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
  • Faith

    Faith



    The most valuable asset you have is your faith.

    This is not a religious statement. This is an acknowledgment of what most of the world through most of human history has needed to move forward.

    Faith is believing in the unseen. It is trusting that that idea, invention, partnership, or screenplay, that has been dropped into your lap will work.

    Faith is believing that something beyond ourselves is doing it.  That's why faith is owning up to the fact that whatever accomplishments we've achieved were largely based on elements beyond our control.

    It takes a faithful soul to create, invent, make, and build. And if we are actively involved in doing any of this then we know the importance of taking faith seriously.

    Is there a spiritual dimension to human life? Undoubtedly. And our biggest regret in too many people's lives is not acknowledging or pursuing it.

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    Reading
    The Guidebook (NRSV Bible)
    Do the Work! - Steven Pressfield
    Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow
  • Drop the Nets

    Drop the Nets



    I had spent nearly a year working weekends as a cub reporter in Kalamazoo when I got the call from a news director, offering me a job working weekdays in Cincinnati.

    Bigger market, better pay, better schedule – a big promotion no matter how you looked at it. I was given an opportunity I instantly recognized and could not resist. I turned in my resignation. Immediately.

    There are just some opportunities that come our way that we know we need to take. They’re no-brainers, slam-dunks, positive steps in our lives.

    Perhaps this is what’s happening in this Sunday’s gospel when the first disciples got the call from Jesus. It was with great haste and no sense of looking back as we heard how they were given an opportunity they instantly recognized and could not resist.  So they dropped everything and followed. Immediately.

    Readily answering God’s call should be like that. We should jump at the opportunity to follow Jesus with great joy and excitement.  But that’s not how it works. For a variety of reasons we hesitate and resist, probably not fully understanding the golden opportunity that lies before us.

    So our job is not so much to drop everything and follow, but figuring out why that would be an attractive option. What is it God is inviting us into? What are the nets we need to drop? What does the big or small call of God look like in our lives?

    Reading
    Matthew for Everyone – NT Wright
    Matthew – Leon Morris

    Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
  • The Ultimate Pickup Line

    The Ultimate Pickup Line


    They say dating is a numbers game... so can I get yours?

    Do you have a sunburn, or are you always this hot?

    Does your left eye hurt? Because you've been looking right all night.

    And the list goes on. Chessy pick up lines. At the heart of them lies varied motivations; from one-night stands, to friendship, to honestly looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. And if one is looking for the latter, the idea of approaching someone to get to know them can be awkward, frightening, but necessary if you’re really interested in finding what you’re looking for.

    This is what’s at play in Sunday’s gospel – when two disciples approach Jesus. They’ve obviously seen something they like when they begin to follow him. Jesus turns, notices them, and cuts to the chase, ‘What are you looking for?’ The disciples do the same and simply respond, ‘Where are you staying?’ To which Jesus offers the ultimate invitation, ‘Come and see.’

    It is in this simple, stripped-down exchange that you and I see our own journey with God. We too are attracted to Jesus and want to know more. We too don’t know exactly what we’re looking for, but suspect Jesus has it. And we too hear Jesus’ response, which is always to draw nearer.

    It is a simple message that challenges every priority you and I have – to get down to the basics of what we want (love, peace, purpose, add your own) and to pursue the best avenue we know to get there. So do we really suspect there’s something to this God business? What keeps us from, ‘coming and seeing?’ How are we following?


    Reading
    The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
    The Guidebook (NRSV Bible)
    Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
  • Staking Our Claim

    Staking Our Claim


    It was a warm August morning when my wife gave birth to our first-born.

    It was emotional, unforgettable, and life-changing. And I remember the feeling as we left the hospital and made our way to the car with that tiny little boy snuggled into his car seat. And as I buckled him in for the first time I recall thinking that Beaumont hospital had made a huge mistake: they had absolutely no business entrusting the life of this sweet innocent babe to me. Who was I to know what to do – if not just that night, but for the rest of his life?

    I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing feelings of inadequacy as a new parent. In fact, I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing the myriad of thoughts of troubled self-esteem that characterize the human condition.

    In Sunday’s gospel we hear of Jesus going to the River Jordan and requesting baptism from John. We read that this great saint’s first reaction is to want to prevent this pinnacle act, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’

    In other words, if it were up to John, he would not have baptized Jesus.

    And we can’t help but ponder how our own self-esteem issues can, and do, interfere with God’s greater plans. What we may think of as simple self-deprecation or the avoidance of high-mindedness, can turn into something much more harmful.

    How do our own fears, insecurities, and limited self-esteem prevent us from living into God’s plans for our lives? What fears do we camouflage by being overly humble? How might God be calling us to rightfully stake our claim - owning up to our place and responsibilities in life?

    Reading
    The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
    Beyond the Possible – Williams/Mirikitan
    The Bible - NRSV
  • The World as Our Classroom

    The World as Our Classroom


    I called a friend recently to wish him a happy birthday.

    We enjoyed a pleasant chat, then as we wound down our conversation he said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ He said, ‘You called on my birthday, how did you know?’ I paused for a minute – then told him, 'Facebook.'

    As many Facebook users know every day we log onto Facebook this powerful social media platform gives us a notice on whose birthday it is.  We don’t have to consult the sources we’ve been programmed to check, our calendars, diaries, or memory, we have a way of learning through a new and different path.

    For many of us our bibles and church services are the way we’ve been programmed to find and experience God. We have come to see the Word and our faith community as central mediators of the Divine in our lives.

    However, in this Sunday’s gospel we see that God is intent upon giving us experiences of the Numinous well outside traditional delivery channels. When we understand the Three Wise Men from the East came upon the revelation of God with Us BEFORE the rest of the Chosen People, we have much to ponder. We see that God’s way of revealing God’s self is not, at all, limited to the ways we might traditionally think of God being made known.

    So the question is: how is God coming to us today – outside of the ways we’ve grown accustomed? In what ways is God using other people, movies, books, and our own rather average life experiences to communicate important truths to us? It’s been said that the most common and repeatable transgression there is, is not paying attention to our lives. Perhaps by doing this more intentionally in 2014 can bring us closer to the One to whom our lives belong.

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    Reading
    The Social Media Gospel – Meredith Gould
    A Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman
    Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
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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