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.


Contact Details

  • St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan, 48076, USA

  • +011 248-557-5430


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.


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.

U.S. Guns Produced Today
Americans Accidentally Killed Today
Homeless Americans
Weddings Performed
  • The Anosognosia of Racism

    The Anosognosia of Racism

    I have a friend who suffers from a rare nerve disease that causes him to act quite peculiar in public.

    He incessantly fidgets. He constantly twitches. He can’t get comfortable in a chair. Yes, it is life-shortening and those who know and love him have studied up on the disease, taken classes, and continually come around his wife and family. What makes matters worse is that my friend won’t admit there’s anything wrong with him. He’s convinced that his is a borderline case, and he’s on the other side of the border.  Doctors have diagnosed him with anosognosia – or a lack of awareness of one’s own condition. While his nerve disease may be uncommon, anosognosia is not – at least the idea of it.

    Ferguson, Missouri has lifted a veil to reveal the anosognosia of racism in America – a lack of awareness of our own condition.

    We can no longer feign its existence much less its enormity. Too many for too long have found contentment in the misguided notion that racial inequalities faded with the Civil Rights era, that a new generation would harbor new attitudes, and that a system upheld by laws would change once the laws did.

    But Ferguson has forced us to see that none of this is true. The fact is that too many people are not familiar, nor sympathetic to the plight of blacks and other racial minorities in this country. Too many people take the quick road of condemnation and judgment over the slow road of conversation, understanding, compassion, and bridge-building. Too many Christians buy into the worldly philosophy of Ben Franklin – God helps those who help themselves – instead of the Gospel mandate – God helps those who need help.

    And Ferguson has revealed that we all need help. I have never met anyone who admits they are a racist. Yet Ferguson has shown us how deep racism runs – which makes us wonder if no one is racist, how can there be racism?

    This first Sunday of Advent we will hear St. Mark’s timely reminder to ‘stay alert’ to the things that are happening around us.  This means the things being stirred up in Ferguson. For we must assume that God wants to stir up something in each one of us as well.  This is a hinge moment of reflection on a problem for which everyone will admit exists but few will take responsibility.

    To help us do this, the Episcopal Church, years ago, published a short document I have found helpful in getting my mind around this issue – I urge you to read it and reflect upon it. We’ll have copies of it available Sunday and you can read and download it yourself here:

    So, let us ‘stay alert and’ do our part - to prepare the way for the coming King.
  • Balancing Act

    Balancing Act

    If the Christian life is a balancing act, is Jesus trying to steady us or tip us over?

    He’s trying to do both.

    Steady us because the storms are bad and frequent. Topple us over because there’s no way to grow without disruption.

    And he is trying to do both of these at the same time – bumping us into discomfort zones – then gently pulling us back in due time.

    Both are done out of love. Both are part of a bigger plan.

    The life of faith calls us to make peace with this – and to ask these questions: What is our discomfort today? How are we being pushed off balance? What are we learning in that space? And how is God pulling us back?

    Answering these questions not only helps us make sense of the randomness of life,
    but it helps us see that we’re never alone on the wire – we walk with another who catches and tips - because that’s what love does.

    Luke – Morna Hooker
    Fail – JR Briggs
    Church Marketing 101 – Richard Reising
    Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
  • Permission Slip

    Permission Slip

    Who said you couldn’t do it?
    You weren’t smart enough, cool enough, talented enough?
    Probably voices that we either shouldn’t be listening to or we’re giving way too much credence.

    Following Jesus is a permission slip.
    It’s authorization to grab hold of the one and only life we’ll ever know.
    Not letting this day, hour, or moment slip by without some awareness that we are the one person no one else can be.

    It’s permission to go out and be someone.
    Be someone who is unabashedly authentic.
    Be someone who dances with fear - without denial or retreat.
    Be someone who understands that God not only walks with us, but magically works through us.

    Sunday’s gospel is a trumpet in a phone booth.
    It’s announcing divine authorization to take a charge at life, to seize it, celebrate it, conquer it – to understand that we’ve got the permission to be that person.
    Out with the malaise. Pitch the lackluster enthusiasm. Get off the couch. Take a run for the stars.

    What’s that mean? Identifying our talents is easier than listing the things that keep us from developing them. What are the roadblocks that are keeping you and me from taking the risks before us? What are the hard things we’re avoiding? BTW – don’t view this as condemnation. Dump the guilt - it’s another roadblock. Don’t worry about forgiveness when you’ve got permission.

    Being Christian - Rowan Williams
    Church Marketing 101 - Richard Reising
    Fail - J.R. Briggs 
  • Staying Awake

    Staying Awake

    It’s been noted that one of the great tragedies regarding the way people have understood the Bible is that what they’ve seen done in the Bible must have been right ‘because it’s in the Bible.’ (Rowan Williams)

    We’ve used this to justify all sorts of dastardly behavior from slavery to war and prejudice against gays, women, and minorities.

    But perhaps a more helpful way to understand the Bible is as a collection of the various ways people have responded to God. It tells us how people in different cultures and different ages have tried to love, serve, worship and honor God - some we may judge as rather successful, others as having totally missed the mark.

    In other words, when we read about Old Testament battles in which God condones genocide, this may be best understood as one way these ancient Israelites saw to interact and even honor God and not as tacit approval of this abhorrence.

    So a helpful way to approach Scripture is to ask ‘what does God want me to learn from the way others have interacted with him?’  Or, ‘what is God telling me through this?’

    This becomes helpful as we approach this weekend’s Gospel – in St. Matthew - a familiar but rather odd tale about 10 bridesmaids. It’s because there are obvious cultural and societal issues in this first century Jewish tale – though it has an apparent punch line: ‘Keep awake!’

    This had clear application in Matthew’s context as a persecuted minority on the lookout for those out to harm Christians. But perhaps even moreso today, as you and I live through what may be the most distracting and exhausting age ever – Matthew’s advice to keep awake to the things that are important, alive to the things that matter, and aware of what Christ is up to in the world – has never been more appropriate.

    What do we suppose was Matthew to keep awake to – and what are we to keeping awake to?

    Being Christian – Rowan Williams
    Fail – JR Briggs

    Simplify – Bill Hybels
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430