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
  • Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas



    Comprehending a resurrected Jesus who walks around with open wounds and has ready access to a Star Trek ‘Transporter’ is certainly one of the biggest challenges we face as we unpack this Sunday’s Gospel.

    But the bigger challenge goes much deeper.  As we know, Christianity is not about believing 6 impossible things before breakfast, rather it’s about a living, breathing, relationship with Jesus – something that the story of Doubting Thomas tells us all about.

    After the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples were scared – locked up – fearful about what their allegiance to Christ might mean.  Would they lose their families, their jobs, their lives?  All because of Jesus?  They feared the answer was ‘yes’ – as they sat, cooped up in some safe house, tired, hungry, and desperate - trying to figure it all out.

    We all know that place.  We’ve all lived in that place.

    We modern day disciples also face the fear of going deeper with Christ.  It’s not arrest and torture that scares us, it’s the loss of those things that brings us security, comfort, and peace.  If we devote more of who we are to Jesus, will we too have to give up everything?

    Maybe the question scares us because we don’t consider the whole answer.  Christ appeared to Doubting Thomas to assure him that everything he’d heard about Jesus was true - that the powers of fear, worry, trepidation, death, and every evil force you and I can imagine, will lose.  And that hope, mercy, compassion, love, and every good and perfect word and deed that we will ever witness, wins.  The locked doors and safe houses of our minds are what Christ breaks into today to tell us that following Him may be scary, but that everything is going to me OK – that the Jesus way means that when it’s all over we will not discover that we lived our lives in vain, but that every sacrifice we’ve ever made for the sake of the cross, has been worth it

    What’s keeping us from believing today?
    What worries do we need to surrender?
    In what ways might we move past doubt and go deeper with Christ?



    The Misunderstood Jew – Amy-Jill Levine
    Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
    How They Did It – Robert Jordan
  • The Birth of a Daughter

    The Birth of a Daughter



    The Feast of Catherine's Nativity began with the not so subtle corporeal alarms that routinely awaken expectant mothers who are past their due date.  Mother was happy to have time to shower.  Father was disappointed that the early morning race to the hospital prevented a more blatant (and widely witnessed) disregard for traffic laws.

    Once at the hospital it was clear dear Catherine wanted out but a suitable exit route had not yet been established.  A walk around the premises, an infusion of medication, and the sterling perseverance of her landlord would all play important roles.  But first there was the matter of getting her untangled.  In one of Mother Nature's macabre ironies, the very cord that gives life can also threaten to take it.

    A rush of doctors, who had been remotely monitoring things, unexpectedly burst into the room.  They began manipulating the dear girl in discomfiting ways, reporting on an alarming drop in heart rate, explaining emergency surgical options, and reminding us all of the fragility of bringing a child into the world, an exercise that, in too many countries, continues to kill more women than anything else.

    Endlessly thankful for our place in the world, surrounded by the best in technology and medical training, the professionals got to work unbinding Catherine.  Even more startling than the array of dreadful outcomes that pop into one's mind at times like this is the paucity of time needed to dream them up.  Dear Catherine, however, soon decided to turn our urgent worry into needless concern when she graciously heeded the prompts, rolled over on her own, and freed things up to renew her life and ours.

    On Holy Tuesday clergy traditionally take time to be with their bishops and colleagues in an annual renewal of their ordination vows.  In preparation for the grandest feast in the Christian calendar is the idea that one's vocational identity be affirmed and renewed.  We must regularly remind ourselves of who we are called to be and what we are called to do.  What is good for priests is not a bad idea for everyone else, especially dads.

    So as Catherine squirmed and squirreled her way into the new world, and seasoned priests processed down a cathedral nave, a mom and dad were given an unforgettable reminder of their call and responsibility - to nurture, cherish, safeguard, and love the gift of a precious little girl whose bright eyes, curious hands, and delicate smile just made this the best job in the entire world.
  • Minister's Emergency Kit!

    Minister's Emergency Kit!

    It's finally here!

    You may find the Minister’s Emergency Kit helpful if you’ve ever prayed for healing for someone who died, seen someone nod off during one of your sermons, been hopelessly stranded in the Land of Unrealistic Expectations, or publicly dished out a heart-cringing spoonerism (ie “The ass is mended, go in peace”).
    Simply print out the Kit, card stock is recommended, chop into 4’s, and you’re prepared for whatever old slewfoot throws your way.

    Feel free to share this link with your minister/ministry buddies!

    Get more copies at www.chrisyaw.com.
    Thanks to Keri Smith for her awesome inspiration.  Check out her ‘Artist’s Survival Kit’ at www.kerismith.com.


    Minister's Emergency Kit
  • Why I'm Passionate About Church

    Why I'm Passionate About Church



    My wife and I recently watched a movie on the last days of Hitler.

    It showed his life in an underground bunker as he tried to keep his nihilistic vision of world domination from collapsing.  I sat awed as Hitler grew increasingly paranoid and out of touch with reality.  He refused to believe reports that his armies had been defeated.  He blamed the German people for bringing defeat on themselves.  He was so convinced of the betrayal of his officers that he spent his last days ordering the deaths of his own loyalists.

    But what was more disturbing than this was the people around him.  More than once my wife asked, ‘Why doesn’t someone just shoot him?’

    Simple.
                  
    They couldn’t.
                 
    Hitler had constructed such a complex and convincing web of reality that those closest to him refused to leave his side, and some even joined their Fuhrer in taking their own lives.  We left the film not just overcome by the unfathomable tragedy, but also utterly chilled at the impact one’s surroundings can have on otherwise sane minds.  It’s stunning to think about the impact one’s worldview, culture, and immediate relationships can have on one’s life. 

    We can be poisoned to do unspeakable evil.

    But we can be also inspired to do immeasurable good.

    While the world that surrounds us today has little in common with Germany during the War years, we do find ourselves faced with the same conviction - that the worldview we choose to embrace makes a huge difference in our lives.

    This is why I believe in the Church.
    This is why I believe churches are so important to our lives.
    This is why I believe that the redevelopment, restoration, and reigniting of the local church is our best and greatest hope for the world.
                 
    Since the beginning, Jesus’ followers gathered together on the weekly anniversary of His resurrection to worship, to learn, and to remind themselves of a worldview that is good for them and good for the world.  They formed this vital community, with Jesus in the middle, that served to remind them that the secret to life was not getting, but giving.  The Scriptures they read and the Sacraments they took, deeply shaped and formed them.  And so they went out, and they helped their neighbor, who helped their neighbor, who helped their neighbor - until this movement had an unprecedented impact on the world.
                 
    Of course, church is boring, it’s full of weird people, songs I don’t want to sing, and meeting at inconvenient times when I’d rather be doing something else.  We all have excuses for not committing to a faith community.  We all have a reason why the deepest impressions on our souls, week in and week out, are not coming from a church.  But if the story of Jesus is really the story we believe, is this how we want to treat our lives?  Is this how we want to treat the world?
                
    For the sake of our souls, for the sake of everyone else’s, find a church, go to church.

    We are profoundly shaped by the things that we choose to surround us.  Let’s surround ourselves with good.
  • We Crucified Jesus

    We Crucified Jesus



    We crucified Jesus.

    That's the truth we grapple with every Palm Sunday and Good Friday when we hear the story called The Passion, which comes from the Latin word passio, - it means suffering.

    In this epic story Jesus isn't the only one who suffers.  We do too as we contemplate our own complicity in His trial, scourging, and crucifixion.
    Are we the conniving Judas, an intimate friend of Jesus' who is willing to sell out if the price is right?  Probably not.  Are we the corrupt Judean authorities who are so interested in keeping things the way they are that we'll do anything to prevent change?  Probably not.  Or are we zealous Peter, who's given up everything to follow Jesus - but is unable to go that last mile, to the Cross?  Probably not.

    Most of us are probably more like Pilate - who didn’t harbor hatred, envy, malice, or rampant zeal.  He was just a Roman administrator trying to keep the peace.  Yet Pilate had the power to change things - the money, influence, and resources to protect and care for Jesus. Pilate also had a conscience - and a wife who told him to do the right thing.  Yet Pilate chose not to listen to them, and to stand idly by, apathetically washing his hands, and putting the blame on others.

    30,000 children will die today due to senseless poverty, innocent women will be raped, bright inner city kids will go without education.  None of that is our fault.  We're not advocating it or actively supporting it.  However our silence says something.

    Yes, Jesus is still being crucified today.  Matthew 25 says whatsoever we do to the least of our brothers, we do unto Him.  Like Pilate, we can do something about the injustice, the suffering and the painful death.  We have the ability and the knowledge - but will we?



    Reading
    The Misunderstood Jew - Amy-Jill Levine
    Three Weeks with My Brother -Nicholas Sparks
    The Last Week- Borg/Crossan
  • Sixty Second Sermon

    Sixty Second Sermon

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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