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
  • Just Imagine

    Just Imagine

    It takes me weeks to paint a room.

    No, I’m not a bad painter, I’ve been doing it for years. In fact once I get started it only takes me a couple of hours.

    Here’s what takes me so long: I begin with the fact that the room needs painting. Then I mentally walk through the steps needed to get the job done: calling my sister for paint colors; remembering where the drop cloths and paintbrushes are stored. Then I imagine where I’ll start painting, usually the ceiling, but then the walls and trim. I imagine dipping the brush into the paint, and if I will use a roller or not.

    In other words, most of the time I spend painting is done inside my head – visualizing what might become of an ugly room.

    When we hear Jesus talk about faith – and the believing that precedes the seeing – I think this is close to what he meant.

    Visualizing shoppers in downtown Detroit is where Mike Illich begins.
    Daydreaming about hundreds of people using Lanier copiers is where my top salesman friend Chris tees off.
    And imagining drinking a beer without a cigarette is where my friend Michelle started.

    While few of us believe, “if it can be imagined, it can be done” – we are certainly wise to believe that, “if it can be imagined, most things can be done.”

    What do we need to start daydreaming about? What is the Spirit asking us to imagine? Do we realize that visualizing is often more than half the battle?
  • Time to Get Up

    Time to Get Up

    My friend lives in a home with a lot of stuff.

    Mostly it’s books. And he’s collected a lot of them. Over the years people have remarked about his vast inventory – as well as their rampant disorganization. More than one person has offered to help him clean up and clean out his house.

    Then one day, someone gave him a new book. It was about personal organization. My friend read it, got up from his reading chair, and cleaned out his house. In 24 hours. Safe to say, his life was changed.

    What a magical moment it is when we get up. It is a mysterious intersection of grace and gumption. It is the tapping in to a potential we suspect is always bubbling away underneath the fragile earth’s crust of our realities. Oh, the gift it is to get up!

    In getting up we discover that fearful notion that no matter how difficult our circumstances, no matter how many bad decisions, poor assumptions, broken dreams, and narrow aspirations – we have the potential, even the right, to expect to live rich and satisfying lives. Jesus really promises abundance and eternity.

    So here’s the dangerous question: Is it time to get up? And do what? Do we dare ask God for a push? Go ahead. You’ve been challenged. Time to get up.
  • Life Is About Surrender, Not Control

    Life Is About Surrender, Not Control

    I was having dinner with my friends Jack and Geri. They are parents of three college age children. Out of the blue, Geri said, “You know, I was married before I met Jack.” I said I didn’t know that.” She said, “Ya, for a couple of years. I really liked him, but he had an affair, and we split.”

    I didn’t know what to say, which was good because she quickly filled the void by adding, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

    Now at the time I suspect she did not describe her husband’s adultery with the same glowing appreciation.

    However, through the lens of time and context, things eventually became very clear that a different life with a different man, and with three simply fabulous children had been the yet-to-be-revealed plan all along.

    Geri had her plans, God had his.

    In Sunday’s gospel Jesus’ two best friends approach him with their plans. Jesus is very patient and diplomatic in telling them that they basically have no idea what they’re talking about. 

    God often says that to you and me. How blindly we move through life, creating anthills of knowledge to bolster our illusions of control. Realtors tell us we rarely know which house will make us content. Car salesmen know we usually don’t know exactly what car will delight us. Psychologists tell us we really don’t know what will make us happy.

    And while we’re tempted to wallow in our inadequacies, God reminds us that that’s how the universe is built – plans come on a need to know basis. It is putting our trust in that benevolent force that is working through our hands and minds and hearts that becomes our work.

    Life is about surrender, not control.

  • Jesus and the Pope Go on a Walk...

    Jesus and the Pope Go on a Walk...

    Jesus and the Pope went on a walk through the park.

    ‘Good teacher,’ said the Pope, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’

    Jesus said, ‘Don’t kill anybody, don’t cheat on your loved ones, don’t steal or lie, and honor your parents.’

    The Pope said, ‘But I’ve done that since I was a kid.’

    ‘Ok,’ said Jesus, ‘You lack one thing. Sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, then come follow me.’

    The Pope couldn’t help but think about the Vatican jewels, the da Vinci paintings, the endless and priceless properties, not to mention the Prada shoes. So when he heard this he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

    The point of this story isn’t to take a cheap shot at an ascetic whose holiness few will ever rival, rather it’s to point out that even the Pope has to deal with the prickly pear of wealth.

    The Third World lives in hunger, poverty, and disease. You and I live where we spend more money on advertising than public education and find ourselves devoting 1 hour to spiritual practice for every 5 hours we spend shopping.

    The deal isn’t ‘poverty=good’ and ‘possessions=bad’ – wouldn’t that make things easy? The deal is that because of our inherent propensity to trust in things seen versus things unseen, we’re constantly over-buying in a fruitful effort to quench our thirst for meaning and fulfillment.

    It’s never about what we possess, it’s about what possesses us.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430