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
  • What Is It About God's Love That We Crucify It?

    What Is It About God's Love That We Crucify It?



    “Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.”

    What is it about God’s love that we must crucify it?

    Here He came, with nothing but unadorned affection for the Creation He had made out of his own hands and declared, ‘It is very good.’

    He arrived in the most unassuming way, demanding neither taxes nor tribute – just the natural affection everyone has for a suckling infant.

    He loved us unequivocally.

    And we received Him with great joy. Flocking to hear His sermons, watch His miracles, and get healed from our most desperate afflictions.

    We waved palm branches and cheered at His triumphal entry into our hearts – for we had never felt so secure, so loved, so complete.

    Yet the over-abundance of love – non-judgmental and unearned – seemed to overwhelm us with possibility: how might we profit from this, financially, socially, politically?  And we paid little attention to love’s vehicle, which is also love – and our own inability to simply receive God’s love became apparent.

    This is how we crucified love.

    Perhaps our greatest struggle, then, is not with sin, but with accepting God’s love – receiving the love with which God loves us.

    This Sunday, as we hear the Passion of the Christ unfold, we will ponder the notion that the cross is not simply the place where the darkness of sin is dealt with – but it is also the struggle we all have of unambiguously accepting God’s love for us. Sure, the cross is about redemption, but this is not our starting point: it is not, ‘For God so judged the world…’ it is ‘For God so loved the world…’

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    Reading
    Choice, Desire, and the Will of God – David Runcorn
    Seasons of Faith and Conscience – Bill Wylie Kellerman
    Matterhorn – Karl Marlantes
  • Sweet Revenge

    Sweet Revenge


    I was working on a project with a friend recently when, for some reason, things went sour.

    One misunderstanding led to another and since we were mainly communicating by email the ‘Confusion Margin’ had disproportionately increased, which climaxed in a fiery email from my collaborator.

    It was one of those missives he’d probably written too quickly, used to vent instead of clarify, and before we knew it, the entire project was now in jeopardy as I stewed on his hurtful insinuations and tempting ultimatum to dash the whole thing.

    There I sat, cursor blinking, emotions heightened, seriously contemplating, ‘How am I going to answer this?’ Sure, I knew what I wanted to say – but I suspected this wasn’t what I should say.

    Has this ever happened to you?

    And so come the words of Jesus:

    “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

    Amidst my very real emotions of, pride, pain, and growing appetite for vengeance it occurred to me that my place of true joy would not be found in giving life to these feelings, but in putting them to death. The short-lived, sweet taste of revenge, which, not unlike fast food, would delight for a moment, would also become ultimately unsatisfying. I knew the project was worth doing, and so dying to self was what must happen. For life to flourish, death becomes essential.

    What are the things in our lives we need to put to death? Are there feelings of pride, revenge, envy, and self-promotion that we need to dash? How might our willingness to suffer wrong improve our lives and the world?

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    Reading
    The Dumbest Generation – Mark Bauerlein
    Seasons of Faith and Conscience – Bill Wylie-Kellerman
    Matterhorn – Karl Marlantes
  • I Approve!

    I Approve!



    When approaching the finish line of a big race, bicyclist Lance Armstrong once commented on the huge, cheering crowds awaiting him. He noticed thousands of people getting up on their feet to applaud as he made his final push to win. Among them was one particular spectator who stood out among the crowd because he was not cheering, but booing.

    This didn’t stop the world champ, who went on to win the race in record time. But when Armstrong went to bed that night his most vivid remembrance of the crowd was not of the throngs of adoring fans, but of the one sour-faced man, who stood there refusing to give his approval.

    It’s been said that you and I can spend some of our very best energy trying to win the approval of others. We desperately want to pass muster and be commended by parents, friends, and especially God. We seek to offset our fears of insignificance with the support and even adoration of those who mean most to us.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel you and I will hear a very important reminder of our own blessedness. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…’  God is showing you and me his amazing love, proven by Jesus, who is the Almighty’s grandest declaration of our worth. Let’s face it, you and I give our most valuable things to the people we love most. And God’s most valuable asset, His Son, was God’s way of saying yes, we’re worth that much.

    I often doubt that we know how deeply we are valued by God – how thoroughly we are approved by God in Christ. And I am also convinced that we know little about how much our own approval means to other people. As we are blessed by God, shouldn’t we, then, seek to bless others?

    So here’s our homework.

    Bless someone today.

    Here’s how:
    1)    Find someone to bless
    2)    Figure out one thing you admire about them
    3)    Have them close their eyes (optional)
    4)    Tell them what you admire about them, that you approve them, and ask God to bless them
    5)    Give them a hug
    6)    Repeat

    Let's claim your own blessedness and pass it on.

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    Reading
    Still – Lauren Winner
    Jesus the Jewish Theologian – Brad Young
    The Missional Reformation – Reggie McNeal
  • Jesus and Spring Cleaning

    Jesus and Spring Cleaning



    Every Lent my friend Christopher cleans out his closet.

    He tries on old pants that no longer fit. He sets aside shirts that have gone out of style. He donates the pile of castaways to a thrift store.

    When he’s finished his spartan closet streamlines his daily dressing regimen – he can now find what he’s looking for, and only bother with things that are in style and fit. Popular culture might call this Spring Cleaning. But my friend considers it a profound theologial reminder of humanity’s need to regularly sift through the clutter and make sure we’re only holding to the most important things.

    This Sunday you and I will hear the familiar story of Jesus routing the merchants and moneychangers from the Jewish temple. “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” Jesus said as He overturned tables and drove out merchants. However, we notice that Jesus did not condemn the Temple or even the system. He did not tell people to leave the Jewish faith.

    Rather, Jesus reminded us of a central place He plays in the Gospels - as a reformer.  He was not out to demolish all that was standing – but to clear away the clutter, toss out what didn’t fit, and leave behind the essential: a way to God that was clear, unburdened, and opened to all who would come.

    Many of our spiritual closets need this same kind of cleaning. Are we doing this during Lent?  What traditions, habits, beliefs, and practices have we allowed to hang out too long – and are actually keeping us from connecting with God? What do we need to drive out of our lives so that a clear path to God is left behind? Can we take Lent to do the essential reforming of our faith that God is calling us to do?

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    Reading
    Still – Lauren Winner
    Matterhorn – Karl Marlantes
    The Witness of Preaching – Thomas Long
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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