Very Rev. Chris Todd, following his installation as the Dean of the Florida Keys. He was elected at the Keys Convocation in October and then installed at the Eucharist celebrated Friday November 8 at the 44th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Southeast Florida. As Dean, Fr. Chris will attend the Executive Board meetings and Deans meetings 6 times a year, voting on Diocesan actions and acting as a voice for the 5 Episcopal parishes in the Keys. He will also convene the Keys Clericus, a nearly monthly meeting of the local clergy.

Below is a picture of the 3 newest Deans in the Diocese: The Very Rev. Earl Henry of the Broward Deanery, the Very Rev. Chris Todd of the Keys Deanery, and the Very Rev. John Tidy of the North Dade Deanery.  


Annual Blessing of the Animals

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

All creatures great and small are invited to the annual Blessing of the Animals Sunday October 6 at St. Francis in the Keys Church. Celebrated on the Sunday following the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, pets of all kinds will be blessed and given a St. Francis medallion. The Celtic liturgy will emphasize the beauty of God's creation. The music will be drawn from the prayers and songs of the saint known as “God's troubadour.” Father Chris Todd will preach on what we can learn about being better people from dogs. The service starts at 8:30 am. Delicious food for all attending, both human and non-human, will be served after the worship.

Easter Sunday Schedule

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Between St. Francis-in-the-Keys Episcopal Church and Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church there will be no reason to miss Easter this year with 3 services to choose from. For the 13th year in a row, the 2 churches will celebrate a joint Easter service outside at the water’s edge. Hymns celebrating the resurrection of Christ will be sung as the sun rises over the water and behind an outdoor altar. The Rev. Chris Todd will preach the last in his Lenten series, entitled "I Am the Alpha and Omega,"  and preside over the communion celebration. The service will begin at 6:45 am on March 31 at the end of Bogie Road on Big Pine Key. Afterwards, the 2 churches will enjoy a delicious breakfast at Lord of the Seas. Everyone is invited to both events.


St. Francis will hold its Easter service at the church at 8:30 am. There will be an Easter egg hunt for children after the service on the church grounds and great coffee, beverages and goodies for everyone.


Lord of the Seas will celebrate Easter at the church at 10:30 am. An Easter egg hunt will be held after the service for all children. Food and beverages will be served to all who attend as well.


The Rev. Chris Todd will preach at each service. His sermon can be found on his blog, Preacher of the Night (


Holy Week Schedule

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)



As events move towards their climax in the story of Jesus, Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church and St. Francis-in-the-Keys Episcopal Church will celebrate the turning points in the drama during Holy Week. On March 28 at 7 pm, parishioners from both churches will commemorate Maundy Thursday together. The service will be preceded by foot washing, and the Eucharist will celebrated afterward followed by the stripping of the altar. The service will be held at Lord of the Seas. The public is invited.


On Good Friday the Rev. Chris Todd will participate in the Community Good Friday Service held at Big Pine United Methodist Church. The service runs from noon till 3 pm. Father Chris will preach on 2 of Jesus’ statements from the cross. His sermons will later be posted  on his blog, Preacher of the Night (


That night at 7 pm, folks from both churches will celebrate Good Friday at St. Francis. The service will feature music by the Lord of the Seas choir as well as the Stations of the Cross, done by the children of the 2 churches.


Everyone is invited to every service and event.



Russell Wiggins 1921-2013

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (1)

     Russell George Wiggins was born in Tampa on December 19, 1921 to Thomas Wiggins, a Florida native, and his wife, Violet, a native of England. Russell graduated from Miami Edison Senior High in 1939 and joined the Naval Reserve in 1940. He completed aviation mechanic school 2 days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was asigned to a PBY patrol squadron at Pearl Harbor. He participated in the Solomon Island campaign and the Battle of Santa Cruz.

     After 6 years in the service, Russell returned to Miami and worked as an auto mechanic. In 1949, Russell Wiggins married Margaret Ann (Drye) Ayers. He worked at Sears for 30 years, beginning as a mechanic and retiring in 1981 as M.V. Equipment Manager.

     Russell and Margaret were members of the Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park for 30 years, where Margaret served on the Altar Guild and Russell served on the vestry as Senior Warden. When they retired to the Keys, Russell and Margaret were asked by the Rev. Blount Grant of St. Columba in Marathon to find a place in Big Pine Key to put a mission. Russell helped organize St. Francis-in-the-Keys, helped build the church and made by hand the base of the baptismal font, the aumbry, the torches and other features around the altar. Margaret served as Director of the Altar Guild; Russell served on the vestry as Senior Warden.

     Russell nursed his wife through her final illness and spent his last days with his daughter Judy Swink and her husband Carl in LaBelle, FL, dying February 18, 2013. Besides his daughter, Russell is survived by his stepson Lloyd Ayers, his son Steve Wiggins, 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

     Services will be held Saturday, March 2 at 1 pm at St. Francis-in-the-Keys.