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
  • Yep, I’m All That

    Yep, I’m All That



     Our local newspaper recently ran an expose on a high-ranking public official whose impressive resume helped garner an impressive salary.

    The problem was, according to the paper, the resume made claims that others could not substantiate – and the allegation – of someone taking the credit for the work of another – goes into the all too familiar annals of human misgivings that every one of us know well.

    In fact, it’s something Jesus ran into in this Sunday’s Gospel – when he warns his followers that the corrupt religious elite have lost touch with who’s really in charge, and who should really be getting the credit.

    After all, the temptation to take credit for something we didn’t do is one of the most alluring and pervasive enticements there is. We think we’ll improve our reputations and make ourselves the envy of others. However, it often does the opposite.

    Claiming false tribute, to one degree or another, corrupts us. It can turn us into conceited, selfish, and unloving people who convince ourselves we are more than really are. We wonder how the architects of modern atrocities, from Hitler to Hussein, ever rose to power and we see, at the center, people who have convinced themselves, and others, of their invaluable self-worth.

    The truth is that in relative comparison, we are nothing and God is everything.

    There is nothing that has come to us that we can take credit for. Every breath, thought, new idea, and innovative business venture, is a gift from above. And the more in touch we are with the reality of our own giftedness, the more grounded, healthy, and devoted to God we will be.

    In what ways are we quick to take credit and slow to acknowledge the true source of all we are and have? In what ways does our sense of entitlement, versus our sense of humility, shape our lives? How are we being called to look less at ourselves, and more at God?

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    Reading
    The End of Overeating – David Kessler
    Growing an Engaged Church – Al Winseman
    Missional Communities – Reggie McNeal
  • Say No to No

    Say No to No



    I was once approached by a parishioner who said he was leaving the church and it was all my fault.

    Worried that I may have offended him in some way, I pressed for details.

    He shared that for the few years he had been attending the church the recurring themes of risk, change, and courage had hit home for him.

    Hearing stories like the disciples leaving everything to follow Jesus and Peter getting up out of the boat to walk on water, had invited him to consider his own life, and a change of employment in a new city, in a new state, that would open up all sorts of bright new opportunities.

    For a long time, he said he had been staying put, trying to scrape by the same way he’d always scraped by, not considering all the options, and protecting the life he’d always known.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel we see Jesus’ opponents coming against him as they try to protect the life they’ve always known. They are much more willing to test, challenge, debate, argue, defend, bicker, and say no than they are to open themselves to the new possibilities that are unfolding before them.  Their tone and approach betray a fear of letting go and opening themselves to God.

    They are just like us.

    God rarely comes to us in the same, predictable, foreseeable, and conventional ways we prefer, but God comes in God’s own way - almost always inviting us to question our assumptions, let go of our preconceptions, and open ourselves to the new and imaginative.

    In what ways are we trying too hard to stay put, scrape by the way we’ve always scraped by, and closing off the options in our lives? How might Our Lord be nudging us to new places that are beyond our comfort zones? How might we find ways to quit saying no to no?

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    Reading
    Flickering Pixels – Shane Hipps
    Matthew – Donald Hagner
    A Work of Heart – Reggie McNeal
  • Getting Straight Answers

    Getting Straight Answers



    Ever wonder why God doesn’t give us straight answers?

    Sure, it happens sometimes, maybe when we prayed to meet our spouses, or to have kids, get a job, or to win a bout with sickness.

    But then, there are those other times – like when an innocent baby gets hurt, a drought hits a poor country, or when we plead and plead, ‘God show me which way to go!’ and we get nothing but crickets.

    Where is God? Why can’t we get a straight answer?

    In this Sunday’s Gospel we get a straight answer about why we don’t always get straight answers.

    In Matthew 22, pressed by his opponents on who should pay taxes, Jesus famously says ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God.’ And He leaves his opponents, as well as His friends, with the challenge and the gift of figuring it out on our own.

    Jesus transcends the dilemma by articulating a fundamental life principle – that of human freedom and reasoning amidst God’s ever-presence. God’s answer to many of our deepest dilemmas is not that God is absent or elusive, but that God wants us to rely on the gifts we’ve got to figure it out.

    Sure, this isn’t the answer we wanted, we’re human, we want to know all the answers! But because we’re human, we can’t know all the answers. However, we can know that the same God who leaves us to figure stuff out, is the same God who promises never to leave us alone.

    So, what are the questions we have that God is just not answering? What if we’re being asked to come up with our own answers? What does it mean to serve a God who has great confidence in our ability to address our own most pressing questions?

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    Reading
    Flickering Pixels – Shane Hipps
    Matthew – Donald Hagner
    Living in the Village – Ryan Mack
  • Dressing for Success

    Dressing for Success



    Earlier this week I gathered with friends to do some committee work at a local club that had a dress code. Just as the meeting was about to begin we got a frantic call from a board member who was phoning from the parking lot. He was told he could not come inside because he’d worn blue jeans. We scrambled to make arrangements at a casual restaurant nearby where the meeting soon convened.

    When our blue-jean-clad friend arrived he was apologetic and a bit embarrassed. “I’m so sorry to inconvenience you all,” he said, “But I was rushing around and didn’t stop to think about where I was going – and that I needed to change.”

    In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear one of Jesus’ parables about a king who throws a banquet, inviting everybody to attend, then abruptly tossing out an improperly dressed guest. And you and I begin to see that our gracious admission into God’s kingdom does not come without some change on our part.

    Sure God loves everybody, but that doesn’t mean God wants us to stay exactly as we are. To come to the banquet we all must change. In fact, not only does God want us to change, but we want to change. Some our deepest desires are to be more loving, more patient, more understanding, calmer, carefree, and caring for our friends and our enemies.

    You and I have been invited to the grandest banquet ever, and right now we’re being asked to change. Are we too busy rushing around to think about it? What, in our lives, needs adjustment? What needs transformation? If the suitable clothes of the Kingdom are justice, truth, love, mercy, and holiness, how well are we changing into them?

    Reading
    Matthew for Everyone – Tom Wright
    Moving off the Map – Thomas Bandy
    What Would Jesus Eat? – Don Colbert
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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