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.

0
U.S. Guns Produced Today
0
Americans Accidentally Killed Today
0
Homeless Americans
0
Weddings Performed
  • The Jitters

    The Jitters


    It’s one of the distinctive traits of many animals, specifically sheep, whose top-heavy coats and lack of any real defensive qualities (strong jaws, sharp claws, speed…) seem to make everyday life one big worry, observable by even the most casual observer. And truth be told, sheep aren’t the only animals whose trepidation and anxiety over food, shelter and safety tend to dominate their countenance. “We, like sheep…” goes the Handel oratorio, reminding us, as Isaiah, its inspiration more fully describes, that the jitters are an integral part of the human condition.

    When we break down the things that trouble us most we may find, as the main character in Andy Andrews ‘The Noticer” puts it; “Forty percent of the things you worry about will never occur… Thirty percent of the things you worry about are things that have already happened… Twelve percent of all worries have to do with needless imaginings about health… Ten percent would be petty little nothing worries about what other people think… So if the math is right that leaves eight percent… eight percent for legitimate concerns… these legitimate concerns that can actually be dealt with. Most people spend so much time fearing the things that are never going to happen or can’t be controlled that they have no energy to deal with the few things they can actually handle.”

    The constant presence of the jitters may be one reason why the first and most popular characterization of Jesus was that of a shepherd, as the earliest catacomb art suggests (see above, 250CE, Rome). And while Jesus’ image has gone through a gauntlet of interpretations through two millennia (The Rabbi- 1st Century, King of Kings-4th Century, The Liberator-20th Century, etc. [see Jaroslav Pelikan ‘Jesus Through the Centuries]), the pervasive representation of Christ as one who tends, cares, and knows us as a shepherd knows his flock, continues to comfort, bring relief and inspire the sheep.

    This image of the shepherd (John 10:11-18, this Sunday's Gospel reading) suggests that Jesus is fully invested in us. He does not care for us casually or lightly, but deeply and intimately. His love for us is not something based on personal gain - which is why it is so hard for us to understand. God loves us because God IS love. God does not expect to get anything out of us - rather he seems to exist to do nothing other than to love us.

    The question for us is, and always will be, how do we respond?
    In fact, the most important question that hits us as each morning as we get up out of bed is this: how will I respond to God’s love today?

    How will you?
  • Build Your Own Church

    Build Your Own Church


    Tired of the crowded church parking lot?
    Build your own.
    Read how this couple did it.
    (Thanks to Maggi for the link)
  • Can We Believe It?

    Can We Believe It?


    First they hear it from their friends.
    Next they hear it from The Source.
    Finally they hear it from their most sacred text.
    And they still don’t believe it.

    “Jesus has risen!” say their best buds (from next Sunday’s Gospel Luke 34:26-48).
    “Look at my hands, my feet, see that it is myself,” says the Christ.
    Examine the Scriptures, is the final instruction.
    And finally they do get it.
    But only after Jesus spent a whole lot of time and effort trying to convince his closest friends that he was who he said he was.

    Then, as is now, Jesus continues to spend a whole lot of time and effort trying to convince his closest friends that he is who he says he is.

    We just don’t seem to be able to wrap our heads around the truths that Jesus continues to communicate to us regarding who we are and who he is.
    Sure, we buy into the elemental convictions that define Christians, but what about the more difficult truths?

    Do we have any idea how much God loves us?
    Psalm 18 says, the Lord “…delights in me.”
    Do we have any idea how forgiven we are?
    Luke 24 says declaring repentance and forgiveness was the disciples’ first job.
    Do we have any idea how everything that has, is, and will ever happen to us is not only known but served amidst the clamoring of the house band’s ever-new rendition of ‘All Right Now’? Here's a cool rendition from the archives...



    This last one seems to be the most challenging.
    We are constantly worried.
    Anxiety levels have never been higher.
    Since stress is the number one cause of cancer, this is literally killing us.

    So, while keeping in mind that faith is not just a noun, but a verb, here are a few tips that may help us believe more fully in the promises of the resurrected Christ:

    Cultivating a Spirit of Hope in Tough Economic Times

    1. Clear out the media clutter. Turn off the TV. Don’t read every newspaper. Cut off the radio. We are inundated with far more influences than we need pay attention to. Get in the habit of filtering and editing the media clutter. Why not give silence a try on the ride home?
    2. Connect with God. Are we reading inspirational books? Are we cultivating our prayer time? When was the last time we went on a retreat? We were created to connect with God. We are sure God is talking, but how well are we listening?
    3. Tend to our bodies. Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and eat right. It’s hard to be hopeful when we’re tired, ill or just plain out of shape. These are some of the most important things we can do to keep our spirits up. We always feel proud of ourselves when we’ve taken care of our bodies, and are often rewarded with more energy and sharper focus.
    4. Go to church. The Good Book reminds us that good company inspires good morals. If we want to do the next right thing, let’s hang around people who share the same goals. Going to church connects us with a caring community of people who love us for who we are not what we do. We need to be constantly reminded that there is purpose to our lives and that nothing happens by accident.

    Check out these blogs:
    www.michaelhyatt.com
    www.brianmcclaren.com
    www.shanehipps.com
  • Got Faith?

    Got Faith?


    Eastertide, and especially this Sunday’s gospel about Jesus’ encounter with the infamous ‘doubting’ Thomas (wouldn’t a better adjective be ‘believing’ Thomas?), brings up very personal questions regarding our understandings of faith.

    John Westerhoff III describes our faith journeys in a way I’ve found helpful. Using four stages, through which we constantly move in and out as we grow older, see if you can see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to go:

    1. Experienced faith – this is the faith of a child imitating prayers, like the ‘Our Father.’ There is very little or no understanding of what’s going on.
    2. Affilliative faith – this is the faith of an older child or teen who, plays along with the crowd because, ‘that’s just what we do,’ like youth group affiliation, even church membership. It is still centered on imitation although there may be a little understanding of what’s happening.
    3. Searching faith – this usually hits in late adolescence or early adulthood when the question is sincerely asked, ‘What do I believe?’
    4. Owned faith – early or late adulthood, if at all. This is where Thomas ended up when he declared, ‘my Lord and my God.’ It is an adult articulation of one’s beliefs about human existence in relation to God and Creation.

    If you see a little bit of yourself in each stage, relax, that’s normal. We all divide our faith between the four. However we are wise to recognize the progressive nature of these stages. We are to move toward an ‘owned faith’ where our journeys become more and more centered on plumbing the depths of what calling Jesus ‘Lord’ is really all about.

    Eastertide asks us to ponder the breadth of Thomas’ confession and its ramifications. How much of our faith do we ‘own?’ Are we content simply affiliating, going along for the ride and avoiding the difficult questions of commitment, personal sacrifice and ownership? How does calling Jesus ‘Lord’ affect various aspects of our lives, for example; our personal finances, neighborhood and community involvement, job (vocation) and family relationships?

    Resources
    ‘Will Our Children Have Faith? – John Westerhoff III
    ‘Stages of Faith’ – James Fowler
  • In the Dark We See the Light

    In the Dark We See the Light


    Candles don’t work real well during the day.
    Matches used to light candles don’t get used too much during the day.
    Lighting a candle in broad daylight is rather a waste.
    It always helps to turn off a light… or two… or three… or more
    Light can only do its job if it’s got a little bit of darkness to play around with-
    -if it can swim steadily in a pond of no other illumination.

    Holy Week, Palm Sunday (this Sunday)…
    … are times of darkness.
    Intentional darkness…
    …when you and I deliberately face the darkness so that we can see the light.

    We never have to go far to find the darkness.
    It comes from every direction-
    -and we avoid its stare as a matter of course.
    Which is why the Church has Holy Week.
    We face the darkness so that we might see the light.
    We deal best with the darkness, not by avoiding it, or pretending it’s not there but by facing it squarely.

    It is the darkness of our own hypocrisy.
    ‘Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to the Son of David’ we cry, moments before this:
    ‘What do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?" Pilate asked.
    "Crucify him!" we shout back.

    I am constantly amazed at my own ability to change allegiances at the drop of a hat.
    I am astounded at my own sinful proclivity to say one thing and do exactly the opposite.
    I am amazed at my own ability to promote and inhabit the darkness.

    Yet Holy Week is not ultimately about darkness-
    -it is about the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
    Holy Week ends in unimaginable light.
    Holy Week ends in a hope and happiness that is better than we could ever dream.

    Holy Week is about finding the light-
    Rediscovering it anew, turning to it and turning everything over to it.
    What can I do to get there?
    Why not walk through Holy Week at your local church?
    There are few better avenues to draw nigh unto God.
  • Total Pageviews

    Search This Blog

    Blog Archive

    Powered by Blogger.
    ADDRESS

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

    EMAIL

    chris@stdavidssf.org

    TELEPHONE

    +011 248-557-5430