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
  • Are You Giving Enough to the Poor?

    Are You Giving Enough to the Poor?


    Watch a World Vision commercial, pass a homeless guy at an exit ramp, or even go to church and you’re tempted to cower in guilt.

    It’s a big question here in wealthy America where our technology has put us in touch with nearly every person on the planet, most of whom will never earn as much in their lifetimes as most of us make in a year. And so we see ‘those people’ and sense some sort of obligation: Does Jesus really want me to give away everything? Won’t that make me like ‘them?’ Or, even worse, if I don’t, am I destined for eternal torment as suggested in Sunday’s Bible readings? These are some of the hardest questions many Christians face.

    This Sunday we will study the story of the Poor Man (Lazarus) and the Rich Man (Dives). We will hear how the wealthy, extravagant, hard-hearted Dives ignored the sick and starving Lazarus who lived at his gate.  As a result, Lazarus went to a place of pleasure, and Dives went to a place of pain.

    One of the things we will consider is that the breadth of our obligation may be limited. God clearly does not want us to help every person on the planet (how would we do that?). Our ministries may be ruled by our immediate moral proximity. In other words, the person in need, at my gate, may present a greater weight of obligation than the person in the postcard from Madagascar (which is not to say that some are not called to Madagascar!).

    What this means is that our responsibility, which is essentially another word for wealth, is best concentrated on those whom God has placed right in front of us. Dives did not go to hell because he forgot the widows in Latvia, but because he ignored the poor man at his gate. Dives did not go to hell because he was rich, but because he wasn’t listening.

    So are we giving enough? That discernment may best be engaged by looking around us and listening to the voices of need – realizing that giving it all away is not the best long-term strategy. There are obvious limits to what we can and should give.  Thinking those through can bring us peace, and can help bring that peace to those who need it most.

    ================
    Reading
    The Good of Affluence – John Schneider
    Luke for Everyone – NT Wright
    Free- Mark Scandrette
  • Cultivating Creativity

    Cultivating Creativity


    If you have an idea you’re imaginative. 

    If you take somebody else’s idea and make something out of it you’re innovative. 

    But if you have the idea AND make something out of it, you’re creative. 

    Sure, we are all creative, but like all gifts, some get more than others.  And like all gifts, whatever we’ve got, we can likely improve. How creative are you? 

     Take this 10-question quiz (which I wrote based on research by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi): 

    How Creative Are You? 

    Please rate yourself: On a scale of 1-5 (5 is ‘I strongly see this in me,’ 1 is ‘I don’t see this in me at all’): 

    1.    While I have a great deal of energy, I am also often quiet and at rest.
    2.    I tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.
    3.    I have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
    4.    I alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.
    5.    I seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion.
    6.    I am remarkably humble and proud at the same time.
    7.    To a certain extent I escape rigid gender role stereotyping and have a tendency toward androgyny.
    8.    Generally, I am thought to be rebellious and independent.
    9.    I am very passionate about my work, yet can be extremely objective about it as well.
    10. My openness and sensitivity often exposes me to suffering and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment. 

    The higher your score, the more likely you are to have a greater gift of creativity. 

    This is important because Jesus commends creativity – and encourages us to cultivate it (more on Sunday). We do this by improving our ability to view things in new ways and different perspectives. Also, by our ability to generate new possibilities and new alternatives.   

    What challenge are we facing that could use a little creativity – and what might we do to be more creative? How might God's creativity more deeply flow through us?

    ----------------------
    Reading
    Luke for Everyone – NT Wright
    The Message – Eugene Peterson
    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

  • Episcopalians Hold Higher-Than-Average Number of US House Seats

    Episcopalians Hold Higher-Than-Average Number of US House Seats



    It looks like Episcopalians continue to play an important role in politics - the most recent numbers (Christian Century, 9/18/13, p 8) report that, of the 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, 136 are Roman Catholics, 66 are Baptists, 45 are Methodists, 35 are Anglican/Episcopal, 28 are Presbyterians, 22 are Jews, and 8 are Mormons.

    Doing the math (from Adherents.com) which, granted, is from 2004 data, shows that there are more Episcopalian/Anglican members of the House, as a percentage of their adherents, than any other. This is no surprise, historically.

    Here's what the Adherents.com 2004 numbers show: Roman Catholic - 71,000,000, Baptist, 47,000,000, Methodist - 20,000,000, Episcopalian/Anglican - 4,800,000, Presbyterian 7,900,000.

    As a percentage of membership, this equals out to (I removed the 5 0's before these numbers): 73 Episcopalians, 35 Presbyterians, 22 Methodists, 19 Roman Catholics, 14 Baptists.

    Now I realize these denominational numbers may change depending on the source you use, but I don't think it changes the conclusion much. Of course what we make of this is a different issue - and that's left to you.
  • Holding On

    Holding On


    This summer the kids and I flew kites by the beach.

    Notice the plural here.

    Yep, more than one got away. Which didn’t really bother me. Dollar store kites.

    When a kite is tethered to the string it stays up bold and blowing, catching the eyes of onlookers and making the kids laugh.  Even once the string breaks nothing happens initially - the kite continues to fly, and can even soar to new heights.

    But inevitably, there’s a tailspin and somewhere there’s a crash.

    That’s what happens to me when I let go of God.

    At first it feels good to be untethered – to bask in the glory of freedom. But inevitably there’s a collapse.

    So I know that my job is to hold onto God. And I do this in a lot of ways, but especially by going to church.

    How about you?

    How are you holding onto God today? How are you letting God hold you?

    I know how easy it is to let go of God. I know the false allure of going off on my own. But I also know it’s best to stay connected. That’s why I love my church. They hold onto me.

    -------------------
    Reading
    The Bible
    Pursuing God’s Will Together – Ruth Haley Barton

    Leaders Make the Future – Bob Johansen
  • The Six Marks of Discipleship

    The Six Marks of Discipleship



    A popular author says these are the six marks of a disciple of Jesus:
     
    ·      Prayer
    ·      Weekly worship
    ·      Regular reading of the Bible
    ·      Service to others
    ·      Spiritual friendships
    ·      Generous giving

    So how are we doing?

    Sure, church is about worship, thanking Jesus for our blessings. But it's also about following Him, discipleship. It's about growing more in to His image and doing His work.

    And St. David's exists to help us do this.

    This Sunday we kick off the program year, welcoming back the choir and introducing (or re-introducing) important ministries.

    We're doing something new and imaginative called 'Godspeed.' After the 10am worship service you're invited to stay for breakfast (child care available) and a festive learning blitz - a fun and speedy introduction to our amazing ministries.

    When Jesus said Follow Me! you and I said 'yes!' Then God gave us this fabulous community in which to do it. Come, join us, and make this the year you get involved more deeply in following Jesus.
    ------------------

    Reading:
    Gullivers Travels - Jonathan Swift
    The Case for the Psalms - NT Wright
    The Martha Rules - Martha Stewart
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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