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
  • Walk in Love

    Walk in Love



    One day, during our courtship, my wife and I were walking along the shores of Lake Michigan – headed back from a weekend in Chicago. It was a gorgeous fall day – empty beach, but still sunny and warm. And as we walked hand in hand, the lapping waves at our feet, we turned to each other and I said to her for the first, but not the last time, “Honey, you’re my soul mate.”

    This is often considered a more powerful comment than simply ‘I love you’ because it implies is a depth of oneness that could only have been achieved after a monumental separation. It is a way of expressing a depth of love based on a reunion, of sorts, in which souls knitted together at one point, separated, but then found one another once again. Paul Tillich famously said that love is the drive toward the unity of the separated – or as the country singer riffs, ‘how can I miss you if you never go away?’

    And this aspect of love is an operating theme in this Sunday’s Bible passage from John’s Gospel. In it, Jesus is trying to reassure a skittish and anxious band of followers – that He is leaving, but has gone ahead of them to prepare a place, to send His Spirit, and that their forthcoming separation bodes well for them – as love manifests its greatest power by overcoming its greatest separation.

    In other words, when you and I walk in the commandments of God, in word and deed, continuing in our faith that love is at the core of the universe, we stay faithful to this separation knowing that, the estranged strive for reunion, that one day that day will come, our eternal oneness will be fulfilled, and everything we do in love, in the meantime, will only make that blessed reunion sweeter.


    Reading
    Love, Power and Justice – Paul Tillich
    Tattoos on the Heart – Gregory Boyle
    How They Did It – Robert Jordan
  • Judgmental Christianity

    Judgmental Christianity


    Not long ago researchers claimed that the most frequently used word non-Christians use to describe Christians is judgmental. And a Bible verse we’ll hear on Sunday doesn’t help matters.

    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – says Jesus - and in our increasingly secular society it sounds downright judgmental for us to claim these familiar words. How do contemporary, conscientious believers, who value acceptance, tolerance, and openness deal with an exclusivistic verse like this? Is Jesus really saying that the billions and billions of people who have not known or followed Jesus have no access to God – or the afterlife? Is God’s first nature really as a judge? Then doesn’t it make sense for ours to be as well?

    1 John 4:8 has another take, the writer simply says, “God is love.” If God is love and Jesus is God then here’s another way to make sense of this verse:
    “Love is the way, love is the truth, Love is the life. No one comes to the Father except through Love.” The implications are worth pondering.

    And so is humanity’s primeval attraction to exclusivism as no more than a by-product of our own latent fears and insecurities – rather than a reflection of the central message of the Bible. Let’s leave the judging to God and get on with the more difficult work of the Gospel, loving God, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

    Reading:
    How to Deal with Difficult Behavior – Cindy Hampel
    Branded Nation – James Twitchell
    How They Did It – Robert Jordan
  • Sheared

    Sheared



    The notion that Christianity is all about a soft-focus Jesus who
    protects, feeds and shelters the fragile is one of the predominate
    images we find every spring when Good Shepherd Sunday comes around –
    just Google it and see.  It’s become an attractive picture for us to
    see Jesus’ work in the world as nothing more than footprints in the
    sand as He carries us when we cannot carry ourselves.  But we suspect
    that any notion of a comfy, cushy Jesus without a cross to carry or a
    burden to take means there’s something missing – something essential
    missing.

    After all, shepherds don’t raise sheep for fun - they raise sheep for
    wool.  They lead them, feed them, and protect them because they expect
    something from them.  When the sheep pass through the sheep gate it’s
    not always to get a good night’s sleep.  Once a year, it’s about
    getting sheared.  It’s about getting pinned down, shocked, scared, and
    forced to give up their most valuable possession.  Then being
    released, dazed and confused, to try to put their lives back together
    again.  Sure the Shepherd knows every sheep by name and obsesses over
    the humane treatment of His little ones, but the Shepherd’s love is
    equally given to those who are not in His flock - those shivering in
    the cold, quivering on the margins, in desperate need of the gifts his
    flock might give.

    Following the Shepherd, then, isn’t mainly about personal fulfillment;
    its about universal sacrifice.  We are called to play a laboriously
    vital role in God’s redemption, reconciliation, and provision for the
    world.  How are we getting sheared today?  Can we see that it’s part
    of following the Shepherd?  How are we being called to move beyond
    Christianity as therapy – and into the depths of self-sacrifice that’s
    essential for being counted as one of the sheep?

    Reading
    Branded Nation – James Twitchell
    Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
    The Gospel of John – NT Wright
  • Can a Terrorist's Death Inspire Peacemaking?

    Can a Terrorist's Death Inspire Peacemaking?


    The death of international terrorist Osama bin Laden has evoked a breadth of emotions among Americans.  The architect of the 9/11 tragedy inspired a legacy of fear that continues to affect every one of our lives.  Friends or friends of friends died in the Twin Towers, countless soldiers and innocents have been killed in his pursuit these last ten years, and I can't go through airport security without blaming him for the hassle.  We have all been affected by him - his twisted theology and the ruthless violence he has committed or inspired.

    Today we find ourselves at a unique time in history where our brothers and sisters in many Arab countries are seeing the deep hunger for freedom, and the rejection of those who would take advantage of others, fuel a renewed vision for the triumph of good over evil.  We are realizing anew our mutual convictions.  We are rediscovering that our shared preference for liberty, peace, and progress are not necessarily mediated by those whose means include terror and hatred.  We also share grief over the death of any human being - that there is no rejoicing in heaven over bin Laden's death, where all life is precious.  We are awakening anew to the universality of humanity.

    It is amidst the flag waving and cheering of the 'ding dong the wicked witch is dead!' variety (see photo) that we must then take pause and realize that this 'victory' is a shallow one.  A terrorist has died, but terrorism and evil continue.

    So maybe this event can remind us that one of the most productive ways we can honor the dead is to continue our labor for peaceful resolutions to conflict.  As we sort through the array of emotions we're feeling may Christians and all persons of good will commit to working anew for an end to terrorism and the furtherance of peace, justice, and charity among all people.
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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