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
  • iServe

    iServe



    My friend Anne is a talented nurse.

    She worked hard to earn her degrees, which she puts to regular use in her frenetic profession – where she cares for a wide variety of patients who have undergone increasingly complex procedures and require increasingly complex recuperative regimens. Anne can insert an IV, read an EKG, and interpret most every beep and bleep that comes from an array of constantly updated monitors that find their way into her rooms. Anne is a consummate professional, with years of experience. There are few things that surprise her anymore, and only one thing that gets under her skin.

    Every once in a while, as Anne is making her rounds, she will come upon a patient whose large family is gathered nearby. After she performs her tasks, she will inquire about nutritional needs: ‘May I get you anything to eat or drink?’ she will ask her charge. This is when the patient turns to the assembled family and says, ‘Hey who wants something to eat or drink – Anne’s gonna get whatever you want!’

    Anne is a nurse, not a waitress. Her professional degrees are in palliative care not bartending. Few things ruffle her feathers like being demoted to scullery maid.

    Can we relate to this? Lawyers asked to make copies. Engineers asked to make coffee. The demeaning, the undignified, and the humiliating. What gets under our skin?

    In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus knows, and tells us how to cope.

    Faced with a band of sophomoric disciples, whose argument over who is God’s favorite was so grossly immature that even they wouldn’t fess up to participating, Jesus taught them a lesson. Taking a child, whose social status was less than a stray dog, he said, ‘Whoever welcomes this child welcomes me.’

    This is the image my friend Anne carries in her mind as she delivers a ginger ale, diet coke, and coffee to those clueless patient families. She is not serving them, she is serving Jesus. Sure, she’s showing them hospitality, but she’s really welcoming Jesus.

    When we are asked to do tasks that are "beneath" us, converse with people "below" us, aid the lowly among us – how can we see Jesus in this? Can we understand the duties that humble us not as demeaning and denigrating, but as opportunities to serve the One whom we long to serve?

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    Reading
    Theodore Rex – Edmund Mullins
    How to Be a Blessed Church – N Graham Standish
    Ashamed No More – TC Ryan
  • Tripping Hazard

    Tripping Hazard



    At the end of an art class the teacher lined up our final projects on the chalkboard and began publicly critiquing them. When she got to mine, she spared no praise. The juxtaposition of imagery, exquisite use of pencils, and keen eye for detail had well captured the snapshot taped in the bottom right hand corner. You could practically hear my ego expanding.

    The next piece critiqued was from the class clown. Jane’s rendition of her parents was horrible. Unable to keep my opinions to myself, and having ascended to the position of at least equality with my teacher, I blurted out, ‘Jane! Your drawing makes it look like your mother has no arms.’ Crickets. Why weren’t people laughing? You guessed it. Jane’s mother had no arms.

    Believe it or not, in Sunday’s Gospel we hear an even worse gaffe.  St. Peter, who had become the first person to correctly name Jesus as Messiah, figured this great wisdom had earned him a platform of equality with his Master. But his attempt to correct his Lord failed miserably when Jesus answered, ‘Get behind me Satan!’

    Peter’s superior acumen got him to the head of the class, just like ours does.

    Peter’s inflated view of his accomplishment put him in the doghouse, just like ours does.

    Yet this message goes deeper than just, ‘Watch your tongue and be humble!’ and asks us to ponder where our superior acumen comes from and what our responsibilities toward it really are.

    Last Sunday we talked about seeing God in the inconveniences, surprises, headaches, and hassles of our lives. This week it’s as if Jesus also wants us to see Him in the prizes, promotions, accomplishments, and pinnacles we reach. Both are occasions to meet God and grow in relationship, yet how often we run to God for help - but fail, like the parable of the 10 cleansed lepers, to return to the Lord when we’re blessed? Yes, a blessing can actually be a tripping hazard.

    We figure that our blessings were not given to us so that we can forget God, but so we might enjoy them, give thanks for them, and share them.

    So we ask, what great thing has happened to us lately? Have we spent an inordinate amount of time patting ourselves on the back and pondering its rewards? Have we asked those deeper questions of, ‘Why did you give me this and how might I cope with it? What are my responsibilities with this gift? Can you remind me that, like every other gift, it has less to do with my work than Your love for me?

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    Reading
    Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris
    Evolution of the Word – Marcus Borg
    Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath
  • The Inconvenience of Discipleship

    The Inconvenience of Discipleship


    When I drove out of the gas station the other day, I was in a hurry. That’s why I brushed off a shabbily dressed woman who was trying to flag me down to ask me for help with her car. I did not have time for this. I was already late. Surely someone else at the crowded gas station could help her. I drove off.

    I did not get far before my better angels reminded me that the appointment I was running to could wait, and, of course, that I’m a priest (oh ya…). So I turned around and went back to the gas station. The woman did not seem to care that I had blown her off, and instead, was happy to see that I would help, which I did. And in no time we worked out a strategy for tending to her car, and I was on my way.

    Once again I was reminded that doing the right thing is rarely convenient. It is often a hassle. And its reward is not always apparent. Yet we are called to do the right thing, not the convenient thing – which is what Jesus does.

    In this Sunday’s Gospel we find Jesus healing someone He apparently had not planned on healing. Tired from His ministry, He was trying to sneak away to rest when a badgering gentile kept at Him until He healed her daughter. His attitude toward her was not unlike the one I had toward that woman in the gas station – ‘Just leave me alone, I have no time for this.’ But the woman persisted, and Jesus acquiesced. Doing the right thing is rarely easy.

    So we ask ourselves about the interruptions, inconveniences, hassles, and headaches that arise in the course of our ‘ministries’ – the email for help from that serially ungrateful person or the bound-to-last-too-long phone call from the whiner who needs a hand. Do we need to step back and consider God’s hand in this? Are we recognizing that these are opportunities to serve Christ? How might we better move through our hassle-filled days, knowing that God is often in the midst of our inconveniences?

      
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    Reading
    The Good of Affluence – John Schneider
    The Last Stand – Nathaniel PhilBrick
    Evolution o the Word – Marcus Borg
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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