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
  • Gettin' Ready

    Gettin' Ready


    “So you’re coming to visit? What day? What time? Oh, you don’t know?!?”

    When a dear friend tells me they’re coming over, and they neglect the ‘minor’ details, like date and time, it causes no shortage of anxiety - even more so when it’s a dignitary, celebrity, or even the Lord of the Universe.

    So at this time of year, when we’ve already got holiday stress to deal with, why would Jesus throw lighter fluid on the fire with an Advent warning about His impending visitation while neglecting what could otherwise be known? How do we know what to cook, when to serve it – which bedroom to prepare, and how much room will be needed?

    Perhaps it’s because we’re already, ready.

    Maybe it’s because the things we are so apt to stress out about aren’t really details He’s overly concerned with.

    The message of this season is that Jesus loves us just for being us. That’s why He came to us in a manger in the first place. It’s not for who we’ll be one day when we get the house finished, the work-life balance sorted out, and the endless duties on our To-Do lists checked off. God is coming for us just as we are and that’s OK.

    Sure, we’ll keep busy with the tasks at hand, working as we do for the Kingdom. But the last place we look to to add stress onto our already overwhelming existence is God and God’s expectations of us.

    So as we enter into this blessed time of preparation and expectation, relax - let’s do so with the underlying knowledge that what has been done has been done and what has been left undone is undone – and that’s just fine.

    Happy Advent.

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    Reading
    Matthew for Everyone – NT Wright

    Unapologetic – Francis Spufford
    The Christian Century
  • Christ the 'King'?

    Christ the 'King'?


    From my cozy office overlooking an autumn palette crowned with an icy blue tiara it’s easy to see how God made the world and called it good.

    Then there’s Haiyan, Syria, and the Midwest’s own tornado alley. There are crack babies, Alzheimer’s patients, and pimps who peddle little girls. There’s Detroit, Congress, and Obamacare. One need not look very far to figure out that things are broken – really broken. Were we to condense the world into a college engineering project, there is not an instructor in the world who would hand out a passing grade. What gives with this ‘good’ God and this busted world?

    This weekend the Church celebrates Christ the King Sunday – in which we hear the story of Jesus hanging on the cross. Here we catch the image of the God who’s in charge - a God who would rather suffer love than punish the unloving. It’s a God whose dominion over the world is best expressed by the words, “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” It’s a kingship we don’t fully understand, but are irresistibly drawn toward.

    The desperate brutality of the world raises questions to which no one has good answers. Christianity is no different.  But what we do have is a story.  It’s a story that finds its fulfillment in the selflessness and altruism of a God who saves by sacrifice and sanctifies by suffering.

    While it is tempting to allow our preoccupation with the unanswerable to keep us from opening up to God, the Spirit is calling us elsewhere.  The time is short.  We are being compelled to be part of the solution, to give of ourselves to others, to heal, comfort, and love.  May this love fill our hearts and strengthen our faith, with confidence that whether or not we ever get the answers we seek, God will use us to spread that love all along the way.


    Reading
    Unapologetic – Francis Spufford
    The Social Media Gospel – Meredith Gould
    Luke for Everyone – NT Wright
  • Endurance

    Endurance


    Once again this Sunday’s gospel paints me a scenario about what being a disciple is all about that I can, in no way, relate to.

    I have not been through insurrections or wars, famines or plagues, nor arrested and brought before kings and governors because of my faith. My parents and relatives have not betrayed me. I know no one, personally, who has been put to death.

    The biggest danger I’ve faced was wearing my U-of-M t-shirt to the game only to find my seat was in the student section on the M-S-U side.

    Sure, times have changed, but the call of Christ that asks us to do really difficult things, has not.

    So one of my biggest challenges is not being attacked as much as it is being apathetic. Given the economic, vocational, and family constraints we all face, making time for God – and convincing myself that God’s mission is really important becomes difficult.

    Plus, there’s an ever-present temptation not to believe in the first place. How do we make sense of our very cruel world - where a typhoon takes 10,000 lives at a swipe? Where a pimp gets paid extra to furnish a 12-year? And where a hospital emergency room fills up with the tiny victims of another school shooting?

    In the walk of faith, endurance isn’t just putting up with interrogation room beatings, it’s about doing our best to believe when so much that surrounds us is trying to convince us that it doesn’t really matter.

    So don’t go there. Keep the faith. By your endurance you will gain your souls.

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    Reading
    Unapologetic – Francis Spufford
    Making Sense of the Cross – David Lose

    Animate – Augsburg Fortress Publishing
  • The Tragedy of Obsession, the Opportunity to Step Back

    The Tragedy of Obsession, the Opportunity to Step Back


    Last year we took a family photograph in the backyard.

    We all sat on a step leading up to the back door, outfitted in nice jackets and dresses, my wife and two kids. In the background you could see the rear of the house.

    When we got the picture back from the photographer we asked our four year old what he thought. He immediately exclaimed, ‘ATV!’ We were puzzled. Then we looked closely at the photograph. And sure enough, in the background, in the rear of the house was a small living room window, and in that window, a small toy ATV. What would very likely go undetected by everyone who would ever see this photo was the first thing my son noticed. What was a family photo to the rest of the world was, to him, a prize image of one of his favorite toys.

    It would be unfair to say that my son is not fully appreciating his family by his preoccupation with a toy car (he is only four), but it is fair to say that, like him, we can get so focused on small details that we miss the big picture. The consequences range from sad to tragic.

    This Sunday we will hear Jesus talk with a group of religious people who were so obsessed with a detail of their religion that they did not see the big picture. Their fixation on the details kept them from realizing they were talking with God in the flesh. Their passion for the trivial kept them from being the best they could be individually and as a force for God in the world. This is the tragedy.

    How are we obsessing over minutia – and how does it steer us off track? Does the 5 pounds we gained at a holiday bring a pall over the fact that we have a healthy, prosperous, and happy family?  Does the nick on our car paint overshadow the fact that we’re incredibly blessed because 93% of the world doesn’t even own a car?  Does our body’s inability to do what it once did, keep us from focusing on the incredible things we were able to do during the span of our lives?

    The solution is to step back. Take a deep breath. Plan a quiet time. Realize that there is a big picture. And your part in it is insanely important.

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    Reading
    Unapologetic – Francis Spufford
    The Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman

    Party of One – Beth Knobbe
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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