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
  • When Hurt Becomes Healing

    When Hurt Becomes Healing



    After 64 years in the same house, it was time for Jack the Hoarder to move.

    But Jack did not want to go. Even though his children, neighbors, and Social Services had visited the home repeatedly, to urge Jack to leave behind the mounds of newspapers, rotting food, Styrofoam containers, and other assorted clutter. “This is my happy home, since 1950,” he would tell them, “Why must you torment me?”

    Those with Jack’s best interests at heart were certainly not out to torment him. And eventually they won, and he left.  Jack went to a brand new assisted living apartment where, remarkably, 6 months later he was happy as a clam, “They make meals for me, change my sheets, and I don’t even have to go shopping,” he told his niece. What we may think of as hurt often turns into the healing we never knew we needed.

    This Sunday we’ll hear a familiar story about a mentally ill man who urged Jesus to go away – not to heal him, ‘Do not torment me,’ he exclaimed. But Jesus was not out to hurt; he was out to help. And by the end of the story we find that Jesus knew better, and the man became well.

    You and I frequently do things like this. We look at life’s torments as malicious. We look at those who criticize us as way off base and we rationalize. Yes, we see the bankruptcy, the illness, the bad review, the dashed relationships as torturous episodes we fight tooth and nail to avoid. We forget that God is the benevolent force of love who is working hard at every turn to not only make us our best selves, but to bring about changes in the world for the better.


    What seems like criticism and pain is often a passageway to becoming a better version of ourselves. So let’s not shun the tough decisions, hard words, and cutting advice. Hurt often turns into healing.
  • When God 'Doesn't Care'

    When God 'Doesn't Care'


    When the pink slip comes, the spouse announces an exit, the kids get slammed with an illness that we can’t do anything about – our first reaction, conscious or unconscious, is often anger against the Almighty. It may drive us away from prayer, from church, from God. Most of us have been there.

    As time passes we might stay in that dark, distant place. Or we might soften. We might begin to see that God is not the one causing these things - that these things just happen – and that our anger against God is not helpful.

    This Sunday we will hear a familiar story about Jesus sleeping in a boat when a storm comes along. We will hear the passengers’ first reaction as one of anger, as they awaken him with the words, ‘Don’t you care God?’ Jesus’ reaction is to calm the storm – and then to remind these onlookers that God not only cares, but comes to the rescue.

    For whatever reason the way God rescues us is usually very different than the way we envision being rescued. How has that been true for you? When things bigger than ourselves hit us our knee jerk reaction is to blame. However, we’re better off when our blame is aimed in the right direction. 


    Friends, God is on our side. Pause when tempted to blame. Sit tight. Avoid the hasty reaction – for we know in our hearts that we weren’t created to be tormented. Take heart, stand firm, carry on – we all want to avoid taking a swipe at the hand extended to help.
    --------------------

    Reading
    All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
    Mark - Morna Hoker
  • Why God Picked You

    Why God Picked You


    Imagine being one of the 12 disciples who agreed to follow Jesus.

    “He was probably impressed with my organizational skills,” thought Andrew the fisherman.  “No doubt he needed some accounting help,” surmised Matthew the former tax collector. “I’m sure he wanted to tap into my managerial expertise,” thought Peter, the former small business owner.

    We may think that God calls us because he is interested in the skill set we’ve honed – that God is in need of certain abilities and we bring them to the table – orator, writer, teacher, etc. – and so God calls us because of what we have on offer.

    However, were that the case, Jesus would’ve gone to 100 other places of commerce, business schools, and centers of power before he would have plucked up a dozen subsistence-level laborers and miscreants to form his inner circle. It is clear that:

    We are not chosen for what we see in us, we are chosen for what God sees in us.

    God is up to something big and when we sign on to participate we lose the right to tell God what to do (as if that ever got us very far anyway…).

    God chooses us because God sees in us things we don’t. We often fail to access our skills, and the skills of others properly - routinely underestimating our abilities and over-estimating the abilities of others. Even the things we’re best at are not void of epic fails and head-hanging regrets.

    Accepting the call of Christ, then, is not about commending God for his great taste, it’s more about opening ourselves up to a wider vision - understanding that there is order, reason, purpose, and incredible value in who we are and what we do.


    And while we may be tempted to live as if everything was random, nothing mattered, and that life would be perfect if only I could reach my goals, it’s as if God is saying, ‘It all matters. It’s all important – because I have goals more vast and beautiful than you’ll ever know. Trust in me. Aim higher. Know that you’re watched and cared for. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.‘
  • Why God Likes You

    Why God Likes You


    Ever wondered why God would be interested in you?

    Of course, you’re smart, witty, and well known for dependable companionship at cocktail parties – but God is not simply interested in you as a friend. God is interested in you as someone much more – business partner, co-pilot, disciple is the Bible word.

    “But I’m such a _______” Now fill in the blank with a litany of adjectives on why you are incapable, ill-suited, and otherwise a really bad choice for this role. And when you do this you will join the legions of Moses’, King Davids’, St. Peters', and essentially every other human being who has ever signed up for this

    The point is that you’ve been called to follow because of something God sees in you. Most of the time you will not see this. In fact, you will argue against it. “Why not choose someone more pious, more devoted, or who can at least find John 3:16?” But God doesn’t work that way. God does not call the equipped, God equips the called.

    So go ahead and get over yourself. Quit complaining about what a bad judge of character God is. And let’s get on with the work we’re called to do. God is interested in you – much more than you’ll ever know.

    Reading
    All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
    The Juvenilization of American Religion – Thomas Bergler

    Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
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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