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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Weddings Performed
  • Ascension Day: They Finally Got It

    Ascension Day: They Finally Got It


    Years ago I took horse-riding lessons.

    And what a sight that was.  Not so much a 6’4” man on a rather small, ‘starter’ horse (no, my feet did not drag…) – but the fact that when the horse went down, I went up, and when the horse went up, I went down.  I had discovered that saddle soreness was a real-life malady. This meant I did not always look forward to my lessons.

    It took me a while to learn how to ride with the horse, to ‘post,’ and when I finally got it, I got it. I began to enjoy being on the horse, going on trail rides, and a brand new world opened to me.

    Ascension Day is Thursday. It’s 40 days after Jesus rose from the dead and 10 days before Pentecost. What’s significant about Ascension Day is that this is the day the disciples finally ‘got it.’ Luke’s Gospel tells us after Jesus ascended, the disciples no longer went into hiding and stopped shunning their allegiance, but returned to Jerusalem ‘with great joy’ as they set off on the work that was ahead of them. It’s as if they had finally accepted themselves for who they were and what they were called to do.

    Ascension Day is literally a liberation day – one in which fear is dropped, hope is seized, and the work we’re called to do gets full attention. In the wake of Isla Vista, and the Ukraine, generational poverty and municipal bankruptcy, you and I know there is much work to do.


    So our challenge is to look to Ascension Day as a liberation day for us as well because God is also calling us to release our fears, look to Jesus, and get busy with the work we’re called to do.  So what fears do we need to release? What work are we being called to do? How can Jesus’ trust, in leaving us in charge of things, be best curated? What brand new world awaits our liberation?
  • Agents of Comfort

    Agents of Comfort


    Years ago my dear grandmother died.

    We had a very special relationship. It included cooking, traveling, and learning French together. When she died it was as if a limb had been removed from me.  I was sad and empty.

    Those around me sensed this. And they responded with phone calls, cards, visits, even a few small gifts. And I felt better. They had comforted me.  Mind you, my grandmother was still dead – the situation had not changed.  But now I felt stronger. I had been strengthened– and I could move on.

    In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit in terms like this.

    Here we learn the Holy Spirit’s job is to comfort – or to provide strength that’s needed in times of distress so that we might be able to go on. I think we can all point to periods in our lives when this was the case.  I think God wants us to know that the hand of comfort, be it through friends, family, or a peacefulness in our hearts, is the Spirit at work.

    For those of us going through distress this is important to know. For those of us who are not, it is a reminder that our job as agents of the Spirit, is to comfort others.  We may come to church seeking comfort, but we may also come to be reminded of our roles as comforters.

    And so we ask ourselves: to whom are you and I being called to come alongside?  Who near us is suffering, hurting, and needs comfort?  And what does that ‘comfort’ look like?  How are we being asked to be agents of the Spirit, by being agents of comfort?
  • Priest Takes Google Class to Mass

    Priest Takes Google Class to Mass

    I was recently admitted into the Google Glass Explorers program. This means I've been granted the privilege of spending Glassholy 1$1,500 for a pair of prototype computer glasses that could conceivably be available at Best Buy next month for $300. However, as my much wiser friend Fr. Gunn often says, you gotta pay to learn.  Here's a video I made Sunday to give you an idea of what I'm learning and doing with 'em - I must say I'm really thankful to my parish community for trusting me to do this:
    Mass with Glass Cover
    So far, Glass has turned out to be a really cool experience. I won't bore you with a rundown of what this gizmo does, this guy does a much better job, but I will say that the 'Directions' app is superior to anything I've ever seen or used.  The bluetooth phone, mic and headphones are only tolerable when you're someplace really quiet, like a church (which works fine for me). And I'm having recurring problems getting my phone and Glass to stay in sync. But the ability to respond to emails and texts really quickly is growing on me (Glass actually reads me these).  Plus, I've always hated texting/typing on tiny smart phone keypads, and the voice recognition software here means lots less typing.
    The dorkiness factor is rather huge, and having never worn glasses getting used to them hasn't been all that easy. Plus, this report says 72% of Americans just don't dig Glass at all - which has pretty much been my experience too, though this is totally dependent on age: haven't met too many young people who hate 'em, nor too many old people who like 'em.
    There's a term for obnoxious people who wear these things, 'Glassholes,' which is why the term 'Glassholy'... I know, priest joke. I experienced this Sunday when I took this video -- I had to take Glass off halfway through the sermon and at the Communion rail because I was feeling distracted and not taken seriously; I sensed others were too. Church is a sensitive environment to bring a camera, even if it's pretty well hidden. And I expect a certain amount of pushback from people along these lines as a result of this little experiment. However, I think it's really important for us to be trying new things, to experiment and put ourselves out there. We are living in some of the most dynamic, developing, and innovative times the world has ever known and I think the Lord wants us to be in the game. If you're interested in getting Glass, as of late last night, they are now available to anyone - so if you have any questions I'd be happy to help.
  • Voices in Our Heads

    Voices in Our Heads



    I recently got a pair of Google Glasses.

    Yes, I am now wearing a computer on my head.

    It reads me my emails and text messages. It lets me answer these emails, texts, and phone calls with increased efficiency via voice recognition software. It gives me my morning paper. And since it’s connected to the Internet, I can ask and get answers to practically any question, anytime by just Googling it with my glasses.

    So if you think I had voices in my head before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    It’s just the latest iteration of the ramped up communication and information tsunami we’ve all witnessed in our lifetime - the one that’s eliminated daily newspapers on our doorsteps, printed books, and telephones with cords. And replaced them with much more information that we can access more quickly and in more places.

    The voices in all of our heads are growing exponentially. And we need to be careful about the ones we listen to.

    This is what Jesus talks about in Sunday’s gospel. It is a simple metaphor about sheep and shepherds, voices and warnings. Yes, each one of us is a sheep of the Good Shepherd. This means we know the shepherd’s voice.  In the midst of a world that’s changing far faster than most of us care to see, that constant, calming, and consistent voice of care and loving concern still takes the day.  We know the voice, we’ve heard it, and we’ve obeyed it.

    But as sheep, this also means we are fragile, skittish, dim-witted folk who often give time to charlatans and charades that offer quick fixes and shortcuts because we’ll do anything to assuage the constantly ramped up anxiety that pulses through every vein. How many of us are downright scared of Google glasses?

    But Jesus uses this image to remind us that there is nothing to fear.  He calls us to be patient, to have faith, to trust that the shepherd has not forgotten the sheep, but is making his way, and has made a way for us. Our challenge is to rest in this - to connect with that voice. Listen for it. Wait for it. Expect it. Know that it will come to tend to our every need.

    My friends we may want to ask: which voices are we listening to? What voice might we make more time to hear? How might we more completely rest in the Good Shepherd’s presence today?
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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