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
  • It's in the Giving

    It's in the Giving

    In Shel Silverstein’s epic tale on gratitude (The Giving Tree, 1964), a talking tree and a young boy age together. Their paths cross at various points and at each one the tree gives generously and is ‘happy’ while the boy, perennially in want, returns only out of discontent and is thus eternally ‘unhappy.’

    The book finds its ending with the tree happily reduced to a stump and a grumpy old man seated on top. My cynical side says it’s the ultimate tale of codependency.

    However, what has made this book a classic is its entertainingly simple pronouncement of ‘the Good News’ – that the life lived in generous, self-giving produces joy of the kind that even a self-interested lumberjack can’t take away.

    After all, Jesus was killed for crimes he didn’t commit, to help people who didn’t like him, become aware of what they really wanted: God and love.

    And we become like Jesus when we embrace inconvenience, discomfort, insult, and unselfishness in order to help others find what they really want: love and God.

    No one wants us more contented and fulfilled than God. And God’s way of doing this was to come down from heaven and be the ultimate example of what brings us the most fulfillment life can offer: self-giving sacrifice.

    How are we being asked to move in that direction? In what ways can we reach out and give? Be inconvenienced? Uncomfortable? And prepared to more deeply fulfill the needs of others? In doing so, we will find out we are the ones who are most deeply fulfilled.
  • God is Nothing

    God is Nothing

    Go ahead, raise the dead.

    Become the person to whom billions pray.

    Be the most popular man whoever lived (without a dime to your name or a name worth a dime).

    Go ahead, you’ve been dared.

    Our inability to follow suit has nothing to do with the wondrous potential we have as humans and everything to do with the power, omniscience, and otherness of God; of God to be nothing.

    Nothing, as in no-thing.

    For God is no thing, God is not animal, vegetable, or mineral. He defies category, definition, and prediction. If Easter tells us anything it’s that God is far above, far beyond, yet mysteriously interested in loving it all.

    Easter bucks our human tendencies to make God a thing, often in the form of a lifestyle, habit, hobby, IRA, or relationship.

    Easter not only asks us to name our Gods, but to hold tightly to the no-thing-ness of God in a way that frees us from earthly tethers and re-awakens us to the possibility that our partnership with the Almighty might take us to places far beyond our most vivid thoughts, dreams, or earthly abilities.

    This Eastertide let us look beyond things and unto God, clearing out, making order, and re-discovering that our best selves really do dwell in a God who is no-thing.
  • Facing Death

    Facing Death

    John Updike famously wrote that, “Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead, so why … be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?” 

    The death of a relationship, a life-phase, a career, limb, or loved one - yes, Updike is right, we face death every day.

    Holy Week is an invitation to recognize the deaths around us, seeing them not as ends in themselves, but as the beginning, or at least the opportunity to begin anew.

    As we move together through the week ahead let's ask God about the things that need to be put to death.  What needs to go in order that something new may come? What needs to stay and be rekindled? In what ways can we recognize our transitory state in life, see how death routinely visits us, and make peace with our own mortality?
  • Coronation


    When I walked across the stage after four years of university study I did not want to be handed my diploma by a homeless man.

    I wanted the university president, the dean, or a member of the board of trustees. After all I had spent a lot of time, energy, and a boatload of my parents’ money to get there. Didn’t I deserve to receive my certificate of readiness from someone of accomplishment and high position?

    When Christ our king was famously anointed for his work, an act usually performed by a pope, prince, or other male, the chosen vessel of coronation was none other than a peasant woman. It was Mary who poured a pound of costly perfume all over his feet.

    This anointing becomes an act of liberation not just for the ‘least of these’ but for you and me as well. Rich as we are, at least in comparison to the sustenance living of Mary and Jesus’ friends, we do well to consider the our God desires the poor to be liberated from their poverty just as much as he desires the rich to be liberated from their possessiveness.
    As you and I head into the fifth week of Lent, and our shared work of making order among our stuff, we may have discovered several areas of surplus. We may also have ruminated over the possibility that much of the world has too little because much of the world has too much.  ‘The poor’ are not easily categorized objects of pity, rather God desires the under-resourced and the over-resourced to meet together around a circular table of our shared humanity with Christ in the center. How is our shared Lenten work awakening us to the plight of those who have less? In what ways are we discovering that God has given us much so that we might share with those who do not have as much?
  • Beyond Compare

    Beyond Compare

    I was recently tasked with evaluating an executive.

    During our conversation he paused to thank me for taking the time to offer constructive feedback. He said that, like most executives, he spent an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about whether or not he was pleasing the board. And this was time and energy he could have spent working at his job.

    There are many things you and I do that sap our resources and take them away from doing the creative and imaginative work we’re called to do. One of the most obvious is comparison.

    This Sunday we’ll hear the popular story of the Prodigal Son, that wayward youngest child who took an early inheritance, squandered it, then returned only to be accepted by his father and mocked by his older brother.

    While we often emphasize the love of the father in this story, there’s no discounting the heap of misery the older brother endured as he mired himself in comparison. He could not stray far from envious and jealous thoughts that bound him like a straightjacket.

    The biggest problem with comparison is that it saps the energy we were given to create. Comparison is toxic. Let it go. Think about something else. The world desperately needs our energies channeled elsewhere.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430