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
  • Witnessing to Peace

    Witnessing to Peace



    In the common room of a ward for adults suffering from psychiatric afflictions, a patient recently got up and proclaimed, ‘I am Jesus Christ!’ Now messianic thoughts like this are not uncommon among this population, so no one paid much attention. That is, until a second man stood up and said, ‘I am Jesus Christ!’ Then, just as the supervisor began to take notice, a third man stood up and proclaimed, ‘I am Jesus Christ!’ All three, then, began to debate. As the argument rose in volume and intensity the quick-thinking supervisor jumped to her feet and separated the three, then instantly restored calm by declaring, ‘This argument will be easy to settle because, as we all know, Jesus’ was best known for preaching peace.’

    “Jesus #peace” is the main identity you and I will encounter this Sunday when He appears (for a second Sunday in a row!) to a roomful of startled disciples. You and I note that He doesn’t condemn them for their fear, but accommodates them. Instead of berating them for their nimble faith, Jesus offers proof that He is who He says He is, then declares that repentance and forgiveness will be proclaimed by this group, whom He declares as His “witnesses.”

    Sure the word ‘witness,’ used in a religious context, might frighten us. We conjure up images of open-air preachers insulting passers-by and weirdoes handing out literature in public places. But then we remember how we ‘bear witness’ to people all the time. Many of us can’t shut up about great movies or new TV programs, killer clothing stores, snappy websites, and clever smartphone apps.  Actually, we ‘bear witness’ all the time - telling others about the things that matter to us.

    Bearing witness, then, as Jesus seems to suggest, is little more than talking about where we sense God at work. It is about sharing the things that are important to us - telling others about how we observe God operating in our world. Witnessing is not an act of persuasion, it is an act of peace – remember, Jesus #peace.

    So, where is God at work in our lives? What are our ‘God moments?’ Do we talk about them? Not to sound ’religious’ – but as a natural part of who we are – who we want to be – or who we’re called to be?

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    Reading
    Jerusalem and Rome – Martin Goodman
    Hypatia – Charles Kingsley
    Making Sense of Scripture - David Lose
  • Stuck in a Rut?

    Stuck in a Rut?



    Ever wonder why we can’t get out of this rut?

    Maybe it’s a question you’ve asked as you went to the same job, in the same place, after leaving the same house and the same family so often it feels like life has no more zest. Why do I feel stuck, wedged, and jammed into a slot that’s getting more and more uncomfortable?

    Feeling stuck is often an ironic result of lives constructed to help us feel the opposite. We crave freedom and fulfillment, often as a product of our deepest fears around security, abandonment, and acceptance. These fears can often be at the heart of the big choices we make surrounding work, home, and family. And as we construct lifestyles to assuage these feelings we build frameworks, habits, and traditions that form ruts.

    This Sunday, we meet a disciple who’s in a rut. His name is Thomas, as in doubting Thomas – the one who refuses to believe the news the Jesus has risen unless he can see and touch Christ’s wounds. What keeps Thomas back seems to be his presuppositions about who God is and how God is supposed to act. Thomas is unwilling to abandon his framework for understanding faith and God. The result, ironically, is that the love he so desperately craves, is unrecognizable and unembraced. He is forever branded a doubter, and despite his subsequent recanting and acceptance, he becomes known for his wavering faith.

    Thomas was apparentely focused on a conception of God that was undoubtedly safer and more comforting – and which would have only led to his ultimate insecurity and suffering had he continued to reject the One who so desperately pursued him. As Paul Tillich has said, faith is the courage to accept acceptance.

    So what’s holding us back? How is our priority on self-preservation actually depriving us of the self-fulfillment we more deeply desire? Why are we allowing our mediocrity to trump our possibility? And what do we need to take a chance on today?

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    Reading
    Hypatia – Charles Kingsley
    Seasons of Faith and Conscience – Bill Wylie Kellerman
    Drive- Daniel Pink
  • The Judas In Us

    The Judas In Us


    On Holy Wednesday our Gospel takes us to that epic scene of Judas' last supper with Jesus - and this disciple's turn to 'the dark side' - as St. John puts it: 'after receiving the piece of bread from Jesus, Satan entered Judas.'

    It is downright scary to imagine Satan entering anyone. Was Judas predestined to be the Christ betrayer? Does God choose certain people to be really bad? Does God abandon people like serial killers, to their own twisted desires and intentions? And how does this square with a God of 'love?'

    Yes, a popular answer is to make all evil God's responsibility - after all, God's in charge, right? Therefore, God is responsible for creating us this way, God is responsible for indoctrinating us in this way, and God is responsible for bringing about the circumstances for our temptation toward evil so that we can, nice and neatly, avoid culpability. Hmm...

    Yet we suspect it's not that easy. 

    We know that to love is to grant freedom. In God's great love for the world God allows us determination in our own destinies. We can make choices. We can bless and we can curse. The extremes lead to unbelievably loving words and deeds, and unspeakable horrors and atrocities. We suspect there is always a human element involved in rendering great good and great evil.

    However, lest we expend all of our limited resources parsing these questions of theodicy, Holy Wednesday also calls us to identify - for you and I are also Judas. We have our moments of betrayal. We have turned our backs on Christ. Sometimes I wonder if the only difference between me and Judas is that he gets better press.

    Yes, Holy Wednesday asks us to ponder the Judas in each of us, which is not intended to breed guilt and condemnation, rather humility and understanding for those around us when they act a bit too Judas-y. How might we better understand those hurting us as not alone in their ability to wreak havoc on others - for we can do the same thing?
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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