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
  • We Are What We Eat

    We Are What We Eat


    One of the more important, if not entertaining, lessons parents teach their youngsters is the difference between eating food, and everything else they might be interested in putting into their mouths. In a world of antiseptic wipes, gels, and coughs that must now be stifled in the crux of one’s arm, we take great care to teach about and model for them everything we ingest.

    We do so because what we take into our bodies can change everything.

    Taking something into our bodies is the most profound way there is of accepting it.  Not just in the kitchen, but in the bedroom.  While the mind ascents and the soul becomes stirred, it is the body that gives us the most tangible expression of what we mean to say, do, and accept.

    Accepting the reign of Christ is at the center of Sunday’s Gospel – when Jesus tells us about a landowner who rents out his vineyard to some hoodlums who refuse to accept his authority. They don’t recognize who’s boss and, as a result, pay the price.

    Accepting Jesus’ authority has gotten no easier.  We still want to have things our way, take all the credit, and ignore the landlord.  This is why Christians go to great lengths to ascent to God’s reign, not just with mind and soul – but, through the Sacrament of bread and wine that Jesus commended – we accept God’s reign through our bodies as well.

    So if we are what we eat, could Communion make us anything better?

    -----------------
    Reading
    Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate – J Clif Christopher
    Matthew – Donald Hagner
    Living in the Village – Ryan C. Mack
  • Who Says So?

    Who Says So?


    During the first week of my first position as a priest, a sweet,
    innocent looking 13-year-old boy named Vinnie came to my office with a
    question.  Little did I know that Vinnie was the Dennis the Menace of
    the parish when he took me to a nearby stairwell where, underneath,
    sat an old decrepit safe.  Vinnie said the safe used to be in the main
    office but no one had the combination and he wanted to see what was
    inside.  So he asked my permission to open it.  Envisioning Vinnie
    would come prepared with white gloves, a stethoscope, and loads of
    patience (he was such a clean cut boy after all), I gave him
    permission.

    That Sunday after services, as a crowd gathered for coffee in the
    Fellowship Hall, few people paid attention to the muffled din of
    hammering and banging emanating from the nearby stairwell until a
    concerned parishioner came up to me and said, ‘Vinnie is tearing apart
    that old church safe with a crowbar and hammer, he says you told him
    it was OK.’

    Questions of authority have been with the Church since the beginning.
    Who gives us permission? How do we know where the buck stops? By what
    authority do we say and do?  This last question comes up in this
    Sunday’s Gospel as Jesus is confronted by the religious establishment
    of His day.  These religious leaders were looking to answer
    essentially the same question you and I have asked: how does God want
    us to live? What code or guideline do we follow? Where does authority
    lie?

    For those in the Anglican tradition, we approach these questions of
    authority seeking to be informed by three sources, Scripture,
    Tradition and Reason.  The ‘three-legged stool,’ if you will, upholds
    our ethical conversations as we seek first to hear the Bible’s take,
    then those of our fore bearers, then that of human intellect.  Sure,
    other Christians may align these differently, or even add a leg or
    two, but when you and I are presented with difficult questions, the
    Anglican tripos has served us well.

    Not long ago the WWJD bracelet was all the rage and reminded us that
    the mind of Christ comes to us nearly always through Scripture,
    Tradition and Reason.  So in the week ahead, as we run across
    important questions regarding politics, war, economics, and even
    personal issues child-rearing and medical challenges, let us engage in
    a wider conversation of discernment through these ancient, yet
    relevant partners.
  • Evangelism Boot Camp

    Evangelism Boot Camp


    If you're in an around the Virginia Theological Seminary area, you'll want to make this event, David is a tremendously gifted scholar, and the line-up looks amazing!
  • Getting Serious About Religion

    Getting Serious About Religion


    11 years ago traveling through airports was easier, meeting people of Arab decent was less cautionary, and more of us thought that everybody loved the United States.

    9/11 changed all that.  And now, as we mark its tenth anniversary, we reflect on how things have changed and must change for us to move farther along the road of healing, to avoid anything like that again, and to importantly, consider what God is up to in all of this.

    Of course, we can’t stop twisted people from doing twisted things.  We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves, and looking more closely at our own place in the world is a good place to start. 

    The fact that most Americans self-identify as Christians yet cannot name all four Gospels is well documented.  North American Christianity is historically, and notoriously, an inch deep and a mile wide.  Reacting, then to a religiously motivated act with shallow roots in our own religion, not surprisingly yields a less than satisfactory response – of which there have been many.  The solution to bad religion then, is not more bad religion, or no religion, but good religion.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel, we are reminded that ‘good religion’ is about forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is about turning the other cheek and forgiving 7 times 70.  It is about cherishing peace above retribution and humility over vengeance.  Our world desperately needs ‘good religion’ – and we are all called to spread it. So may we mark this dark anniversary with a renewed pledge to reach for the light – to get more serious about our work of reconciliation, humility, and love.  Ten years later there are still evil people planning evil things – so let the good people plan good things.


    Reading
    Rambam’s Ladder – Julie Soloman
    At the Still Point – Sarah Arthur
    The Thank You Economy – Gary Vanyerchuk

    image by Noel Sikes, Conyers, GA
  • The Sacred Meal: It's Personal, It's Real

    The Sacred Meal: It's Personal, It's Real


    When Nora Gallagher, a talented writer and devout Episcopalian, decided to write about one of Christianity's most nourishing practices, I had to get the book.  (Thankfully, the folks at Booksneeze were kind enough to offer one for free in exchange for this review.)  What Nora brings to this project, as she does to most everything she writes, is an authentic voice that recounts her struggles, triumphs, questions, and mysteries.  It's not so much a book as it is a coffee shop chat with a close friend about one of the most formative practices in her life.

    One of the book's memorable quotes (especially for those of us who regularly receive the Sacrament) is that Communion is something we do over and over again but is never the same.  Eucharist can surprise, inspire, open and reveal.  How ironic that something that changes so little has the capacity change us so much.

    Communion is mainly something we do together, which has ramifications of its own. When we do it successfully we don't dictate who comes, the Holy Spirit does. I've heard it said that the health of a congregation is signaled by the number of unlikely friendships it nourishes. And when Communion does what it should, it binds us in the love of Christ, wrapping us up in the warmth and joy of God.

    When we participate in The Sacred Meal, then it binds us to God and to one another, reminding us about the pinnacle truth of human life: we will not be exalted for what we earn, what we own, or what we accomplish, but how much we love.  And placing ourselves into a community where sacrificial love is at the center gives us a better shot at becoming who we want to be.  "It helps us free ourselves from everything that keeps us from loving and being loved, from competition, constraint, self-pity, and self importance - all the things that stand between us and love."

    Recommended for those who are new to the faith as well as for those who have been sitting in the pews a while.

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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