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
  • Saying Yes

    Saying Yes


    A popular trend in management circles is. ‘Don’t be afraid to say no.’

    Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Don’t over commit. Draw boundaries and stick to ‘em.

    Saying no is rather easy. We learned it at a young age.

    Saying yes, on the other hand, takes a certain skill. And it is a habit worth cultivating, especially when it involves saying yes to God.

    The nativity story is one in which its main characters make a habit of saying yes.  First Mary welcomes the angel’s news, then in this Sunday’s Gospel we hear Joseph doing the same thing. They said yes to God in the face of some pretty good reasons to respond otherwise. Mary and Joseph were yes people.

    How does this challenge us to do the same? What is God asking us to say yes to? In what ways do we need to emulate the attitude of the holy family, ‘not my will be done, but thy will be done?’

    -----------
    Reading
    The Social Media Gospel - Meredith Gould
    Pursuing God's Will Together - Ruth Haley Barton
    The Reformation - Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • John the Idolater

    John the Idolater


    I was looking through some old photographs recently and came upon a picture of the kitchen of my childhood. In my mind I knew right where the chairs were, the dishwasher was located, the cabinets, and the countertops. And the color of the walls: blue. Except, they were green. I stared and stared at the picture until it hit me that the photograph wasn’t discolored. My memory was. My conception of my childhood kitchen was not my childhood kitchen. I had equated my conception with the reality, and was once again reminded that the two are not always the same.

    This same thing happens with God.

    In fact, on Sunday, as we meet John the Baptist in our gospel reading, we see that he makes the same mistake – and goes from John the Baptist to John the Idolater.

    Here’s what I mean. John had a certain idea of who God was and how God acted. In Sunday’s reading John gets so confused over this that he sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is, indeed, the messiah.  Now remember that John was Jesus’ cousin and had baptized him. But John’s conception of who God was seems to have overshadowed that. And now John is thoroughly confused about the whole thing.

    You and I get the same way.  And because God doesn't fit our idea of who God should be we can find ourselves not only misunderstanding God but getting angry at God, and even pulling back from God, which is counterproductive because God is the very source that is most likely to help us.

    This is why openness and humility are so important for us to cultivate. Our default settings need to be calibrated to accept newness and novelty with more of a ‘wow, tell me more’ approach and less of a ‘this can’t be so’ attitude. 

    How is God asking us to be open today? What are we being urged to try, explore, and imagine? In what ways do our conceptions of God keep us from drawing nearer to God?

    Reading
    The Social Media Gospel – Meredith Goulc
    The Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman
    Matthew for Everyone – NT Wright
  • The Beauty of Disruption

    The Beauty of Disruption


    Have you started your Christmas decorating yet? Do you have anything on your front lawn? Perhaps a molded plastic life-size Frosty, Rudolph, or Christmas Shrek? My priest-friend Tim likes to say that, were they available, he would place a molded plastic life-size figure on his lawn of John the Baptist.

    Of course, it’s no surprise why this figure is not available. John the Baptist is not the kind of character movie makers consider casting in holiday films aimed at evoking feelings of fireside warmth and family contentment. John is a troubling and disruptive figure who did not get invited to many cocktail parties. Yet he is essential to the Christmas story – and our story – because John the Baptist stands for disruption. And without disruption, there is no change. And without change, you and I are stuck.

    I particularly like this Robert Campin image of John the Baptist because of the pain and uneasiness it suggests. We look like this when our marriage gets rocky, when our job is in question, when our kids get into trouble - in short, when our plans hit the skids.

    When our plans go down the tubes we have two options. The first is to react like the establishment of Jesus day and deny (or kill) the messenger. The second is to take the message seriously and look inward. That’s when our face looks like John the Baptists’ – confused and anxious by the disruption.

    God wants disruption because God wants change because God wants us unstuck. Unstuck from ___________________ (yes, you fill in the blank). In what ways is disruption happening in our lives? If God were doing it, what do you suppose the message might be?

    Reading:
    Unapologetic – Francis Spufford
    A Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman
    The Social Media Gospel – Meredith Gould
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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