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
  • God Can Do It

    God Can Do It

    I had coffee with a friend this week.

    She told me about how she got fired. It was a job way outside her field of study and interest – one that she didn’t even want. But things had gotten that bad. She couldn’t even hold a lousy job

    So she went home to sulk. It was the lowest she had ever been.

    Clicking on her computer with one hand, while gripping a pint of Haagen Daz in the other, she found the friend on social media, whose newborn inspired her to comment, who replied he had a job opening, who introduced her to her new boss, who needed help on a current project, that would go south, leading her to a new project, that would lead to years of employment and give her the most noteworthy credential she may ever have on her resume.

    Time and again you and I discover that God takes care of us.

    It’s rarely in the way we plan. It’s rarely the way we can predict.

    But time and again you and I are shown that God can do it.

    This Sunday’s gospel will attest to this – as well as 2016 that lies ahead of us.

    My wish for us is that we would relax – rest in God, and let go.  Friends, time and again God shows us his faithfulness. May we find the faith and strength to believe that God is working everything out – and it’s all going to be OK.
  • Good News

    Good News

    Your cancer’s cured.

    Your credit cards are paid off.

    You got the job.

    Lions won the Super Bowl.

    Lions made it to the Super Bowl (for ye of little faith…)

    The baby’s healthy.

    The Syrian civil war has ended.

    ISIS has been crushed.

    The Good News of Christmas is better than all of the above.

    It’s because we, a desperately imperfect and fearful race whose insecurities and lack of faith create many of the burdens under which we suffer, have been put on notice that the most sought after gift in the universe has arrived: Peace.

    Peace that comes from the power we now have to forgive those we hate. Peace that comes from an indwelling spirit that strengthens us to endure paths we dread. And peace that comes from the assurance that our most worried about concerns have been taken care of.

    This is why angels sing and shepherds preach.

    The Incarnation unlocks the mystery of God’s power that has come to break the chains that are binding us, liberating us to a vast universe of possibility.

    God has shown us that he cares deeply about us – about every little thing – and we get a sense of this by imagining if everything on the list above (you can add more) were to actually come true. Think about your joy. And bring it with you to church to share with the rest of us tomorrow.
  • What Really Makes Us Happy

    What Really Makes Us Happy

    What’s going to make us happy in these fear-filled times?

    Let’s admit to the temptation of our present age that calls us to emphasize personal protection and security, the need to defend, guard, and preserve, the need to ‘look out for number one,’ and to save not share.

    But is that really where it’s at?

    In 2011, the top 20% of Americans gave 1.3% of their income to charity. Presumably this was because they felt they did not have enough to be more generous – they needed to hold onto more in order to be happy.

    In contrast, the bottom 20% gave away 3.2% to charity – more than double, almost triple what their wealthier counterparts gave away.

    Now the propensity for lower income people to be more generous than wealthier people is well documented, though its benefits are not nearly as well known.

    The fact is that countless longitudinal surveys reveal one consistent measurement of happiness: warm caring relationships. Financial success and the acquisition of material goods rank considerably lower on the list of factors that create contentment. In fact, wealth can become, and often is, a curse. Famous psychologist Karl Menninger once commented that over many decades working in mental health, happy and content people are more likely to be generous people.

    All this comes to mind as we head into the Christmas home stretch, and particularly on a Sunday when we will hear a related gospel reading. If we want to have the best Christmas ever, it may mean putting less emphasis on ‘stuff’ and more emphasis on cultivating warm caring relationships. It will call us to generosity and sacrifice, kindness and liberality of heart.

    May God give us the faith to be charitable and giving, as well as the assurance that in his hands, we can be as generous as he is.
  • Faith And Terror

    Faith And Terror

    Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he’s packing a handgun to protect him from Muslims.
    Donald Trump wants to stop Muslims from entering the United States.
    ISIS is planning God knows how many dastardly acts of violence that nobody will be able to stop.
    And believe it or not, they all have something in common: they are frantically trying to escape powerlessness.
    At the root of terrorism is alienation, a sense of helplessness, and desperation. ISIS’ ranks are made up of brutal, angry, ruthless, and alienated bullies who have few skills and opportunities that would allow them to succeed in normal society. As the saying goes, desperate people do desperate things.
    At the root of bullying, which Mr. Trump and Rev. Falwell are attempting, are the same things. Many of us share their sense of powerlessness. Many of us are also scared. And striking out against a minority, nearly all of whom, are not only innocent, but share our exact feelings of anger and fear, becomes a desperate attempt to give us a sense of total security that will always elude.
    As is strikingly apparent, none of us find our best selves in fear and control. We find it in faith and generosity: faith to make reasoned decisions that lift up our best humanitarian virtues as well as to work diligently at binding the strong man that are not vengeful or putative. We remember that faith tells us the world is in God’s hands – not in the hands of terrorists – and a surefire way for the darkness to win is for people of light to turn equally dark.
    (P.S. It’s important to note that the vast majority of Muslims would say that ISIS practices Islam the same way Hitler practiced Christianity: both were more far more interested in the political advantages curried by religion than having any sort of deepened spirituality through it. Statistically, the more religious people are the better they become, in terms of generosity, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness, and the less they become violent, aggressive, and cruel.)
  • Something Amazing

    Something Amazing

    I was so bummed when the developers next door took those trees down!

    I used to park under them so my black-on-black sedan wouldn’t get so blistering hot under the summer sun.

    But they’re building something amazing next door – a posh rest home for the private pay crowd. It’s going to be a state of the art, custom landscaped campus to help retirees enter the winter of their lives in elegance. So the developers did not leave the old walls and footings from the last rest home that stood there. Nope. They are chopping down trees and digging up basements. The high things are being brought down and the valleys are being filled up.

    Amazing how that happens when The Builder is up to something amazing.

    I’m so tempted to lament the loss of the familiar mountains and valleys that have dotted the pathways of my journey. And on my better days I can’t help but suspect that it’s because The Builder is up to something really, really great in my life.

    Careers, relationships, addresses, and the coming and going of children, were all once seen as immovable as the landscape – but that’s not what the journey had in store. Instead, we are being honed and shaped and formed - scars, smiles, and all - to be who we’re supposed to be.

    So in keeping with the Spirit of Advent, let us remember that God’s not finished with us. We’re to be alert and open-minded to the ways God is messing with the landscape – and continuing to form us into the kind of people God wants us to be. Take heart. Be not afraid. It’s all part of the plan. God is up to something amazing.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430