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
  • Coping

    Coping


    Jesus didn’t run.
    Jesus didn’t hide.
    Jesus didn’t take a bong hit.

    During the most traumatic, disruptive, and painful time of his life, Jesus prayed.

    When you and I lose jobs, spouses, parents, and, God help us, children – we are always tempted to do a variation of one of these three things: run, hide, medicate.

    What Jesus showed us in the Garden of Gethsemane, a story we will hear this Sunday, is that the best way to cope with our trauma and pain is to pray.

    Jesus upbraided his disciples for sleeping not because he was against napping, but because he knows that the only way to cope with any time of trial is to pray.

    How are you and I coping today? In what ways are we running, hiding, or medicating? How might we incorporate prayer, more fully, into our hour of need?

    ---------------
    Reading
    Hopecasting – Oestreicher
    From Here to Maturity - Bergler

    Slow Church – Smith and Pattison
  • Voices

    Voices


    There’s a little voice inside your head that’s working hard to convince you not to change.

    It uses vocabulary like ‘safety’ ‘comfort’ ‘protection’ and ‘calm.’  It will raise all kinds of objections at the prospect of an alternative route. Red flags will pop up whenever variation or amendment appear.

    Certainly blanket acceptance of everything new is as unwise as close mindedness – the latter being much more common. This leaves the more appealing posture of reasoned consideration – how else do we filter change from necessary change? Unfortunately, this is rarely the first voice we hear nor the one we always heed.

    A teacher named Ed Friedman warns us to listen very selectively to this voice. He argues that the biggest obstacle to societal progress is our unwillingness to define then to make necessary change. He has diagnosed a condition called ‘failure of nerve.’ It’s our repeated reluctance to make necessary changes. Instead we take the easy route, maintain the status quo, and avoid doing the difficult work of championing what’s right through uncomfortable consequences.

    So - what’s the little voice inside your head saying?

    What is the necessary change we are facing? In what ways might we be trying to resist, oppose, defy, or stand against it today? Have we thought through why this is happening? How might God be in it?
    -------------

    Reading
    Slow Church – Smith and Pattison
    From Here to Maturity – Bergler
    Called - Labberton


  • Going Astray

    Going Astray


    Like most Americans I like to eat – but I don’t like to get big.

    That means I have to either eat less, or get bigger. I’ve decided to eat less. But in a world of abundant food, it’s hard to do. And it’s not just restaurants and friends’ homes – but almost everywhere. How many of us know that we can easily eat our daily, recommended number of calories just by wandering around Costco?

    So I take some well-known advice and I try to drink a lot – even when I’m not thirsty, knowing that a large percentage of hunger pangs are attributed to thirst. This means I make sure that I’m around water a lot (also, the bathroom), because when I’m not I can find myself incredibly hungry, and subsequently eat more than my fill.

    It’s the same with my spiritual life.

    Like most Americans I want to be connected to God.

    And I realize I live in a world of incredible distraction. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of great books, movies, and TV shows that I’m not watching, the number of projects at work I’m not doing, the number of hours with my children I’m not spending, much less the attention to the poor that I’m not paying.

    So I take some well-known advice and try to keep a daily habit of time with God. During this time I center myself, reminding myself of who I am, what I’m supposed to be doing, how much God loves me, and how I can thank God with my life.

    This Sunday Jesus will advise us ‘not to be led astray.’ He knows that there are things all around us trying to distract and overwhelm us. He has also equipped us with abilities to focus and center ourselves. What are we doing ‘not to be led astray?’ What habits are we cultivating? How are we controlling our attention? What might we do today to avoid the detours and stay on track?

    Reaing
    From Here to Maturity – Thomas Bergler
    Called – Mark Labberton

    Recess – Laurie Haller
  • Why Jesus Endures

    Why Jesus Endures


    Because you and I were created to love, we have a deep yearning for examples, for icons, for models and paradigms that can help us live more fully into our true selves – into love.

    In the midst of our self-centeredness, hurriedness, anger (and frustration over our anger), we long for a way out. Deep down we want to be the people we know we can be – the people we were created to be – people of love.

    This is why Jesus endures. This is why Christianity endures. This is why the Church endures. We are constantly seeking an out from the violence, poverty, and degradation, of which we are victims and perpetrators. This is why we look to the image nonpareil of a man who was able to live fully grounded, infused, and enveloped, in love.  This was our motive for getting baptized, confirmed, and belonging to a faith community. We yearn deeply for love to dominate our lives.

    This is why we look to Jesus with the notion, ‘How might I be likewise? What might I do? How might I behave?’ And we see in Mark 10 we discover a secret: living a life of service.

    Let’s face it, the pharaohs, emperors, kings, presidents, and industrialists of the ages have only spray painted their initials on the statues of Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the pantheon of those who did not set out to rule, reign, or enrich themselves – but to serve.

    Deep down we know that making service the telos of our existence is our only shelter from the storm. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and any other ‘successful’ person of power who has discovered that real life is found not in acquiring but in dispensing, ultimately grounds their deepest worth not in what they brought in, but how they gave back.


    A life of service does not start tomorrow. It starts today. Look around. Where’s the need? Who’s hurting? Who needs you? If the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, how can we do likewise? Our lives are our message to the world. Let’s make them inspiring.
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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