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
  • I Don't Have God Moments

    I Don't Have God Moments


            It was in the midst of the 18th century famines in France when a particular phrase was, however dubiously, attributed to the clueless royal Marie Antoinette, who upon learning that the peasants had no bread, made her entry into the lexicon of Western Civilization;’ Then let them eat brioche!’
     
            One of the Church’s relentless missteps is to treat its members the same way. What I mean is that we often choose our leaders, lay and ordained, when we recognize that they have a particularly discernable gift: a relationship with God that allows them to have experiences of God’s presence that others simply don’t have. Our leaders, and hence their institutions, often act like Queen Marie in total oblivion to the condition of most of the rest of the world as they talk about the ways God is always communicating with them, when this is very likely not what most other people experience.
     
            As many of you may remember, my wife Natalie gave a ‘God Moment’ in February (it’s published elsewhere in the March newsletter). A God Moment is our Episcopal way of recovering the ancient church tradition of ‘testimony.’ And we frequently hear stories from parishioners about the intersection of their daily lives with the Numinous. What resonated with a lot of us is when she said, “I don’t have God moments,” and thus articulated for many people (at least a half dozen told her afterward and probably many more who didn’t’) what we all know about faith: it is a gift.
     
            For too long those who have been given the precious grace of seeing God’s activity in their lives and in the world have not taken to heart the journeys of those who are differently gifted: Should a fig tree shame a banana tree for not producing figs?  This recognition of different gifts is becoming more and more important in today’s faith communities.
     
            Churches, if they do anything, must take more seriously their roles as places that help us make sense of life. That is, life when we feel God’s presence, and life, especially, when we don’t.  We are at our best when we walk in confidence and solidarity with those whose faith journeys are not like our own, and if one can’t make sense of the other, congratulations, add something else to the list.
     
            The Church is not at our best when we try to correct, discipline, and judge. We are most attractive, and much more like our founder, when we walk in the knowledge of our own fragility and frailty - in the humility that Jesus took to the cross, realizing that our most profound posture is not standing in judgment but kneeling in awe.  So for those who have God Moments every day, praise God, you have been given eyes to see the glory of the Lord in wonderful ways. For those who don’t, praise God for the faith that comes not by seeing but by believing, for some would say, that is the greater gift.
  • How Focused Are You?

    How Focused Are You?


    Are you confusing 'Busy' with 'Productive?' Jesus Didn't.

    I know this really busy guy who recently hired someone to sit next to him at his desk at work.

    Her job is to monitor what he is doing throughout the workday, like typing an important email, or watching a surfing squirrel on YouTube.

    And he pays this woman to sit next to him and elbow him in the side every time he gets off task. Sure, my friend is busy, but he's realized that being busy is not the same as being productive. And our tendency to confuse the two can literally sabotage our ability to be who we're called to be and do what we really want to do.

    This Sunday we will hear an amazing conversation with Jesus, in which his detractors use fear and intimidation to pull Him off track. They try to lure him to an easier, safer path. Sure, He can still do his ministry, but elsewhere.

    Of course Jesus will have nothing of it. He will remain firmly on task, and not give way. Jesus is firm enough in his conviction on who He is and what He is called to do, that no one seems to be able to shift His sights off of Jerusalem.

    In what ways do we substitute busy-ness for productivity? Are we spending too much time on incidentals and avoiding the hard, but important work? How might the Holy Spirit be working to help us discern?

    --------------------
    Reading
    Generation to Generation - Edwin Friedman
    Practice Resurrection - Eugene Peterson
    Thin Blue Smoke - Doug Worgol
  • Look to the Mountain Top

    Look to the Mountain Top



    The family photo that sits in our bedroom looks like it came with the frame.

    As we relax in a pile of leaves on a sunny fall day, the kids are smiling warmly in attractive clothes as they’re embraced by loving parents who look like they don’t have a care in the world. The professional photographer airbrushed away all undesirable signs of aging and left us with a visual representation of familial perfection and bliss, which is what we paid for.

    However, this is far from accurate.

    The majority of our time is actually not spent rolling around in piles of leaves, but tending to poopy diapers, spilled milk, stained t-shirts, and endless tantrums - as any parent of toddlers will testify.  However, the image we want captured, preserved, and showcased is not what is - but what might be.  We want to live into possibility, getting rescued from reality by the prospect of the better.

    Don’t we all yearn for this?

    Of course, that’s why we frame the photos of 10k finish line crossings and high school graduations. We draw inspiration from these mountain top images and whether we know it or not, they give us the strength we need to make it through the valley of the everyday – through the reality that life right now is not the perfection we so deeply desire.

    These images are gifts from God. They are icons of grace that a better world is possible – indeed, it’s on the way. And your call, and mine, is to live into this – to be captured and convinced that goodness will win out over evil, right trumps wrong, and that the God we’ve given our lives to is working out all things to the good.

    Relax, stay the course, cling to Jesus, help others, do the next right thing. While heaven’s not here, it’s coming, and you’re going.

    ---------------------------
    Reading
    To Canaan’s Edge – Taylor Branch
    Church Marketing 101 – Richard Reising
    Understanding Boys – Clarence Moser
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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