Chris Yaw

I am a Christ Lover

Chris Yaw

I know, I'm kind of messy - but here goes... I’m an Episcopal priest serving a congregation in Metro Detroit... With a passion for gun safety... A zest for online Christian formation... A zeal for video blogging... A constant writer... A heart for those who have unintentionally harmed... A commitment to workforce housing... A love for marrying people... And an amazing wife, three kiddos and a cat named Sparrow... If you have interests in any of these areas I'd love to connect with you.

Me

Contact Details


  • St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan, 48076, USA


  • +011 248-557-5430


  • chris@stdavidssf.org

St. David's

I have served as rector of St. David's Episcopal Church in Southfield, MI for 16 years, join us Sundays in person or via zoom.

Trinity Gun Disposal

Working on the issue of unwanted gun disposal, we've made some real progress in helping rid the U.S. of unwanted firearms.

ChurchNext

Since 2013 we have been helping people learn more about faith through our online learning courses at ChurchNext.

Oakland Housing

Helping middle income families get better housing is a challenge that Oakland Housing has been addressing for 75 years.

Hyacinth Fellowship

Because hurting others hurts us, the Hyacinth Fellowship organizes support groups and reminds us that we are not our worst mistakes.

Yaw Wedding

I have been officiating weddings for more than 20 years and continue to find joy in helping couples build lifelong relationships.

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U.S. Guns Produced Today
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Americans Accidentally Killed Today
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Homeless Americans
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Weddings Performed
  • Sweet Temptation

    Sweet Temptation


    Ever since Adam and Eve said yes to the apple, temptation has gotten a bad rap.

    After all, the word simply means ‘tested,’ or ‘tried,’ which is innocent enough. The fact is that temptation presupposes some rather important realities. First, the idea of temptation means we have the liberty to choose one option versus another. We often overlook the blessing of freedom to do as we choose, which also bespeaks a depth of love of the Creator who made things that way. Second, temptation is a commentary on desire. Our temptations assure us that much about this world is desirable, that God made a world in which there are many things we might call, ‘good.’ And finally, with reference to Sunday’s Gospel reading which tells us that following Jesus’ baptism, “the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness (where he was) tempted by Satan…” we cannot help but link temptation to the work of the Holy Spirit.

    What? God-ordained temptation?!?

    As puzzling as this may sound, especially in light of Jesus’ own teaching on prayer which asks us to petition the Lord to, “…lead us not into temptation…” we need to take this at face value and ponder what good there might be in the tests you and I face throughout our lives.

    This is not to validate the blathery condolences we often hear from well-meaning, though dim-witted friends, who suggest that every tragedy and disaster is the machination of a puppeteer God who delights in human suffering – we all need to speed up to avoid that exit ramp on the theological highway. However, it is to say that God seems to use the testing of our faith to help us be who we really want to be. In other words, temptation may be an expression of God’s desire to love us.

    I have heard sin defined as our own insistence on being what we are not – a desire for a life other than the one we are given. When we think about this, and ruminate over our own dissatisfactions over who we are, we can begin to see our own behaviors and beliefs produce many of the temptations we face. Why be tempted to spend more on home, car or clothes if we are really secure in our own self-images and not overly concerned with the opinions of others? Why be tempted to put down others when we are contented in who we are - and do not need to build ourselves up by pushing others down?

    Temptation, a way to spiritual maturity? Think about it.
  • Facing the Truth

    Facing the Truth


    Once you know the truth you can stomach all sorts of lies.

    It’s what gives us patience with the sticky-fingered four year old who swears up and down he hasn’t taken a sweet before dinner.
    It’s what helps us write off the 10-spot we just gave the homeless person who promises he will pay us back next week.
    And it’s why we root for the Lions but bet on the Bears.

    Once you know the truth you can stomach all sorts of lies.

    The inherent problem, of course, is recognizing the truth-
    We are such doubters-
    -and our biggest accuser stares out at us, with groggy eyes, every morning in the mirror.
    “Does he still love me?” asks the worried wife of 30 years when her husband goes through one of his typical phases of spousal inattention.

    “Could it be the big C?” we ask ourselves as we probe the small, sub dermal lump beneath the dripping shower head. Most lumps are benign, and this one probably is too, but we veil the truths of probability and statistics behind illogical clouds of festering doubt that keep us from keeping our heads.

    We need truth.
    We need to be reminded.
    We need to jog our memories.
    We need to beat ourselves over our heads with it.

    For once you know the truth you can stomach all sorts of lies.

    The big hullabaloo on Mt. Hermon, as it is known today in modern Syria-
    -was just that sort of event.
    The Transfiguration (this Sunday’s gospel reading) was stark truth.
    It was awesome. It was astounding. It was unveiled, unadulterated, and absolutely terrifying.
    It was staged for those closest to Jesus and meant to show them the truth.
    Because in the days ahead they would be beating back all sorts of lies.

    How do we understand this truth?
    How might we begin to shun the lies?
    How can we walk more intentionally in truth?
  • Spiritual Obesity

    Spiritual Obesity


    Early Christians were often labeled by their critics as incestuous, because they called one another 'brother and sister,' atheistic, because they worshiped a god who was invisible, and cannibalistic, because they insisted they were eating the body and blood of a dead person.

    This last criticism is rooted in St. John's quoting Jesus and a lengthy discourse on the subject which asserts, "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them." (6:56) Without touching on the centuries old debate regarding the literal meanings suggested here, we do well to consider the subject metaphorically. For what we consume, consumes us.

    Like the four food groups, we might sort the Christian endeavor into four basic groups: prayer, work, study and entertainment. And, using the diagram above, we do well to order our portions accordingly; prayer being the foundation upon which the Christian life thrives, work being the carrying out of our vocation inside and outside the home, study being that which informs and moves us further toward maturity, and entertainment, that which feeds the imagination and fulfills the artist in us all.

    As we all know the age-old presence of evil continually seeks to turn this pyramid upside down, and successfully so in North America - compare the amount of time the average American spends watching television vs. praying. This is not meant to shame or embarrass us, but to stir us up and encourage us to live the devoted lives we want to live.

    Pause for a moment and ask: what does your 'food pyramid' look like?
    What can you do to change it?
  • Mother In Law Jokes

    Mother In Law Jokes


    Q: Why do they bury mothers-in-law 18 feet down, when everyone else is buried 6 feet down?
    A: Because, deep down, they really are very nice people.

    Q: What is the ideal weight for a MIL?
    A: About 2.3lbs, including the urn.

    “I bought my MIL a chair for Christmas, but she wouldn't plug it in.”


    We’ve all heard the jokes (you can thank me later for not featuring ones more coarse than these), and we can thank St. Mark for reminding us that this sort of humor is more than just a byproduct of modernity.

    This Sunday we observe Mark as he chooses to tell us about a very special healing. Right after he tells us how Jesus healed a demon-possessed soul, and right before Jesus heals a leper, we learn that the Son of God heals a mother-in-law.

    But, of course, this is more than just an ancient joke.

    You and I remember the societal basement women occupied in Jesus’ day – their status came solely through relationships with men. Women, like lepers, were relegated to the outer courts of the temple. And a wife or a mother might have some importance, depending on the importance of a son or husband, but to think she would be known through her son in law?

    With all of the ill people pounding on Jesus’ door for help- the rich man’s son, the mayor’s nephew, not to mention the multitudes that could never make it to see him – why would Jesus even bother with someone’s mother in law?

    For those contented with the status quo, who wanted a Messiah who would preserve the present world order, who were happy with a God who blessed a the rich and powerful and shoved aside the poor and most vulnerable, we see that Jesus came to take the world in a different direction.

    From the start Mark seems to tell us that the joke was on them.
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    ADDRESS

    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA

    EMAIL

    chris@stdavidssf.org

    TELEPHONE

    +011 248-557-5430