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
  • Merging

    Merging


    When Michigan drivers head up north on I-75 and see that flashing yellow merge arrow, most everyone moves over and forms a single file line. This, even though traffic engineers have determined that if everyone stayed put and gently merged at the point of obstruction the time it would take to pass could be drastically reduced. Sure, engineers have tried, with huge signs, 'Merge AT THE ARROW' but Michigan drivers, in fact, American drivers, are much more swayed by their ingrained sensibilities to form a cue as quickly as possible (and coerce others to do this as well) even if there is no traffic law governing this. It is clear that the rules that govern merging traffic on our freeways have less to do with the most efficient way of getting us from Point A to Point B, and much more to do with upholding shared societal rules of right behavior.

    And this is what puts you and me in the same boat with our friends the Pharisees in Sunday's gospel reading.

    This is where we hear the most important of St. Mark's 'purity' texts, as Jesus goes head to head with the Jewish elite regarding food purity. He and the disciples have just ordered a meal at McDonald's, forgotten to wash their hands and say the blessing, when they get called out as ungodly people because they don't obey, 'the traditions of the elders.'

    For their part, these Pharisees understood these traditions not as an attempt to bury the commands of God in trivia, but to apply the torah to every facet of life. They were as well-intentioned as every Michigan driver that gets over as soon as the flashing merger arrow appears. And they were as judgmental as those drivers who always play cop and block other drivers from using the open lane. And they found, as we do, that sometimes our dogged determination to follow all the rules has us missing out on what those rules were established to do: make our lives more fulfilling, spread love and compassion on the earth, and ultimately bring us closer to God.

    This exchange reminds us that Jesus came to announce the end of religion (humanity's attempt to find God) and the arrival of love (God's attempt to find us). And loves means reserving judgment, walking in humility and being very long on compassion, which is in stark contrast to what rule-making can do to us. In what ways do we put rule and ritual before basic love for ourselves and others?

    Reading:
    The Four Hour Work Week -Timothy Ferriss
    The Art of Being Together - Francis Wade
    A Passion for the Possible - Wm Sloane Coffin
  • The Birth of a Son

    The Birth of a Son


    For the few who have asked and the little one who might one day inquire, here is a brief account of that most joyous of August days on which James Christopher, still tucked safely inside mother's womb, decided it was time for a jail break.

    After a restless night with a restless belly, mom awakened dad and they headed to the hospital where the doctor declared that six days past 40 weeks was long enough. In short order mom was hooked up to an IV that ensured an imminent delivery, surely by the evening of this feast day of Jeremy Taylor, a 17th century English theologian, intellectual and writer whose best-known work is entitled 'Holy Living, Holy Dying,' which not inappropriately would describe mom's impending experience.

    Mom and dad spent this warm day in Room 17, a sun-drenched space, complete with a veteran nurse named Pattie. We were soon joined by a man with a very long needle named Dr. Mansfield whose meticulous aim and precise prescription momentarily speared away the Legion that had been tormenting mom's tummy. Outside our window, Woodward Avenue weighed heavy with one million vintage cars, drivers, spectators, noisemakers and lookie-loos on Detroit's annual 'Dream Cruise' weekend. A few miles down the road, between Six and Seven Mile, the stretch outside our neighborhood, the mayor unveiled some nifty spray paint on the roadway: 'M-1' markers to signify this day as the 100 year anniversary of the first paved road in the world.

    Meanwhile we were paving the way for another anniversary. By the dinner hour we were ready to begin the hardest part of getting a little boy into a big world. Our new nurse, Carrie, cheered with all the gusto of a Big-Ten cheerleader as Room 17 swelled to capacity. Dr. Stephen Dean calmly instructed his team, mom focused with determination on the job before her, and dad stood faithfully by, his head swirling with all the emotion of a wedding day.

    At 6:52 p.m. the tender cries of a new life had everyone reaching for something; towels, scissors, sutures, note pads, ink pads, cameras and hankies. Eyebrows raised as we wondered just how random our ipod's shuffle really was as Handel's verse announced: 'For unto us a child is born.' Soon the swaddled and swollen one was passed to dad to show mom, baby's eyes searching to match unfamiliar faces with very familiar voices. His ice-cream complexion brought both tears and smiles as the nurse rendered the medical verdict: he's perfect, which we, of course, did not need anyone with any medical training to tell us.
  • I Am the Bread of Life

    I Am the Bread of Life


    In France we might share a Baquette.
    In Israel a bagel or Matzo.
    In the Philippines, Pandesal.
    Germany, Pumpernickle.
    Morocco, Pita.
    Italy, Ciabatta or Foccacia.
    Soda bread in Ireland, Challah in Damascus, before heading back to the States for Sourdough in San Fran, egg bread in Alabama, or the Midwest’s very own Wonder Bread.

    Slice it, toast it, break it or butter it, with anything from margarine to mayonnaise to Marmite (God help us…). Bread was, is, and will always be the literal and metaphorical life-sustainer, the most essential form of nourishment the world knows.

    For those with gluten allergies we’re not being literal.
    For those on low-carb diets: same thing.
    And lest anyone think Jesus had morphed into a giant poppy seed bagel as he delivered these words in John, Chapter 6, you and I are forced to ponder just what he had in mind when he continued to call himself ‘living bread.’

    Jesus… the central sustainer and life-giver of our lives.
    If this is what we’re meant to live on, then what are we doing with all that other stuff in the cupboard? Why do we feed so regularly off of fickle desires, self-centered appetites and the opinions of others? Sure, that stuff always looks good – scientists say give a chimp the choice between a banana and a Twinkie and he’ll choose the junk food every time.

    Jesus is continually asking us what we are feeding on. Are we trusting in our business acumen, market metrics, or a generally favorable gene pool? Whose expectations are we trying to meet? What does it mean to us to put aside everything else and feast on Him?

    Reading…
    Life Together – Francis Wade
    Religious Literacy –Stephen Prothero
    The Year of Living Biblically - AJ Jacobs
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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