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
  • Why the Pain, God?

    Why the Pain, God?


    If you’ve seen the movie American Sniper, or if you’ve read any books on the rigorous training that Navy Seals endure, then you know that becoming one of the world’s most elite soldiers is no walk in the park.

    Navy Seal recruits are not only subject to torturous physical training, sleep deprivation, and exhaustion, but psychological strain that leaves them frustrated, angry, and confused.  At the height of their training they routinely ask what this preparation has to do with winning battles and how near-hypothermia and peer humiliation will make them better soldiers.  This is why most recruits quit.

    The U.S. armed forces purposely put their most valuable and talented recruits in scary, uncomfortable places that leave them lonely and confused. This produces the best soldiers.

    God does the same thing.

    The call to discipleship is not primarily about happiness, comfort, or self-actualization. It’s about understanding that God has called the Church to do something at least as important as guarding borders and attacking enemies.  Discipleship is about continued self-sacrifice and denial aimed at improving the lot of the poor, hungry, and suffering. It is about witnessing to hope in a hopeless world. It is about cultivating peace in the midst of chaos.

    So are you like me – questioning why God allowed something to happen that has been painful, confusing, and frustrating? Maybe it’s a business deal that went south, a relationship that never materialized, a health problem that seemed so senseless, the untimely death of a loved one?


    Take heart. Your suffering does not go unnoticed. In some way, Jesus is with us. He knows our pain and frustration. And just because he doesn’t take it away doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us. It means that he’s using it in ways we will never understand to do things we can’t conceive. Take heart and be of good hope, my friends, today’s present sufferings are the stuff of redemption.
  • Ears to Hear

    Ears to Hear


    My five-year-old has a hearing problem.

    Actually, he has a listening problem. There he sits, on the counter, so totally absorbed with eating, playing, watching a video, or talking to himself that I have to ask him two or three times if he wants more milk, to read a book, or to help clean up. He’s not deaf. But he’s deaf.

    This Sunday you and I will hear a story about Jesus healing a deaf man. While it’s a literal healing of a medically diagnosable condition, it is also a metaphorical statement regarding our own human state: there are a whole lot of things that plug up our ears and keep us from hearing.

    In my son’s case it’s the obsession of exploring a brand new world (remember, he’s five). But for you and me what makes us deaf usually revolves around the three A’s: achievement, acquisition, and appearance. Read that again.

    While we were created to achieve, acquire, and look good, our society’s obsession with them routinely spills over and can become our fixation as well. Thoughts and strategies around achievement, acquisition, and appearance routinely clog up our ears and keep us from hearing the things of God.

    Jesus’ healing, then, has to do with unplugging our ears – helping us put into perspective who we are and what we’re called to do.


    Jesus does this by calling us to himself – often through prayer, quiet times of meditation, and pondering on the words of scripture. It’s reminding myself of who I am, who God is and what really matters. This unplugs my ears what works for you? 
  • If God Isn't Enough, What Is?

    If God Isn't Enough, What Is?


    Living in the richest country that’s ever existed, along with its relative safety, abundance in food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention opportunity, it may be hard to imagine that a whole lot of Americans suffer from an anxious soul condition of wanting just a little bit more. We set goals and ambitions that produce nervous hearts and we crave what we don’t have and are thus less than happy with what we do have.

    Pharmacies are filled with elixirs to calm us down and psychiatrists are booked with appointments to help us cope. And the irony is that deep down we know the answer is not getting more of what we don’t have, but finding contentment in what we do have.

    On Sunday we will hear the familiar story of Jesus sending out 12 disciples to continue Jesus’ work. He will tell them to pack lightly. He will strip them down to the essentials - then give them even less. What he will give them is what they need. He will give them all of him. For they will travel with the Spirit who is watching their every step, providing food, shelter, and every necessity that appears.

    It is in this radical asceticism that we discover anew that we already possess all we need to make ourselves happy. For happiness does not come from acquisition, but awareness. It is an awareness of God’s deep love and provision for us. It is an understanding that nothing happens to us outside of God’s providence. It is a deep knowledge that we are loved and worth loving. It is gratitude.

    When God is not enough to satisfy our desires, it’s a good time for us to ask questions about our desires; what is it about that new home, car, outfit or even the longing for our loved ones to meet our approval, that must be acquired in order to complete us? Are we going too far in seeking cultural, familial, and self-approval for the goals we set and the people we aspire to be?


    The most important gift many of us can give ourselves is gratitude. What might we do to make this the telos of our life’s trajectory? Can we imagine that the attainment of a grateful heart might hold the key to the contentment we seek? What steps can we take today to make gratefulness a deeper part of our lives?
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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