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
  • God's Other Name is Surprise

    God's Other Name is Surprise


    I went running the other day without my hanky

    This forced me to find other ways to fill the job description vacated by my trusty handkerchief during my 30 minutes of exercise.  This, then, necessitated the prompt laundering of sweatshirt sleeves and shirttails upon my return. And as I disrobed I discovered, in a little used back pocket, my hanky.

    Discovering we have something we didn’t know we had happens to us all. Handkerchiefs and car keys, most often - but especially when it comes to God.

    I think we all suspect that at every moment of every day, God is trying to say, ‘I’m here!’ God is trying to get our attention. God is trying to show us that we’re not alone, we’ve nothing to worry about, and we do well to spend some time seriously meditating on the possibility of God’s omnipresence in every little thing we say and do.

    This realization has changed my life.  I got an urgent call this week while I was in the middle of an important project. As the phone call went on and I was paying more and more attention to the clock in front of me – and the time slipping away from this urgent project – it all at once hit me: God is in all of this.  God is in this phone call. God is in this project. God knew this phone call was coming. God knows if the project will be delayed. The main point of friction here does not appear to be on God’s end of bringing about a perfect plan for the world, but on my abrasion and hesitation to doing anything I had not first written into my daily planner.

    In other words, our daily interruptions, delays, and surprises are no surprise to God. God’s other name is ‘surprise.’

    This has serious implications on how you and I live out the rest of today.  Will we do so flying off the handle, getting anxious and frustrated because something happened beyond our control? Or will we step back and see how God is working through that interruption and inconvenience?  Can we see how Jesus is present in and through that obstacle to bring us to a deeper realization of God’s care, providence, and desire for us to become more deeply ourselves in God?
  • Dancing with Fear

    Dancing with Fear



    The market had just peaked when we put our home up for sale in 2007.

    Of course, we did not know this was a ‘peak’ (we’d be millionaires if we could predict these things).  So we were really excited about the prospect of seeing a healthy return from a lakefront home we had taken two years to gut and put back together.

    But then, it didn’t sell. In six months. In a year. In 18 months.  And there we were, living across the state, paying a mortgage, taxes, and upkeep on an empty home that wasn’t selling. And as the clocked ticked we lived with the constant fear of serious financial uncertainty.

    Can you relate?

    Sure, our home finally sold (for half of what we’d originally asked) and we came away with many lessons.

    One is, that we would do it all over again.

    Why? Why put yourself in that fearful place again?

    Because the only way to get rid of fear is to stop doing the things that cause it – like taking risks, putting yourself out there, doing something that may fail.


    Fear is not the enemy. Stasis is. Inactivity is. Idleness, apathy, stillness will kill us off more completely than taking the risk.  As Seth Godin puts it, the only option is to learn to dance with our fear.

    In Sunday’s Gospel a roomful of fearful disciples meet the resurrected Jesus.  Their fear is transformed to fervor, they’ve reached a tipping point, and they are now able to go out and change the world. How? Their dance partner is Jesus. They are able to move through their fears knowing that God is with them.

    How about us? What fearful things have we been avoiding? What fearful things should we be doing? The best assurance we have of knowing we are leading a life worth living is to make sure we are doing things that cause us fear. How are we inviting God to be our dance partner as we work through our fear?
  • Easter's Job

    Easter's Job


    There’s Mary Magdalene, rushing to the tomb on that first Easter morning. She was the lone visitor. She found it empty. She told her friends. They came and left. She stuck around.

    Then Mary Magdalene saw a man she didn’t recognize. But he recognized her. He called her name, ‘Mary.’  And in an instant she smiled and called his, ‘Rabbi!’

    Mary didn’t recognize Jesus until he called her name.

    This was a way of recognizing who she was, so she could recognize who he was. He reached out to her so she could reach out to him.

    This is what the Easter story is all about: God reaching out to us so we can reach out to God - God thinking of us, so we can think of God.

    In fact, grasping this simple truth unlocks the freedom, joy, and happiness you and I turn to faith to find:

    It’s God’s job to think of us, and our job to think of God.


    Now let’s go, and do our jobs.
  • We Need to Do This if We're Going to Do That

    We Need to Do This if We're Going to Do That


    It’s that thing that you know you’ve got to do; creating it, renovating it, ditching it, making it, or making due with it. It’s taking the medicine, cleaning out the pantry, giving to one more charity, doing one more weekly session of physical therapy.

    And there’s a lot of resistance there, mainly because whenever we try to do something that betters ourselves or the world we meet opposition.

    Yet we know it’s what we’ve got to do.

    Which is why we foot-drag and hesitate, like Jesus in Sunday’s gospel, right before he’s beaten and killed, and he prays, ‘If it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’

    He knows what he’s got to do. And the ‘if possible’ and ‘not what I want but what you want’ are simply ways to couch and qualify, because at the end of the day Jesus knows he’s got to drink that cup - and go through with the toughest work of his life.

    So Jesus pushes through, buckles down, and just does it.  And he relied on three things: he asked God, he asked himself, and he acted on his conviction.

    We need to do this if we’re going to do that.

    Ask God – is this what you want done? Ask ourselves – is my conscience suggesting this is it? Then put it into high gear and do it. No further explanation. Do it.

    Palm Sunday is a call to do the tough work. Not avoid it, medicate it, or put it off one moment longer. What’s that tough work for you and what are you doing about it?

    We need to do this if we’re going to do that.
  • Why Are You Giving Up?

    Why Are You Giving Up?


    Did you really think you’d been abandoned, left alone, forsaken, and forgotten?

    When the job went south, the repo guy cornered you, the doctor gave the ultimatum, or the money ran out – what marked your desertion?

    Was the abandonment a deep dark well filled with echoes no one heard? And lined with cold moss no one could scale? What was it like to be stuck there? How long were you there? What got you out?

    Oh yes, you did get out. Somehow, some way a combination of time, friendship, and grace pulled you through – with the emphasis on that last bit. Grace. God’s gift, of either a miracle to change things, or of strength to suck it up: which did you get?

    God gives both. And that’s what this Sunday is about. We hear about a man named Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead. If a dead person can live, you can live.  If there’s hope for someone 4 days gone, there’s hope for you. Whatever situation we’re stuck in, God not only knows but is bellowing: ‘Come out!’

    So drop the pity party. Put down the Kleenex. Don’t give up on God’s grace to eliminate the resistance or strengthen you to conquer it.

    Happiness can return. Wholeness can come. There’s hope inside that cold, dark grave. So take heart. Don’t give up on yourself. Jesus hasn’t.

    Reading
    Yawning at Tigers – Drew Dyck
    Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
    The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
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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