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
  • Spoiler Alert: Jesus Wins!

    Spoiler Alert: Jesus Wins!



    Two escaped slaves huddled together in front of a small campfire - as the full moon greeted the chilly sky and their night's work lay before them. Stealing away, across field and forest, and the checkerboard of safe havens called 'The Underground Railroad' that would take these fugitives to freedom. The words of Sister Harriet carried them through; 'If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going.  Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

    The Gospel reading on the first Sunday of Advent always gives us a snapshot of the apocalypse - or the 'last days' - where similar images of quest, danger, risk, and reward play out. Matthew’s version (24:36-44), that we get this year, compares these times with the days of Noah - a righteous man told to prepare for a flood, which would wipe away the sinfulness of humanity. The world stood idly by as Noah built his boat, and even once it started raining no one believed. But Noah knew what was coming, and salvation awaited him and his family.

    ‘Why do you go to church?’ is a question I’ve been asked. And my answer is, quite simply, because, like Noah, I know what’s coming. I know where the world is going and who’s in charge of it all. That’s why I pray, that’s why I read the Bible, that’s why I not only go to church, but support the church. I try to live life with the end in mind, not living in fear but in faith. Temptations to live differently abound. Temptations to cut corners, stretch the truth, and do way too much out of my own self-interest. But the words of this passage - to keep awake and be ready come to my aid, sometimes through the words of Sister Harriet; when you hear the dogs, keep going. When you see the torches in the woods, keep going. Never stop, but know that a taste of heaven lies ahead, keep going.

    Reading
    The History of the Book of Common Prayer - Percy Dearmer
    The Sorrows and Pleasures of Work - Alain de Botton
    Healing Light- Agnes Sanford
  • Christ the King

    Christ the King



    One of the ironies of the Christian faith is that the One who was born in a manger, claimed no earthly wealth or position, and died a criminal’s death, is frequently known by a title He neither requested, sought, nor claimed: King of Kings.

    This Sunday Christians around the world will commemorate the various ways Christ’s Lordship is remembered, as King of Israel, (John 1:49), King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11), King of Ages (1 Tim 6:15), and King Eternal (1 Tim 1:17).  Formalized by the Pope in 1925, as the Church’s reminder to earthly rulers of the Lord’s preeminence, this Sunday, Christ the King Sunday, reminds us of the ways God desires to rule in our lives today.

    And despite the continued success of Christianity, which has been described as the largest, most vibrant faith in the world and is expected to continue growing, we are wise to point out that the reason behind the royal title is not wealth, power, bragging rights, or the prospect of world domination: but just the opposite, Christianity flourishes as it bows its knee in service. Christ is King because Christ loves, sacrifices, and gives all of himself for the sake of the world.

    This week, in rainy West Cornwall, Connecticut, a conference with Episcopal clergy, played host to a renowned theologian, who reminded us of the preeminence of this love and sacrifice.  Yale University’s Miroslav Volf says the most powerful way to preach Christianity is not by well-worded arguments, but by generous living.  The kingship of Christ is found in the ways His followers imitate Jesus by giving freely of themselves.  Christians live out this kingship when they decide not to pursue the love of pleasure, but to seek the pleasure of love.

    Not long ago a group of people was given $50 to spend on themselves, a second group was given $50 to spend on others.  Researchers measured their satisfaction and found those who shopped for others came out happier.  We’re not surprised that when we give, when we sacrifice, we are better off, we are happier, we become more of who we were created to be: heirs of a king, who is high and lifted up, only after coming low and bowing down.  May we seek out and find ways that we can do the same.

    Reading
    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - Alain de Botton
    God is Back - John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridg
    Radical - David Platt
  • It Gets Better

    It Gets Better


    One of the more inspiring movements that’s been sparked by current events surrounding teen suicide and bullying has been the ‘It Gets Better Project’ – a venture that features short videos by famous and not so famous people who struggled with their gender identity (www.itgetsbetterproject.com) and want to encourage vulnerable young people who are hurting.

    Many of these confessional video biographies are highly emotional as they recount stories of persecution, harassment, suicide attempts, confrontations with family members, and deep, dark depression.  However, the message is clear, that despite the torment of the student years - there is a light at the end of the tunnel, life is worth living, it gets better.

    Jesus often talked about persecution and harassment – like in this week’s Gospel reading from Luke 21.  Jesus warned those who followed Him that a big part of the journey involved going against the grain, being singled out, and persecuted.  We here in the comfy and civilized West, can have a hard time relating to these stories – as the only times we hear about serious religious persecution seem to come from far away places.

    While it’s encouraging to think that modern society has evolved to a place of civil, religious tolerance – we can’t help but ponder the criticism Jesus’ words inspire: that the problem with Christianity today is that no one wants to persecute us.  Standing up for the oppressed, the hurting, the starving, the marginalized – confronting economic systems and powers that make more people poor than rich, favor those who have enough, and take away from those who have too little – is controversial, unpopular, and uncomfortable stuff.

    But if those who follow Jesus make their central goal avoiding persecution, can’t we also ask ourselves: how well are we really following Jesus?

    In what ways are we being called to go against the grain, confront the powers that marginalize, stand up to bullies, and endure for the sake of what’s right – the cross?  Jesus never said that following Him would be easy – but just the opposite - He promised us pain and heartache, when we do it right.  But He also promised He would be with us, He would help us, and that we should never, ever forget, that the persecution doesn’t last forever - it gets better.

    Reading
    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work – Alaine de Botton
    Changing the Conversation – Anthony B. Robinson
    Strength for the Journey – Peter Gomes
  • All Saints Rising

    All Saints Rising

    After buying tickets months in advance, getting to the show early, then waiting in line for half an hour to get in – that cringe of angst comes over us when the usher says, ‘Tickets please’ – and we suddenly remember that we left them on the dresser.  We can’t get in.  The drive home and back is too long. And there we are, stuck outside the doors we’d planned on being on the other side of - for months.

    That’s how the most famous words of Jesus, the Beatitudes, often leave me.  When I hear them, ‘Blessed are the poor, for yours is the Kingdom, Blessed are the hungry, for you will be filled,’ etc., I can’t help but think that they don’t fit - what’s needed to get in, I just don’t have – and it’s much too late for me to acquire it.

    Many Western Christians feel this guilt, shame, and remorse – even though most of our circumstances were and are dictated by factors beyond our control.  We beat ourselves up for not suffering more - for not being, poor, sorrowful, meek, and humble.  Or we simply avoid thinking about it figuring that if we just live the best lives we can, we’ll be OK.  We tend to take these harsh words as prescriptive of what we need to do to be God’s blessed people – but perhaps what we should be doing is looking at these words as descriptive instead: the Beatitudes tell us who God is and what heaven’s like.  Both are accepting and comforting of those most in need – neither forgetting nor abandoning anyone at the end of life’s rope.  Also, both are condemning, in the harshest of terms, of the hoarding, self-centered and uncharitable.

    If they’re descriptive at all, the Beatitudes reinforce Jesus’ main understanding of who Christians are: Those who trust their lives and well being to loving and serving God and others over the long haul – as opposed to resting their hopes in the self-interested and short-lived gains of the present world.  One of modern Christendom’s biggest challenges is getting over the guilt - of privilege, prosperity, and affluence - and getting on with the work we’re called to do.  It’s about seeing the big picture.  It’s about getting our minds on heaven.  How might we put aside the guilt and embrace the call to follow Christ more sincerely and completely?

    Reading
    The Joys and Sorrows of Work – Alain de Botton
    Radical – David Platt
    Strength for the Journey – Peter Gomes
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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