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
  • Advent Waiting

    Advent Waiting



    There are two kinds of waiting:

    First there’s the waiting for things we know are going to happen - like snowfall, death, and the fact that I will be hungry at 6pm tonight.

    Then there’s the waiting for things that might happen – like a Tigers World Series crown, a turnaround in the plight of Detroit, and winning the Powerball jackpot.

    For the things in the first category, we prepare: we buy snow shovels, make wills, and put food in the refrigerator.

    For the things in the second category, not so much.

    Sure, we’ll cheer on the Tigers, hope for a Motown comeback, and fantasize about spending our lottery winnings. It’s because these are things that might happen, but I’m not banking on it.

    Advent’s job is to remind us that faith in God always goes in that first category.

    Sure, it sounds mad. Can we really count on a God we can’t see to do things we can’t imagine? How can there possibly be a happy ending to the tragedies around us? What kinds of order can be made from the randomness that permeates our days? And so we keep our faith at arm’s length, hoping more than believing.

    Which is why Advent’s job is to help us believe more than hope.

    When we think about it, the Christian faith does make some sense to us – otherwise we would not pray as we do, belong to a faith community, or have read this far. In our heart of hearts we suspect that this Jesus thing is true. And Advent is calling us to believe it really is.

    Can we really believe that amidst the turmoil around us, God is up to something? Can we really believe that there is some sort of divine plan being played out in the universe? Can we really believe that God will take care of us?

    Advent says yes, start planning on it.

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    Reading
    The Post-Black and Post-White Church – Efrem Smith
    Rome and Jerusalem – Martin Goodman
    Parting the Waters – Taylor Branch
  • Who’s the King?

    Who’s the King?



    Sure this image of the turkey bumping Uncle Sam from the throne has its place, but updating it would likely mean including Sam Walton…

    Yep, the holidays are here, let the shopping begin…

    What was once Black Friday is now Black Thursday night – as many of us take to the malls for those elusive bargains. Sure, we’re off-put by holiday commercialization, we may even wear one of those ‘Jesus is the Reason…’ lapel pins, yet we participate fully.

    Many of us will waver between feelings of compulsion to buy and spend more, often times for people who don’t need it or won’t long remember it – and feelings of guilt knowing that our relentless consumption isn’t really helping me, them, or us.

    It’s the irresistible allure of a kingdom. It is a kingdom that tells us that things make us happy, that possessions bring true contentment, that a new dress, gadget, or car, will quell my feelings of inadequacy. And we all buy into it to one extent or another.

    This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. It is the last Sunday of the liturgical year (as the Christian new year begins with Advent). We celebrate this feast because you and I desperately need the reminder that there is another Kingdom out there.

    This is the Kingdom that tells us we are loved just as we are, we do best when we reorder our desires instead of running with them, and that our deepest contentment is not found in things or experiences, but in God.

    Friends, we are members of a counter-cultural movement that will never ‘fit in with the crowd’ - our king is not here because our kingdom is not here. Our challenge then, is to live more fully into this reality – to deepen the embrace of our belovedness and rest in the peaceful promises of God – that all will be OK, we have nothing to worry about, and nothing to fear – promises from a King who will never be tossed from the throne.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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    Reading
    God is Red – Liao Yiwu
    The Passionate Jesus – Peter Wallace
    Parting the Waters – Taylor Branch
  • Live That Life

    Live That Life



    The other day my friend Robin shared a dream.

    She had died and found herself entering heaven.

    As she walked into the heavenly city she was immediately greeted by a little girl named Maria who threw her arms around Robin’s neck and said, ‘Robin, it’s so nice to meet you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!’

    Maria was the Robin’s sponsored child.

    They had never met, simply exchanged letters, along with Robin’s monthly checks that allowed Maria to go to school, receive vaccinations, as well as regular meals in her third world country. Robin’s sacrifice for Maria really meant something. Jesus was right.

    Many of the decisions and lifestyle choices you and I make are based on similar thinking. When you and I decide not to answer hurt with vengeance, anger with fury, and frustration with aggravation – when we decide that our present sacrifices – of good cheer through hardship, dignity through disaster, and faith through trial – are what we really should do, we are acting in faith that what Jesus talked about was really true.

    In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that the huge Jewish temple will be destroyed – but not to worry because all will be fine in the end. He is asking his followers not to pay too much attention to living according to worldly thinking and carnal pursuits – rather to live focused on the things above.

    Don’t live this life, live that life.

    Every day you and I face similar decisions that express the kind of life we’re choosing to live. And our challenge remains constant: to live for others, to surrender to love, to brush aside fear and anger – to live as if Jesus’ words were true.

    As we face the day’s decisions, in what ways can we make them less in line with this life and more in line with that one?

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    Reading
    Parting the Waters – Taylor Branch
    The Faith Club – Idiby, Oliver, and Warner
    The Sermon on the Mount – Emmet Fox
  • The Morning After

    The Morning After



    Still hung over from celebrating last night’s vote tallies?

    Or have we begun packing for Canada?

    Or are we somewhat dazed that $6 billion dollars was spent to figure out we want to keep the government essentially the same?

    It was an expensive and divisive election for a divided nation. Yet we have awakened to another day, as the Pledge tells us, ‘one nation, under God.’

    Yes, our Christian challenge in this contentious election cycle has been to remember that. We’ve been called to resist the anxieties that anger and demean, to remain cool in heated conversation, poised as things shook, and firm in our conviction that while our political life is very important, no man, movement, candidate, or cause, can keep God from reigning.

    Oh yes, no matter who is in the White House, God is on the throne.

    This is no small matter. This conviction has caused fishermen to drop their nets, widows to give their last mite (as we shall see this Sunday), and you and me to totally alter our lives by giving them to God, fully and wholly to be made holy.

    This means our morning-after-the-election job is clear: to renew our partnership with God and God’s mission to reconcile the world.

    We have a job to play in patching up differences, healing wounds, building bridges, forgiving others, and doing all we can to help bring peace to a discordant landscape.

    Our morning-after mission is clear: hug your opponent, that’s where it all starts.


    Prayer for a New Government
    O blessed God, look upon your people and fill our leaders with your wisdom and insight, that righteousness and justice may abound in our nation, bringing peace and prosperity, especially for the lowly and poor, that all nations may live in harmony and respect, within the blessedness of your abiding glory. Amen.


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    Reading:
    Theory U – Otto Sharmer
    Ashamed No More – T.C. Ryan
    Parting the Waters – Taylor Branch
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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