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
  • Making Peace

    Making Peace



    Years ago I confided in a close friend about my feelings toward another mutual friend.  My comments were expressly confidential – so you can imagine my anger when I learned that my close friend had spilled the beans, and told our mutual friend everything I’d said.  I was irritated and embarrassed - furious that my confidence had been betrayed.  I wanted to write my close friend off – and I did, for quite some time.  Has this ever happened to you?

    As we know, forgiveness and reconciliation are at the heart of Christianity. And many times this is the hard work of the Gospel – this is what Jesus means by ‘carrying the cross’ and ‘turning the other cheek.’ In this Sunday’s gospel we will hear Jesus give advice about how we’re supposed to handle disagreements like this – that we’re to confront the issue, not let it slide, that we’re supposed to ask others to help, if need be, and we’re to realize that this is God’s work – the healing of the world starts when you and I work to heal the brokenness that’s right around us.  How can we pray for world peace when we’re holding a grudge, refusing to own up to our parts in disordered relationships, and not allowing peace to rule in our lives?

    So we ask ourselves these really tough questions: with whom, at the present moment, might we have an egregious disagreement – who are we mad at – what brokenness around us needs our attention - and where is the Gospel calling us to make peace, for our good, and for the good of the world?


    Reading
    The Thank You Economy – Gary Vanyerchuk
    At the Still Point – Sarah Arthur
    Pigs in Heaven – Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Most Important Question

    The Most Important Question


    Years ago, in college, I was moderating a Trivia contest – and I asked the two competing teams this question: When is Flashlight Safety Day?  My good friend John was on one team and, after a brief pause he blurted out ‘December 21.’  Correct.  Everyone was impressed.  After the match I asked him how he knew this.  He said he didn’t, but he figured the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, might be a good time to test one’s flashlight.

    How quick I wish I was, not just to answer life’s most trivial questions, but life’s most important ones as well.  What might that be for you and me today?  What are our most pressing questions?  How are my investments doing?  Will I be a good parent?  Do I have cancer?  Will I get married?  Where will I go to college?  Or even more importantly, Jesus’ famous question we’ve all heard before, when He asked St. Peter: “Who do you say that I am?”

    This is often called Life’s Most Important Question because everything we do hinges on what we set up as the focal point, the purpose, the ultimate concern, of our lives.  For Christians, that’s Jesus – and when we respond like St. Peter, calling Jesus Lord and Messiah, we’re doing more than simply answering a question.

    As we know, the early followers of Jesus were called ‘Christians’ – this means ‘little Christs’ – because their goal, and ours, is to say and do what Jesus said and did.  It is to surrender to the boundless presence of Love.  Which means giving ourselves away for others.  Calling Jesus Lord, then, means walking with Him to the cross, knowing that we too will be raised up by God – and that our trivial questions, no matter how they get answered, won’t matter a lick when compared with life’s most important question.  And since we’ve answered that, we can’t help but ask ourselves why we are worried about anything else?


    Reading
    Beginners Grace – Kate Braestrup
    Poke the Box – Seth Godin
    Matthew – NT Wright

  • Determined!

    Determined!



    Ever drive down the freeway and approach a highway that goes to some faraway place, and just want to take it?  Maybe we’ve just come from a disastrous business meeting, a breakup with a girlfriend, or a blow-up with a best-friend – and we just want to ditch it all and get away.

    No doubt the mom we meet in this Sunday’s gospel felt the same way.  Her daughter was gravely ill, and she had nowhere to turn.  But she didn’t run away from the problem, she ran to the solution.

    At first Jesus didn’t pay any attention to this woman because she was all wrong – wrong gender, religion, race, and ethnicity – but she was determined. She knew Jesus could fix it.  She knew that life trumps death, hope trumps despair, healing trumps illness, and Jesus overcomes it all.

    “Ditching it all” only ever gives a fleeting moment of relief – it doesn’t ultimately help.  She had to persevere, she had to be determined, she had to stay on the highway no matter how difficult and troublesome.

    Every day you and I are tempted to take the easy route.  That exit ramp to evasion is an enticement we often can’t resist.  In our world of short attention spans, quick rewards, and the avoidance of anything painful, it makes doing the hard work of staying the course toward what’s good and right, even tougher.

    But this is where the reward is – and we know it.

    Each one of us have been given a project, an attitude, a relationship, a commitment, to which the completion will bring glory to God.  But the road gets tough.  We want to take the exit ramp, any exit ramp.  Jesus’ message to us is that it pays to stick to it.  There is a reward for ambition, determination, and perseverance.

    What places in our lives are demanding this?  Are we quitting too soon?  Are we avoiding what we ought to be up to?  What do we need to do to quit running away from the problem, and run toward the solution?

    Reading
    Matthew for Everyone – NT Wright
    Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate – J. Clif Christopher
    Beginner’s Grace – Kate Braestrup
  • Ditch the Boat!

    Ditch the Boat!


    Cut the apron strings.
    Toss the training wheels.
    Ditch the boat.

    What are our deepest passions?  What are our most important pursuits?  It's following Jesus – with all our heart, soul, mind, body, and strength, which we do with our prayers, our checkbooks, our patience, and every time we do something for someone else.  Yes, we’ve given up everything to follow Jesus.

    Yet there He is – calling you and me to get out of the boat - to come closer.  Can the chaos of the raging sea be conquered?  Can the mirage of self-destiny be put into perspective? Can we consider the notion that Jesus often calls us to difficult places without easy answers?  Can we take that step toward Him that we really want to take?

    Of course we can!
    We were created to grow, to change, to risk, and to flourish!  We can move beyond the safe confines.  We’ve done it before, we can do it again.  That’s what we were called into being to do!

    And the best thing about it is that when we take that step, moving out of our safe-zones, tracking toward that place where we’re being called, before we even begin to slip - there is a hand to catch us.  There is Someone there to break the fall.  No matter where we go, or what we do, we are being held.

    So what does ‘getting out of the boat’ look like to us?  Where are we being challenged to go to draw closer to Christ?  To that place of deeper generosity with our time, our money, or a emboldened quest to pursue our dreams?

    Is it time to ditch the boat?


    Reading:
    God is Back  Micklethwaite and Wooldridge
    The Open Secret – Lesslie Newbegin
    The Continuing Conversion of the Church – Darrell Guder

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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