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
  • Wholeness

    Wholeness


    The road to wellness is paved with charity and selflessness; it is in giving that we are made whole.
  • Two Friends

    Two Friends



    (Photo by Michael Kenna)
    I have two friends.
    One is a doctor. One is a photographer. The doctor thinks the human body is fascinating. He understands how the organs and major systems work. He can rattle off an amazing repertoire of insights into cell structure and nutrition absorption all the way up to the complex intermingling of assorted bodily workings. The body, to a large degree, fascinates him because he knows it so well. My other friend, the photographer, loves the human body as well. He’s taken thousands and thousands of photographs of a wide variety of bodies, of both sexes, of all ages. He can lecture at length about how light bounces off various skin types and how certain poses accentuate certain body parts. He’s fascinated by the body too - even though he has absolutely no idea how it works. This Sunday is called ‘Trinity Sunday.’ It’s a unique feast because we don’t honor a person or an event – like St. Francis or Christmas - but instead we pay homage to a theological construct. In two thousand years of Christian evolution we have come to the conclusion that God is best understood as a mysterious interplay between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yes, some people, like my doctor friend, have keen theological insight into what we mean by ‘Trinity.’ Their understanding of scripture, history, ontology, sociology, and philosophy helps them arrive at rather precise conclusions about what God is all about. Meanwhile, other people, like my photographer friend, choose to bask in the presence of its beauty, whose existence inspires great confidence even though they would never attempt to understand it. On Trinity Sunday, both of these polarities come together; both are accepted, both are honored, and both are equally valid. We acknowledge God in God’s complexity and God in God’s wondrous beauty - for we know that any claim to fully understand God means we have become God. The soul of this day, then, looks for ways to connect with this numinous force who calls both mind and heart to attention. How do we best understand God – with our heart or head? A bit of both? And how is this Holy Trinity stretching our understanding so that we might learn more about our lives and our world?
  • Finding Vocation

    Finding Vocation


    Don’t get all hung up on finding “your calling.”

    In my experience, few people have just one “calling” – there is rarely “one thing” that people have been given to do over the course of what, for most people, is a very long life.

    The fact that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average American will have 10 different jobs before they reach age 40 metes this out. And, yes, that number is expected to do nothing but grow.

    Sure, everyone has likes and dislikes, which lead us to excel in some areas more than others: that’s how God made us. But our likes and dislikes change over time. Since we usually become better at the things we like (practice isn’t practice, it’s having fun!) this doesn’t mean we can only attempt things that we are already ‘good’ at. It means we should nurture those things we like to do but not limit ourselves to this – after all the first time anyone does anything, they are not good at it.

    So don’t get down on yourself, but try to celebrate the challenge and experience we had going to business school though now we work as a chef. Or graduating at the top at our conservatory class although now we have now found a home in H.R. God gave us many interests and abilities, and thus the possibility of being good at many different things.

    Yes, life may be a series of trying on different hats, but just because we’ve found one that fits doesn’t mean we can never try another. Sure, we can only wear one at a time but life is long enough and God is good enough so that most of us get a chance to experience a wider swath of humanity.

    So keep dreaming and don’t get hung up on finding your life’s one calling. It’s better to accept the complexities of our gifts and desires and concentrate more on identifying today’s groove, living in the now, and the joy of God’s continued gift of vocation.
  • Let Us Pray

    Let Us Pray


    In the classic book ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Miss Cornelia, a staunch Presbyterian, hears that a friend is ailing.

    Cornelia is told the situation is so dire that her friend will now have to, ‘rely on the Lord.’ Cornelia gasps and is overcome with emotion. She replies, ‘Surely, it isn’t as bad as all that!’

    Mark Thibodeaux, a spiritual writer, likes to delineate between four kinds of prayer. The first, is the one that Cornelia is edging around –  prayer when ‘you haven’t got a prayer’ - which is a prayer of petition like ‘Oh God, heal my friend!’

    Or my favorite is the old Catholic petition for a parking spot, ‘Mother Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, find a place for my little machine-y.’

    Petition is the most common kind of prayer. Thibodeaux labels it as talking at God. This is contrasted with a second kind, talking to God. There’s a third kind, listening to God. And there’s a fourth called being with God.

    We explore deeper forms of prayer because there is no better place to find centeredness, direction, and meaning in our lives than in prayer, especially those latter three types. We pray because our souls are starved for meaning and we believe that prayer is a way to transcend the boundaries of self and reach beyond, to a reality we know is there.

    Yes, like exercise and a proper diet, we often fail to make adequate accommodation for prayer, but when we do, it’s golden.

    So friends, what might we do to make more space for prayer?
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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