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
  • Sacrifice and Gratefulness

    Sacrifice and Gratefulness


    I ran a 5k last Saturday.

    I can still feel it.

    Mainly because, having not run at all for nearly 4 months I had no business putting my 53 year old body through it.

    But I did it because racing, for me, is an icon. It is representative of something much bigger. Just like the icon on your computer represents Word or Chrome, for me running is about working my way through the pain and hurts of life as an integral part of getting to the finish line.

    Most of us try to speed through hardship as quickly as possible. We loathe it. We curse it. I do all I can to banish it.

    But I have found that obsessing over cessation is not the best way to handle pain. I do better to calm down, acknowledge its part in the race, then pull up a chair, sit at its feet, and say ‘Teach me.’

    One of the grand lessons I learn and re-learn is that pain has never killed me - I can endure - and if that, then what else? I have found and that my continued perseverance through the pain has actually rewarded me. Like my 3rd place medal?

    So I ask in what ways am I a student of hardship? What are our trials teaching us? The Book of James tells us to ‘rejoice’ and be grateful in our difficulties for just this reason: hardship is a classroom outside of which many important lessons go unlearned.
  • Real Worship

    Real Worship


    One of the most entertaining aspects of having a 4 year old daughter of a certain make and model is her regular use of binary statements – such as, ‘This is the best day ever!’ or ‘You are the most wonderfullest daddy in the world!’ While I have, more than once, found solace and joy in these compliments, I am often reminded that there is another side that comes out when she is angry or being punished: ‘You are the worst daddy in the world!’ or ‘I’m never going to talk to you ever again!’

    While talk may be cheap, it is certainly on sale quiet regularly with preschool girls.

    The fact is, cheap talk surrounds us – especially in churches. I am routinely reminded of the cut-rate value of my words when singing hymns I don’t like or praying prayers that are too long. Sure, I try to pay attention and mean them, but I don’t always do so.

    This is why I think the best praise we give God doesn’t come from what we sing or say, but what we do.

    I think God is most deeply praised by the things we do for others. I think the hymn of hard work so many in our congregation do for the South Oakland Shelter, Haiti Outreach Mission, and God’s Garden, just to name a few, is a fragrant offering of love to a God who is love.

    As far as we know, Jesus lived a life of perfect praise to God. This Sunday we will hear the story of him feeding 5,000 people. In fact, stories of healing and aid abound in the Gospels compared to the number of times we hear of Jesus singing songs of praise. Jesus is offering his praise by doing the reconciling work of God.


    If Jesus shows us that helping others is praise to God, how do you and I ‘Go and do likewise?’
  • The Tourist and the Traveler

    The Tourist and the Traveler



    It was GK Chesterton who famously said that a tourist sees what he has come to see but a traveler sees… what he sees.

    This distinction is one of the key takeaways of my three months away from parish life and my beloved faith family at St. David’s. I am a quintessential tourist, having lists of things to accomplish, places to go, and people to meet. However when the first days of my sabbatical kicked in I found myself overcome by the repressed depression of some recent personal tragedies – and my to-do tourist list quickly went unattended – and lay on the counter for a very long time.

    Most of us have experienced depression – dark nights of the soul – periods in which we were not ourselves. In its grips we are not only sad, but disheartened and lonely. If you’re like me you wonder where God is. And you wish, more than anything, for the clouds to pass.

    However, I have come to discover that this is tourist behavior. Tourists are not interested in unpleasantness, they long for its end. They crave the destination. They speed to get to places. They long for arrival. They do not understand that God has much for us to see and learn not only in the pleasant, but in the unpleasant.

    This is why it is better to be a traveler. Travelers are not in a hurry. Travelers live in the journey. Travelers know that they have already arrived. As a wise monk once said, ‘the goal is not to wash the dishes, but to be present in the washing of the dishes.’


    In what ways are you a tourist? Or a traveler? How do you long to ‘get there’ - to speed your way out of the mundane, to finally ‘arrive?’ I think God calls us to live more authentically – more in line with the Creation we’ve been given and with the path that’s before us. In what ways might traveler behavior resonate with you? How might you savor the journey and not just the destination?
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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