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
  • Pentecost 2009

    Pentecost 2009


    A ruckus of babbling Jews on festival day in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago-
    Was it a caucus in the United Nations Building?
    Or at least Last Call at the bar in the basement of said building?
    After all ‘They’re drunk, they’re drunk!’ was the very first accusation.
    How else could the people we know and love, from the lakes and swamps of Michigan spout off the praises of God in the languages of Nigeria, Liberia, France, Ukraine, Germany, Armenia, Jamaica, Greece, Spain and even the British Empire-

    It’s a sign!
    It’s a wonder!
    It’s a miracle!

    That was the final conclusion, and conclusive proof that God would never be content in far away places. But God, a novena after ascending into heaven, had to come down to be close to the ones God so loves; to do the work of repairing the world that God so desperately wants done.

    Pentecost tells us that God has come to town.
    Love has come to town.
    Love that wants to get closer to you-
    And Love that you and I want to get closer to as well.

    Love that doesn’t just fill heaven and earth, or upper rooms at religious festivals, but love that fills you and me as well. For the infilling of the Holy Spirit does more than simply make us warm and fuzzy. The knowledge of God’s presence with us makes Christians confident, dynamic, assertive and charismatic, even Episcopalians, no less, aka the bland leading the bland.

    Thanks to the Holy Spirit you and I receive the Spirit’s presence in a number of different ways. We receive just the right words of wisdom to offer to the distressed that we never thought we had. We gain strength to go through adverse times, and patience through the most trying of challenges. The Holy Spirit is that presence of God that dwells with us and gives us things we commonly call intuition, inner fortitude, and especially inspiration.

    And, perhaps most importantly, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds us that we do not go through life alone. Rather, we go with God, who has promised to never leave us. How is the Holy Spirit manifest in your life? How might we make more room for the Spirit to move in and through us today and in the week ahead?
  • Weighing Anchor

    Weighing Anchor


    My church is in the midst of a three week sermon series called 'Anchor.'
    We are looking at ways we Christians respond to difficult financial struggles.
    We remind ourselves that that anchoring our lives in Christ frees us from many of the financial worries that are plaguing the world - not because we don't have these worries, but because we believe in Jesus who asks us to hand them over to him. We do this by taking a hard look at what our money means to us, and breaking it down, as Mark Allan Powell does in his excellent book 'Giving to God,' into three areas. We remind ourselves that we use our possessions as; an act of worship, an expression of our faith, and as a spiritual discipline.

    Last week we recounted primitive Old Testament worship, vestiges of which we still hold to today, that depicted the acts of the faithful who brought to the Lord from the 'first fruits' of their labors. The devoted then, as now, had a solid grasp on God's love and faithfulness toward them that had allowed them to prosper, to a degree, and accumulate crops, livestock, and other things. Thus, as an act of pure worship, these thankful souls literally brought crops and animals and other products unto the altar on a regular basis for no other reason than to simply say 'thanks.' They realized, as we do today, that 'all things come of thee O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.'

    This week we look at how we free ourselves from financial worry when we use our possessions as expressions of our faith. One of the earliest words we learn as children is 'mine.' We use it with our toys our clothes, everything. And like most every other aspect of childhood, growing up means we leave this kind of thinking behind. It takes us many years to figure out that nothing, in fact, is 'mine.' We are all stewards of what has been given to us. Like someone once remarked to me in the restroom of a bar as he described the essential nature of beer: we just rent it.
    Understanding ourselves, then, not as owners, but as renters, gives way to new understandings of how we approach possessions and charity, freeing us up to let the Landlord do the bulk of the worrying.

    Next week we will look at our possessions as tools to bring us into deeper relationship with Christ. I believe money can bring us happiness -when we give it away -by helping us anchor our lives even more securely in the heart of Jesus. Charitable giving is one of Christianity's longest-standing Spiritual Disciplines. Behavioral psychologists have shown that people who successfully delay gratification as children grow up to be more successful in life than those who are less disciplined. We know that our discipline in eating or in physical exercise can yield terrific results, helping us become the kind of people we want to be. How much more, then, do exercises in almsgiving and charity make us more of the devoted followers of Christ we long to be?

    'Cast all your cares upon me,' says our Lord, 'and I will take them.'
    How we yearn to do and believe this! May our interest in using this
    economic crisis as an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus yield great
    dividends.


    Recommended Reading:
    Giving to God - Mark Allan Powell
    A Simpler Way - Margaret Wheatly
    Transforming Scripture - Frank Wade
  • Thanks Mom!

    Thanks Mom!


    “Washington’s Birthday is for the ‘Father of our Country’; Memorial Day honors our ‘Heroic Fathers;’ Fourth of July is for our ‘Patriot Fathers;’ Labor Day is for Laboring Fathers; Thanksgiving Day remembers our ‘Pilgrim Fathers’; and even New Year’s Day looks to Old Father Time.” Where, on our patriarchal calendar, wondered devout Protestant Anna Jarvis, is there room for dear old Mom?

    Her tireless labors are well-documented, and birthed for us, less than 100 years ago the holiday we celebrate this Sunday – Mother’s Day.

    Founded in a church, nurtured in the marketplace, and now, continuing to morph in our post-modern and post-Christian society; Mother’s Day is open to all sorts of interpretations.

    Its most enduring, however, is the thanks each one of us has for the lives we have been given and our mutual conviction that we did not get here all by ourselves. Sure, some of our mothers did better jobs than others. Most probably they did the best they could, whether they gave us blissful childhoods or fell well short of what we might think is minimally acceptable motherhood. And this momentary tip of the hat we now give is emblematic of a larger issue.

    For just as there is a unique, life-giving bond between every mother and child, there is a unique, life-giving bond between every human and God.
    Our mother’s role serves to remind us not only of our sheer and utter dependence on that one-time, and for many of us, continuing bond, but of all the responsibilities that arise from that relationship-
    -and, in the context of our faith, to re-examine the bonds that exist between each one of us and our creator.

    So just as we honor our mothers, we ask ourselves how we are called to honor our God. What maternal responsibilities do we have?
    What divine responsibilities do we have?
    Let’s remember Mom with all the honor that’s due.
    Let’s remember God with all the honor that’s due.

    -----------------
    For a great history of Mother’s Day:
    Consumer Rites- Leigh Eric Schmidt
  • Swine Flu and Shared Cup

    Swine Flu and Shared Cup


    If concern about Swine Flu has you stocking up on hand sanitizers and questioning why any 21st century congregation would commend a common cup at Communion, you’re not alone. Recently Catholics and Methodists in southern Texas called for a halt to use of a shared chalice until more is known about the deadly virus.

    However using a shared cup for Communion wine, as most Episcopal congregations do, is not as hazardous as one might expect. Episcopalians use a rather strong wine, often port, which has a much higher alcohol content than table wine. In 2000 a Canadian cardiologist named David Gould studied the issue and concluded that this high alcohol content means, “For the average communicant it would seem that the risk from drinking from the common cup is probably less than the risk of air-borne infection from using a common building.”

    That said, the unknowns associated with this outbreak certainly merit reasonable cautions, and whatever your congregation’s response, it is important to keep in mind the Eucharistic theology shared by most Episcopalians. We believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and in the wine. This means embracing the new math of God’s Grace; if you consume just the consecrated bread (often the practice of alcoholics) or just the consecrated wine (as do many with gluten allergies) you are still getting all of Jesus.

    Can this be an opportunity to ponder anew what the Eucharist really means to us?
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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