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
  • How Can We Serve You?

    How Can We Serve You?



    Let’s say there are two kinds of giving: Me-Me giving and You-You giving.

    Me-Me giving doesn’t pay much attention to what the recipient wants, but gives things they want to give. Maybe you’ve felt that way when you’ve given a Me-Me giver a list of gifts you want, only to get something that was nowhere near anything on that list.

    Me-Me givers have that kind of M.O. – they don’t pick up garbage in the park unless others are looking, they would never dream of putting premium gasoline in a borrowed car, and they’re only interested in giving to charity if they get their name on a brick. Their default setting is, ‘Tell me why I should I give.’

    You-You giving is the opposite. It pays close attention to what recipients want and need. They shop with the recipient in mind and go to their favorite store no matter the hassle. You-You givers aren’t interested in being noticed, thanked, or singled out. It’s not that they wouldn’t appreciate it – but that it rarely occurs to them. Their default setting is, ‘Why shouldn’t I give?’

    It’s somewhere between these two that you and I find ourselves – and only the hopeless narcissist wouldn’t be interested in becoming more like the latter.

    The challenge is: how do we?

    In Sunday’s gospel Jesus describes the You-You giver as someone who is utterly consumed with the presence of God in their lives – someone who’s deeply aware that all we see is not all there is. Awareness to the reality that everything we can see will vanish, and what we can’t see will stay forever, may help us to realize not only that worrying is pointless, but that serving others comes much easier when we’re aware that we’re also serving God.

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    Reading
    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
    Bootstrapping – Greg Gianforte

    Entrepreneur’s Toolkit – Harvard Business Essentials
  • Accepting Change

    Accepting Change


    Do you remember when your office got its first computer?

    I was working in a TV newsroom where the pushback was dramatic, “What happens if the power goes out? Who’s going to fix it? I’m much faster on a typewriter…”

    Technological change always generates this kind of repulse.

    eBooks don’t let me get ink on my fingers.

    Tweeting is for twits who could never write anything timeless.

    YouTube is for those too lazy to read.

    Wikipedia is for amateurs with no interest in serious scholarship.

    This Sunday we hear Jesus talking with someone who is just as indignant in the face of change. When Jesus worked a miracle on the Sabbath his religious critic could only criticize. He did not say, ‘Please explain this,’ or ‘What’s that all about?’ Nope. Harsh rebellion at the prospect of change was all he could muster.

    He did not know what you and I know: denigrating something new doesn’t hurt what’s new – it reveals something about a person’s willingness to learn.

    And a willingness to learn is at the heart of the Christian life.

    We are called to be transformed. Not once. But continually.

    This calls for openness and imagination - a default setting not of criticism, but of wise consideration.

    So the next time change comes our way, a reasoned hesitancy can take us much farther than vigorous criticism.

    ---------------
    Reading
    Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
    Failure of Nerve – Edwin Friedman

    Free – Mark Scandrette
  • This Is What the Lord Desires

    This Is What the Lord Desires


    Day 226: Isaiah 30:18-22
    This is part of a daily commentary on readings from The Bible Challenge
    To join us on our Bible Challenge adventure to read the Bible in a year, download the reading guide.

    Amidst all of the vicious threats of angry wrath that make up so much of this book, God's heart shines through here: for we serve a God whose deepest desire is to be gracious to us - to show mercy to us - to show justice to us - to bless those who wait upon the Lord.

    In this poetic and hope-filled passage we see God's heart as one of love and forgiveness - to those who will call, and act, according to God's will.

    This challenges us to put away all those things that are keeping us from 1) loving God, and 2) serving those around us - for that is how we love God.

    Who are we to love today?
  • A God of Hope

    A God of Hope


    Day 225: Isaiah 25:7-8
    This is part of a daily commentary on readings from The Bible Challenge
    To join us on our Bible Challenge adventure to read the Bible in a year, download the reading guide.

    Perhaps hope is a genetic trait.

    Perhaps it is a spiritual gift.

    However it is certainly an attribute of the Judeo-Christian God: that God is hopeful and God's love for us empowers us to be confident, not arrogant, well-pleasing, not boastful.

    It is this hope, that is exemplified in Isaiah's promise to 'tear down shrouds of darkness and death' and to bring about joy and contentment that is is a strong attribute of God.  Therefore it ought to be a strong attribute of ours. We're not hopeful because we are naive, we are hopeful because we believe God. And it is this faith that is true.

    How might we mirror God's attribute of hopefulness in our lives today?
  • Judgment and Anger

    Judgment and Anger


    Day 224: Isaiah 24:1-23
    This is part of a daily commentary on readings from The Bible Challenge
    To join us on our Bible Challenge adventure to read the Bible in a year, download the reading guide.

    This is an angry chapter.

    We read about a big threat. Not a deed. But a threat.

    God wants to wreak havoc upon the earth - scattering God's people.

    Why? V 5.

    Because God's followers have broken God's commands. They've not just offended God, but perhaps more importantly, one another. They have lied, cheated, stolen, murdered, committed adultery, you name it. And God is angry.

    Thus, the prediction of a judgment. It's not here, but it's coming. For today the wicked prosper and the evil live well.

    But not so forever. For one day judgment will come. It will happen. God will do it. We don't know when. But we know what makes God mad, we know we've done it, and we know there will be justice.

    And while we don't know what judgement will look like (remember we are being judged by our father...) we do know what causes it - so how are we obeying, keeping, repenting, and returning?

  • The Lord with Make Himself Known

    The Lord with Make Himself Known


    Day 222: Isaiah 19:21
    To join us on our Bible Challenge adventure to read the Bible in a year, download the reading guide.

    Throughout much of the Hebrew Scriptures, even Isaiah, we are used to hearing how fed up and angry God is. When we look closer it usually seems to be with those who oppress others, take advantage of the weak, and make a life out of being selfish. And we see that we, too, get angry at these things.

    In this passage we also see how jubilant Good can be when we show love, respect, and care for others.  We see that God will make God's self known, not just to Israel, which is what's so surprising here, but to Egypt and Assyria - when Egypt and Assyria decide to follow the ways of the Lord, God will not withhold God's blessings - even Israel's enemies are not God's enemies.

    How often we may feel like God's enemies - when God desires us all to be blessed if we will just follow God's ways. How are we opening ourselves up to God today?
  • "You Have Forgotten God" - Isaiah 17:10

    "You Have Forgotten God" - Isaiah 17:10


    The Bible Challenge: Day 221 - Isaiah 17:17


    On January 1 I joined many people in my congregation and pledged to read the Bible in a year. This has been an incredibly fruitful experience. Along the way I have written, almost every day, a short essay on one of the passages from the Hebrew scriptures. And I've kept these to myself. However, on more than one occasion it occurred to me that the reason I have this blog is to 1) help me distill my thoughts and ideas by putting them down in writing, and 2) to be able to share these thoughts with anyone who might like them.

    So, I am going to begin posting these essays with a third reason in mind: to help others work their way through the Bible as well. If you'd like to download the Bible Challenge reading guide, it's on our parish website and you can get it by clicking here.

    OK, now to our blog post:

    It seems puzzling how humans are able to know with such certainty how dependent we are on God (can I get an amen?) - and yet, at times, we are so capable of totally forgetting God - for some reason we allow other things to get in the way. We give priority, usually, to the things we do FOR God and in the process we FORget God.

    The reason this is so important to our well-being is because God is our very life. God is the best part of who we are. God in us is the most attractive part of us.

    Sure, we may be handsome, funny, nice, knowledgable, etc., but it is God in us that makes us our best selves. How do we forget God? How do we remember God?

  • M&Ms and Mission

    M&Ms and Mission


    In one of our kitchen cabinets sits a big bag of M&Ms.

    M&Ms are a reward for various activities the children complete. There are thousands of M&Ms in the bag. If the kids do everything right, they can get up to 6.  Seeing the joy on their faces as they slowly pop these into their little mouths, I would love to give them the whole bag. I would love to see their cheeks covered in chocolate as they throw them up into the air and fill the room with laughter. It is my good pleasure to give them what they want. But I don’t, for obvious reasons.

    And so my kids wonder why I don’t give them what they want. They see no harm in the spreading of such apparent joy. They can’t understand that there could possibly be any logical reason for me to withhold from them something so pleasurable.

    So, occasionally I get called names or receive an angry look. Especially when I suggest the M&Ms be shared. Little do the children know that if they share their M&Ms I am more than happy to give them more, maybe even more than 6. Their decisions to protect what they have and to only believe they’ll ever get 6 is something they may grow up believing. At least their parents did.

    In this Sunday’s gospel we consider the grand possibilities that exist beyond our own self-limiting urges, beliefs and behaviors. We ponder the notion that God’s infinite riches may be unlocked by our generosity – that the more we are able to hold the value of our possessions at arms length, developing an attitude of giving and sharing, the more true riches we just might see coming our way – (so that we might share more…).

    How are you and I limiting God’s generosity by being stingy with ours? How might we take more steps toward sharing, getting our eyes off of our stuff and onto those who may need it more than we do?

    ----------------------
    Reading
    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
    Practicing Resurrection – Eugene Peterson
    Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most – Mark Scandrette
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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