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
  • Celebrating Our Diversity

    Celebrating Our Diversity



    Home is where you get the jokes.

    But what happens when no one’s home? Or, at least, home has changed so dramatically that it is barely recognizable?

    The nation’s steadily rising number of minorities now makes up 35% of the U.S. population – and is headed to overtake whites by mid-century. Minorities are having more babies quicker as boomers amble beyond childbearing years. Today four states have minority populations that exceed 50% and the majority of children in California and New Mexico now identify as Hispanic. We are all realizing that the engine for future growth in our country will be younger minorities.

    On the surface we may welcome and invite this rainbow mix, but deep down, perhaps even unconsciously, many Caucasians wrestle with the loss of white hegemony – the surrendering of power and status – as we see more Latinos in our neighborhoods, more Asians in our schools, even a black man in the White House.

    Yet this is an unprecedented opportunity to show forth the glory of Christ through the unity we have in Him. How we ‘do’ church in this diverse and transitional environment gives us the chance to witness to our core conviction that Christ came for the whole world – not just the majority.

    This Sunday, as we hear the story of Jesus’ healing of a demon-possessed man, we consider this a testimony to his Messiahship. Countless numbers become alerted to Christ’s ministry as, ‘his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region.’

    We will consider this fame as not limited to skin color, economic status, or ethnicity. The wildfire message of Jesus unites all who seek healing and wholeness for the sick and broken. And it is in this unity in Christ and His power that we who transition through unprecedented cultural change, are keen to tap into. We pray to move beyond our biases and judgmental stereotypes and deeper into that unity in Christ that helps us, ‘strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.’

    In what ways do we need to offer up our fear of a changing world to a God who unites all in the power of Christ?


    Reading
    Matterhorn – Karl Marlantes
    The Witness of Preaching – Thomas Long
    Labor in Detroit – Smith/Featherstone
  • Working at Jesus Inc.

    Working at Jesus Inc.


    How did Jesus spend most of his time?

    Preaching, healing, praying, or performing miracles?

    Not if he was really human.

    Consider this anachronistic proposal: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average person Jesus’ age spends 8.6 hours in work and related activities. He spends 7.6 hours sleeping, 2.6 hours in sports and leisure, 1.2 hours caring for others, 1.1 hours eating and drinking, 1.1 hours in household activities, and 1.8 hours involved in ‘other.’

    Given the realities of first century life, Jesus may have spent more time cleaning up after sheep, sewing tent flaps, hauling wood, sleeping, and grinding out a living than he did praying, studying, and attending services in the Temple.

    In other words, Jesus’ life may not have been all that different from yours and mine.

    Let’s think about this as we consider the calling of the disciples, which we will hear about in church on Sunday.  When Jesus calls them to be ‘fishers of men,’ he didn’t mean the disciples would never fish again (indeed, they would: see John 21:3) – what it means is that the central focus of their lives would no longer be what it once was. The calling of the disciples wasn’t about them changing what they did as much as it was changing who they were.  

    What this means is that their life-focus was no longer to revolve around providing food and shelter for self and family, temple worship, and tending to the duties their particular culture had assigned. The disciples would learn about, accept, then embark upon a new life-organizing theme: to be attentive and obedient to the Christ who had called them. This is the most substantial way in which they, ‘left their nets.’

    Too often our culture assigns the heavy-lifting of Christ-following to the ordained, ‘professional Christians’ among us. And too rarely do we assume that Jesus and the 12 likely have a lot more in common with those of us who spend our days in front of computer screens, tending to ill patients, teaching kids, designing conveyor belts, or answering telephones. They, like us, also balanced what it means to follow God with what it means to be human.

    Sure, our careers will almost always be the central time-consumer of our lives, but they must never define who we are. We are Christ’s summoned and sent, changed from within and charged with a mission. How are we allowing this to define us? How are we putting into perspective our career and our calling? In what ways do we too need to, ‘leave behind our nets’ and follow him?
    -------------
    Reading
    The Art of the Start – Gary Kawasaki
    The Witness of Preaching – Tom Long
    Banksy
  • Living Together Alone

    Living Together Alone



    My friend went to prom with a guy because he was a good lover.
    Another said yes because the guy was rich.
    Yet another friend asked a girl to go because his mother made him.

    We get into (and out of) relationships for varied and sometimes complex reasons. When we’re young we go by one set of measures that (hopefully) change as we mature.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus has matured, and he now calls his first disciples to follow him. Up to this point Jesus has led a single life, and now, following his baptism, he has reached maturity in both age and vocation. His reasons for choosing, and not choosing relationships have been honed. He is not out looking for the handsome, rich, or well connected. He chooses his friends based on one thing: mission.

    As we know, Jesus didn’t come to earth to make us happy. He came to reconcile the world to God. He came to love us all out of our brokenness and into wholeness with the Almighty.

    So Jesus chooses the relationships he will have and won’t have based on their abilities to further the love of God made manifest in healing, preaching, and total self-giving. He chooses faithful people who sacrifice for him whom he will, in turn, sacrifice everything for.

    How do the relationships we choose help further God’s mission? How do they make us be more loving, selfless, and sacrificing? What are our motivations as we choose to get into, or maintain, our most important relationships? Are we only in it to make us happy? Or are we surrounding ourselves with good people that make us better able for the work God is doing through us?
    ----------------------------
    Reading
    Everything Must Change – Brian McLaren
    Pastor – Eugene Peterson
    The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki
  • Marking the Milestones

    Marking the Milestones



    Call it the start of the most famous career of all time-
    Or, the beginning of the end for a man who, now 30, has just 3 years left.

    The Baptism of Jesus, which Barth called, ‘the summary of the essence of the Gospel,’ reveals to us that God is no longer hidden in the heavens, but has come to be with us in the person of Jesus. It is a milestone of milestones in the greatest life ever lived. But is it a milestone that points to torture and death – or is it one of great victory and triumph?

    Mitch Albom famously asked Maury if he feared getting old. “Fear it? I embrace it!,” he said, surely realizing that in a society that places a decisive accent on youth, this is crazy talk. After all, the modern conception is that after age 21 we all go downhill. We equate aging with decay – failing to realize that when we age we also grow – we GROW old.

    What this means for Jesus at his baptism, and for you and me at every stage in our lives, is that there is something for us to learn, do, treasure, see, and experience at every bend in the road. 21 was that enviable age in which I could still fit into those jeans – but the pitiable time of missed opportunities I was simply too ignorant to identify (imagine buying Microsoft stock in 1984?!?)

    The envy of youth often stems from failed realizations of the benefits reaped from latter stages, including this one. So what is keeping us from deeply valuing where we are this very moment? What dissatisfactions are overriding our memories to make us think that any time other than the present was, ‘the good old days?’ What practices might we engage to help us truly savor and life in the now?


    ------------------
    Reading
    Everything Must Change – Brian McLaren
    Heroic Leadership – Chris Lowney
    Generation Ex-Christian – Drew Dyck
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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