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.


Contact Details

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

  • +011 248-557-5430


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.


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.

U.S. Guns Produced Today
Americans Accidentally Killed Today
Homeless Americans
Weddings Performed
  • When God Doesn’t Act The Way God’s Supposed To

    When God Doesn’t Act The Way God’s Supposed To

    “I didn’t get the job I deserved.”
    “I didn’t get the car I wanted.”
    “I didn’t get the marriage I prayed for.”
    “And I have been an honest person - law-abiding and God-fearing – yet few of the things I wanted out of life have come my way.”
    “Why, God, don’t you do what you’re supposed to do?”

    After all, what God is ‘supposed to do’ probably dominates our reasonings more than we suspect. Most of us live with an unspoken quid pro quo that if we live decent lives God acts decently toward us. God takes care of the poor and ailing, provides awesome sunsets on starless nights and keeps my family and me relatively safe and healthy because that’s just how God deals with good folk like me.

    However, every once in a while, usually in the most painful times of our lives, our idea that God’s ways are limited to our expectations, simply blows up in our faces. An earthquake, a recession, an untimely death – these are just a few of the things that can turn our theologies into skeletons and leave us vacant and vulnerable.

    When these things happen our first reaction is usually anger. I remember when a relative was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many in our family were mad. Maybe it was simply anger at the circumstances, but it certainly bled over into our understanding of God. Some of us stopped praying and stopped going to church. We were simply unable to face God until God ‘fixed it.’

    Thankfully, God did fix it, and we all returned to our normal routines. But not before taking a deeper look at the roots of our anger, trying to understand why God acting outside of our predetermined frameworks, could make us so upset.

    Of course, we’re not the first ones to feel this way. In this weekend’s Gospel reading we will hear fierce anger directed at Jesus by his hometown friends when they discovered that he wasn’t the Messiah they thought he should be. Their anger nearly turned deadly had Jesus allowed it.

    And so we ask: How has God defied our expectations? Are we angry about it? Should we be? The secret to living a peaceful life is resisting the urge to put our expectations on the Lord and being open to what each new day and discovery might bring.

    Missional Renaissance – Reggie McNeal
    Advanced Strategic Planning – Aubrey Malphurs
    Peter Gomes - Sermons
  • Dream Come True

    Dream Come True

    "And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down... Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4

    The Scripture in question is Isaiah's dream for Israel, the Gentiles and the world. I like to think it's my dream too.

    I dream about sitting in my library, relaxing in my favorite upholstered chair - looking out at the snow-covered back yard as the flakes gently fall, and I quietly sip from my extra-large, piping hot mug of premium, home-made hot chocolate. It’s creamy and frothy and made from chocolate nibs imported from Spain, and I savor every sip, from the lip burning first to the lukewarm last.

    And my dream is this: I want to sip that hot chocolate knowing that there’s not a man or a woman on the face of the earth who can’t have the same hot chocolate. I want to savor that hot cocoa with the peace of mind of knowing that there’s not a sick person in the world who has been forgotten, unable to receive life-giving medicine, and who has easy access to affordable, high quality medical care.

    I want to enjoy that hot chocolate knowing that every innocent civilian living in war zones where bombs are dropping, bullets are flying and terrorists are threatening every minute of their lives. I want to know that these innocent families have been whisked away to an oasis where their doors can go unlocked, their pantries are full, and their children merrily prance through deep green meadows.

    I want to sip that hot cocoa knowing that every stray animal has a loving place to call home - where the violence of abusive caretakers is no more, where a place to sleep is no longer found on the mean streets, and where the threat of being impounded or worse, has vanished.

    I want to savor that toasty mug of hot chocolate knowing that there is not a parched tongue in Haiti - that there is not a re-built building that can ever tumble again - that there is not an orphaned child who has not been vaccinated, educated, ice-creamed, and bed-time kissed before she lays her head down on clean, crisp, cotton sheets for the night. (Peter Laarman)

    And I want to know all of this with such assurance that for the time it takes me to drink my hot chocolate I don’t need to have a thought about anything or anyone except the cooling mug in my warm hand and the person with whom I’ve chosen to enjoy it.

    The 'already but not yet' of Isaiah's (and my!) dream has seen its fruition in Jesus, but it looks for its fulfillment in you and me.
    What are we doing to make our dreams come true?

    Advanced Strategic Planning - Aubrey Malphurs
    How (Not) to Speak to God - Peter Rollins
    A Letter of Consolation - Henri Nouwen
  • Helping Haiti

    Helping Haiti

    The biggest natural disaster of the year has hit the country least prepared to handle it.

    Thousands of makeshift homes held together more by faith than proper building materials, simply collapsed at the 7.0 force, slid down mountains or were buried by bigger buildings. The country’s punishing, tire tantrum roads means relief work will be tough. Already spotty water, electric and phone service will make things even worse. Given the nation’s M.I.A. government and authority structures, we’ll probably never know exactly how many people were hurt or injured in this massive tragedy.

    Poor, poor Haiti will spend weeks, even months digging out of 60-seconds of earth shaking. And many will ask, ‘What did this island nation do to deserve this? How could the Lord simply stand by and watch as so many innocent people cried out in pain and suffering? Where was God?’

    Well, according to this Sunday’s Gospel reading, God was at the bar.

    More precisely, and not to be even more flippant, the Lord was tending to another disaster. Sure, it was of much smaller proportion. Running out of wine at a wedding was a social faux pas that, at worst, could lead to communal ostracism and removal from some rather important Christmas card lists - but surely not to loss of life or limb as we are seeing on Hispaniola. This Sunday we will hear that familiar tale of the Cana miracle and remind ourselves that in the face of disaster the Lord is not one to hide or duck out of sight, but is always first in line to spring into action with care, compassion and remedy.

    After all, why did the hosts run out of wine in the first place? Were they cheapskates? Did an unexpected heat wave make people drink more than planned? Did Vince Vaughn bring a band of wedding crashers? All we know is that the party was rocking, and the guests needed more wine. Why poor Haiti, which finds itself ever so unfortunately located at the intersection of Hurricane Alley and Fault Line Way, continues its uphill battle with mere survival, we can only venture theories.

    However we do know that, as so many of us have seen time and time again, Jesus is surely among the first on the scene with a shovel, pickax, band-aid and bottle of clean water. The Incarnation is not the tale of a passive, inactive God. It is the story of One who cares enough to come here and do something, walking by example, healing, raising up, and casting out. And in His physical absence, you and I have been asked to take up the slack. For His hands and feet are our hands and feet. Please give to the charity of your choice and come to the aid of those hurting most. ( is taking donations for the people of Haiti on its home page. Churches are often much more efficient at disbursing aid in disasters because they already have the buildings and relationships)

    God of compassion and might, who knows how fragile this life is, give all those harmed by this earthquake the knowledge of your abiding presence. Bring healing and consolation to all who suffer, especially ________. Give us faith and courage as we witness the devastation of the rumbling earth and inspire us to take action. This we ask through the One who knows well both pain and death, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
  • Lightbulb


    A friend of mine tells the story of his good buddy Lightbulb.
    Lightbulb had a place in the middle of the room where he shone and shone and shone. Every day dozens of people came around him to do important things and to seek the illumination offered by his presence. Lightbulb was also very conceited. He knew he was warm and bright, and he took pride in the very important role he was playing in the world.

    One day someone came to Lightbulb, unscrewed him, and placed him on the table, where he lay, cold and black. Try as he could, Lightbulb could not generate even a spark of illumination. Despite all of his efforts, Lightbulb could not find a way back to the socket where he had spent so many glorious hours. And with every attempt he would make to roll himself off of the table Lightbulb came closer and closer to falling off the edge and destroying himself.

    Poor Lightbulb! He didn’t understand that his capability to illuminate had not come from himself, but from the wires and circuits in the ceiling and the power plant across town. How much more at peace he would have been had he realized that the light he had been able to generate was not his own, but came from a much greater source.

    In today’s Daily Reading Jesus says, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) This light, that comes through us in a myriad of ways, from our health to our wealth to our gifts of many, many talents, always tempts us toward pride. How often we puff out our chests at a compliment, think more of ourselves because of the accolades of others, and even think of ourselves as better than others because of the ways this Light comes through us.

    But this light is not of our own making. Every talent, every possession, every second on earth is a gift. Unearned. Undeserved. Unbelievable. Think of one thing that you take pride in. Now trace that talent back to the source. In what ways can we acknowledge that source, give it back to the Lord and accept His peace?

    A Letter of Consolation – Henri Nouwen
    When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
    The Great Awakening – Jim Wallis
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430