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
  • Breaking Out

    Breaking Out

    What’s holding us back?
    What’s keeping us from moving?
    What’s preventing us from discovering, reaching beyond, and breaking out?

    There’s that flash of light.
    It’s got our attention, even for a moment.
    But it’s only a flash in the middle of the day - so quickly washed away and enveloped in the brighter lights that surround us.

    So must it have been for Zacchaeus - that flash of light came to him.
    But he did not let it go.
    He would not let it go.
    He dropped everything to move toward that light, and allow it to envelop him.

    So Zacchaeus hurried up a tree.
    He hurried down a tree.
    He gave half his money to the poor.
    He paid back the people he’d ripped off.
    Jesus said salvation had come to his house.
    Jesus had sent His light - and Zacchaeus let nothing in the world prevent him from finding it.

    Jesus is still sending His light.
    Every now and then it gets our attention.
    It’s a flash in the middle of the day - that can be so quickly washed away.
    But its desire is to be so much more.
    It wants to envelop us – to fill us so completely with all the things for which we most deeply yearn.
    It wants to make all the other lights around us become darkness.

    What’s holding us back?
    What’s keeping us from moving?
    What’s preventing us from discovering, reaching beyond, and breaking out?

    Reimagining Detroit - John Gallagher
    Unbinding the Gospel - Reese
    God is Not Great - Hitchens
  • Lord Have Mercy

    Lord Have Mercy

           It doesn’t take long before the new guy in the office to become the
    center of attention.  Some people will talk about how handsome he is
    or isn’t.  Some people will talk about how smart he is or isn’t.  Some
    people will engage in endless banter on the ties he wears, the lunches
    he brings, or the looks he gives the receptionist.  We will make
    conscious or unconscious comparisons between him and us as we seek to
    win the approval of peers – the lower our self-esteem, the more
    critical we can be.  It is the condemnation of others for the shoring
    up of ourselves.  It is the foundation and the joy of gossip.

           As we all know, our shared tendency to define ourselves by defining
    others is as destructive as it is unhealthy.  It drives lepers into
    colonies and gay teens to suicide - it is at the heart of bullying.
    And at the center of this imprudent behavior can be a theological
    conviction – that shapes the way we see the world.

           In Luke 18 we hear the parable of a proud religious man who goes
    into the temple to pray.  He says, ‘God I thank you that I am not like
    other people; thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like that tax
    collector’ – for in another part of the temple stood a tax man, who
    was also praying – but whose prayer contrasted quite starkly with the
    religious man’s.  All the taxman would say was, ‘God, be merciful to
    me, a sinner!’

           Jesus uses this story to say that the tax collector, not the
    religious man, was in the right.  We notice this man who refused to
    use comparisons or put downs, or push himself up by beating others
    down.  Instead he centered his attentions on his own shortcomings and

           As we talked about last week, it’s been said that there are two
    types of prayer, ‘help’ and ‘thanks!’  However, here, Jesus reminds us
    of a third, which may be more difficult, more important, and not
    insignificant to the challenges Christians face today it’s the prayer:
    ‘Lord, have mercy.’  In a culture cacophonous with judgmental voices,
    especially religious ones – we do well to remind ourselves that the
    heart of Christianity is a gift – not discovered or improved upon by
    our own activities – but by contrite recognition of our own
    shortcomings before God.  There is no reward in our feelings of
    superiority, only in the discovery of God’s inconceivable mercy.

           In what ways do we judge, gossip, and seek to put ourselves above
    others?  Why do we do it?  And how can we make the prayer, ‘Lord have
    mercy’ – our prayer?

    The Sins of Scripture - John Spong
    Reimagining Detroit - John Gallagher
    A Stroke of Genius - Jill Bolte Taylor
  • Prayer


    They say there are two kinds of prayer: ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ and ‘Oh God, Help!’ The former bursts forth on those rare occasions of unbounded glee, the latter comes out during those hopefully rare moments of white-knuckle peril. When we’re honest with ourselves, many of us don’t spend near enough time between these two extremes doing what Jesus seems to expect from His followers in Luke 18 – that they, ‘pray always and not lose heart.’

    Luke, more than any other Gospel writer tells us about prayer – about how we’re supposed to do it all the time and believe in its unwavering efficacy – if for no other reason, because Jesus did it – sometimes all night, and sometimes to the point of sweating blood. But how, and why do we moderns, who spend most of our waking hours working, driving, parenting, worrying, and generally trying to keep up with life, ‘pray always and never lose heart?’

    Certainly Jesus didn’t expect us to take this literally, lest Christianity become a religion of hermits – or very bad drivers. What Jesus may have been getting at is that prayer is not so much an activity, as it is an attitude – an attitude that is formed by God when we spend time contemplating the mysteries, meditating on the promises, and simply talking to the One person who always wants to listen.

    This doesn’t have to be done with formal liturgies, on kneelers, or even in quiet places. God knows we can pay attention to ball games in bars, certainly we can think about the Lord as our Shepherd in the subway. Jesus stresses the importance of prayer because it’s good for us. It reminds us of who’s in charge, who will take our burdens, and where life is ultimately destined to go. When we pray we remind ourselves, and God, or our positions in life – as the Lover and the Beloved – and how we’ve been made channels of that affection for all that surrounds us. These are the things that matter. This is why Jesus wants us to do it more often. Let’s take a moment this week and figure out a way to make prayer a more central part of our lives.

    Enough – Adam Hamilton
    Sins of Scripture – John Spong
    Radical – David Platt
  • Hospitality


    Churches can think they're doing a great job at being hospitable, when, many times, they're not. Here's a parable, set in a coffee shop, urging us to be more mindful of our visitors.

    Enough - Adam Hamilton
    The Book of God - Walter Wanergin
    Radical - David Platt
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430