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
  • How Do We Take Compliments?

    How Do We Take Compliments?

    How do we take compliments?

    Do we dismiss them with self-deprecation?

    Use humor? Or perhaps take them to heart?

    In this Lenten season, in which we ponder the idea of humility and meekness, we can entertain the notion of compliments as an opportunity to honor God - the One from whom all good things come.

    The scene depicted below is a historic one - it is Jacob meeting Esau for the first time in years.
    For those familiar with the story, we remember that Esau, the elder, had been tricked out of his birthright by the younger Jacob, who thus received his father, Isaac's, blessing. What followed was years of alienation during which Jacob dodged and feared his avenging older brother.

    What eventually happened, as illustrated here, is a meeting of the two adults. In Genesis 33, we hear them approach one another and Esau asks who all the people (and property) behind Jacob are. And Jacob gives an epic answer which I paraphrase here: 'These are the things God has graciously given his servant.'

    We do well to learn much from this statement.

    When we're asked, 'Where did you get that new car? Great kids? Fine career? Fill in the blank.' Jacob, and you and me, ponder the true origin of all that we have: 'This is the ___________ whom God has graciously given his servant.'

    In what way might we take to the intentionality of putting God at the center - as the subject - of all we have, experience, and are?


    Reading
    A Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus - Bruce Fisk
    A Severe Mercy - Sheldon Vanauken
    Generation Ex-Christian - Drew Dyck
  • Ash Wednesday

    Ash Wednesday



    Welcome, my friends, to Lent.

    This is our annual tithe to the Lord - 10% of the year, 40 days, given to God’s deep attentions to our lives.

    Given to this radical way of understanding human flourishing - that’s not rooted in the things that can be measured- but in the things that can never be measured - like love, care, concern, affection, hope, and faith.

    We are challenging ourselves to do some radical things to combat the world’s assault on our souls.
    The world says: Buy something for you.
    Lent says: Give that money to the poor.
    The world says: Practice self-indulgence.
    Lent says: Practice self-discipline.
    The world says: Feed your body.
    Lent says: Feed your soul.

    So today we are putting on sackcloth, confessing our sins, skipping meals, giving alms, and reading Scripture. We’re not doing it because we want to get ahead in this world, but because we want to better imagine another world. We believe that when we get a deeper vision of that other world - the one with the Real Rewards - we are made stronger to resist the false rewards of this world.

    So let us walk together as one, either in person or in spirit, as we journey through this sacred time together.
    ---------------------------
    Reading
    Sabbath - Wayne Muller
    Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
    A Severe Mercy - Sheldon Vanauken
  • Remember When...

    Remember When...


    There are days when I am especially fond of my wedding ring.

    It is an uplifting reminder of the happiest – and fastest - day of my life. It reminds me of my wife coming down the aisle, the preacher’s jocular sermon, the steak dinner I was too excited to eat, and, of course, the fainting bridesmaid.  I think of jokes and stories and drinks and conversations with a lifetime’s worth of best friends. I think of the lasting promises made that carry me through those times when everything isn’t going quite so swimmingly.

    This Sunday many Christians will celebrate the last Eucharist before Lent by hearing the pinnacle story of Jesus on the Mount of the Transfiguration. It is here where the disciples experienced their most memorable day to date. The image of Jesus, adorned in light, talking with Moses and Elijah would be carried down the mount, in their hearts, so that when the trials of Jerusalem beckoned they might have some sense that all would not be lost.

    The Transfiguration stands, for you and me, as a metaphor for that time that Jesus made Himself known to us. Maybe it was in a church – at the Eucharist or an ‘altar call.’ Perhaps it was on a beach, at a sunset, or in the eyes of a newborn.

    So whatever mountaintop experience grabbed our heart, the message is to seize it. Re-live it. Know that God IS real. The angels, the saints, the Trinity and the Presence of the Holy One have been made known in our hearts – let’s never forget that.

    This is critical for you and me today because of the valley we’re all in. We are consumed by a consumerist culture in which the tainted water surrounding us wants nothing more than to take us places that Jesus doesn’t want us to go. We need to grab hold of these identity-forming experiences, root them deeply in our hearts, claiming our first allegiance – to Christ – because we know that God’s way is always the best way.

    What are our mountaintop experiences and how might we make them a more formative part of who we are?

    Reading
    Sabbath – Wayne Muller
    Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
    Generation Ex-Christian- Drew Dyck
  • Digital Overload

    Digital Overload



    I guess that’s what happens when you heal a blabbermouth.

    Maybe Jesus just didn’t know that the leper He encountered in this Sunday’s Gospel was the kind of person who would promise never to tell a soul - then turn around and spread the news of his healing faster than a teenager with a smartphone.

    It sends Jesus into hiding. It leads to a depth of inundation that would pin Him down, cage Him in, and leave Him absolutely besieged with demands. Jesus is overwhelmed.

    And so are we.

    Like Jesus, we are beset with innumerable responsibilities and commitments, all the while being inundated with an ever-increasing barrage of information from an avalanche of digital technologies that we simply can’t keep up with.

    First it was the Internet, then email, then Google, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and Flickr. Then, as if we had fully explored these, the next round of iPads, smart phones, and Foursquare is upon us. Each new development is seething with the temptation to believe it is the ‘it’ product – the ‘killer app’ that will change the course of history forever.

    So, if, from our point of view, we feel like the world is spinning way too fast, why don’t we do what Jesus did – and look at it from another point of view?

    A friend recently reminded me that we’re only 2,000 years into Christianity. Looking back, as we usually do, we think that’s a lot – and are captivated by our survey of the fascinating developments. And we fail to look forward to consider what things might look like 2,000 years from now. Or 5,000 years from now. Or half a million years from now.

    The changes and chances of life are nothing new. Every age grapples with them. And every Christian has to come to terms with how to pay attention to God amidst the overwhelmings that beset us.

    Maybe this is why Jesus took so many opportunities to go off by Himself.

    Jesus set limits, said no, prayed a lot, put responsibilities on hold, and operated not from a framework of fear of what He would miss, but confidence in what the Father was doing through Him.

    God is doing amazing things through us right now – whether we know it or not. Aren’t we well advised to put our attentions beyond the immediate and onto the deeper reality that we are in God’s hand? What can we do today to step back and listen for God, who is continually speaking to us and through us?

    -------------
    Reading
    Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
    Sabbath – Wayne Muller
    In Pursuit of Great and Godly Leadership – Mike Bonem 
  • Living Without

    Living Without


    In 2009 Merriam-Webster admitted the word ‘staycation’ into its dictionary.

    This word appeared as a result of the 2007 financial meltdown when more and more people began curbing their spending and cutting out non-essentials. Staycations (a neologism for a vacation around the home) have become essential for many families, not simply by choice, but by no choice. Like it or not, we are learning to do without, learning to do more with less.

    When we meet Jesus in Mark 1 this Sunday we see that he is learning much the same thing. After healing Peter’s mother-in-law, the whole town turns out to see Him and before He knows it He is working into the night then waking before dawn – and never able to get all the work done. Like us, it is a role He seems forced into. Whether or not He actually enjoys this is inconsequential, He seems simply to be making the best of it – doing what He needs to do.

    What has captivated Jesus’ attention is not the litany of things He is missing (sleep, solitude, etc.) but what He has: the mission of the Father. Jesus does not complain or step back, but seems invigorated and enlivened by God’s colossal work of universal reconciliation. It seems not unlike what my wife went through giving birth to our daughter – as I witnessed her tortuous efforts that did not end in fatigue but excitement and joy. The birthing process, as dreaded and painful as it is, goes seemingly unremembered when that little baby is handed to mom for the very first time.

    As you and I learn to live without and make due with less, perhaps a similar, mission-driven focus is appropriate. As tempted as we are to fret over what used to be or what could be, do we really have time for that when faced with what is: a place in time to be the people we’re called to be – to do the things that only we can do?

    Life is short, and living without calls us to ponder what we’re living with. Sure it may not be a new car or a coconut island, but it is something far better: the call of God that sends us forth in hope and love to aid in the reconciliation of all things to Him.

    --------------------------
    Reading
    The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
    The Witness of Preaching – Thomas Long
    The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki
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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