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
  • Embodying Hope

    Embodying Hope

    I took a ride with an unhappy Uber driver this week.

    He wasn’t happy with his job, his family situation, or the place where he was living. He seemed like a victim to some sort of negativity that was clearly bringing him down.

    I wished I could have done more for him than pray.

    Then it struck me that I could.

    New research in the field of personality psychology tells us that hopefulness is contagious. If someone who’s feeling discouraged and negative is around hopeful people, over time, positive change regularly results.

    In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus sends 70 disciples on a mission to bring hope. He warns there will be resistance. But he encourages them anyway.

    Friends, times have not changed. We are to be bearers of hope to a discontented and discouraged world. We will encounter resistance. But Jesus says take heart; hope wins.

    How are we embodying hope? Chances are it is making more of an impact on the world around us than we suspect.
  • Finding Our Focus

    Finding Our Focus

    My hope for you is not that you would be comfortable, but that you would do something.

    It might be starting a company.

    It might be writing a book

    It might be being a good mom.

    Whatever the call it requires keeping on task, staying focused, and remaining centered. This is one of the most obvious and admirable of all of Jesus’ attributes, And in Sunday’s gospel he articulates some of the most common ways you and I get off track – which is always a first step to getting back on track.

    The first has to do with taking on too much. Many of us commit to tasks and activities before we discover just how much time and effort they really take. How might we count the cost before raising our hands to volunteer?

    A second addresses our failure to prioritize. Many of us can admit to doing the more fun and least important work first while leaving the more difficult and more important work for another time. How do we fall prey to the ‘busy but not productive’ scenario?

    A third relates to the ways we get distracted. Sure a change of scenery often helps, but we routinely spend way too long on this side jaunts at the detriment of the big picture. Can we name our biggest distractions and can we articulate ways to limit or avoid them?

    We live our lives in distraction-rich environments that have the capacity to make us happy, but also prevent us from keeping on the course we have charted. May Jesus grant His church focus and strength to do the work we’ve been called to do.
  • Dear Orlando Shooting Victims...

    Dear Orlando Shooting Victims...

    Dear Orlando Nightclub Victims-

    I’ve never stuck my head in your club, but I can’t get your club out of my head.

    I have no idea what you’re living through. But I’m writing to say you’re not suffering alone.

    Yes, it was a sucker punch from an aggressor who may well have been repressing his own sexual identity and therefore didn’t hate you as much as he hated himself.

    So I am trying to connect with your loss by connecting with my own, and even then losing my loved one is still a chasm away from how you lost yours. I’m so sorry. Please know that I’m trying to be where you are. You are on my mind.

    That’s why I’m also praying for you. But, tell you the truth, I’m tired of praying. Columbine, Newtown, San Bernardino, in fact, there’s a multiple victim shooting on 5 out of every 6 days in America. And each time I wonder if maybe we’ll see something change – but we don’t. Yes, raging frustration is part of the pain we share.

    However I’m not just writing to lament, I am writing to remind myself that no substantial, long-term social change ever comes about in a finger snap. It takes snowflake after snowflake on the mount before the avalanche cascades. And when it does, watch out. All along remembering that every snowflake counts.

    I also want you to know that the petitions I’ll sign and the literature I’ll distribute are being done for you. I’ve had enough. And I’m really hoping the action you’ve inspired in me will be seen by others who will be encouraged, and thus encourage others.

    Finally, you’ve caused me to look deeper. Not for reasons, but for magic. I’ve experienced few tragedies from which something marveling emerged that would not have otherwise. So as we go about the dirty work before us I’m on the lookout for gold.

    Carry on my friends, your burden is being shared. Our human bonds of mutual concern are stronger than the thin threads of evil like this. We will win because goodness wins, and I pray that I can’t get that out of my head.
  • Finding Jesus

    Finding Jesus

    “Where did you see Jesus today?”

    It’s an end of the day question I’ve started asking friends and family.

    Was it in a patient store clerk? A generous friend? A caring stranger? It’s harder to find Jesus when we’re not looking for him.

    About 15 years ago a fun experiment was designed related to this – if you have two minutes go ahead and take it here then continue reading. It’s worth it.

    The study asked participants to count the number of times a basketball was being passed around between a group of people. While study participants were busy counting the passes, a man in a gorilla suit passed through the group. While nearly all the study participants were able to correctly tally the number of times the basketball was passed, about half of them did not notice the man in the gorilla suit walk through the setting (I didn’t).

    This exercise in selective attention reminds us that we can be blind to obvious things when we become too focused on other things.

    In Sunday’s Gospel we’ll meet a man who suffered from this selective attention, to his detriment, and was unable to recognize God in his midst.

    This is why I have a habit of asking myself and others where they saw Jesus today.

    After all, finding him is much easier when we’re looking for him.

    Where did you see Jesus today?
  • The Miracle of Gift

    The Miracle of Gift

    When I moved into my house I had a kitchen counter and no chairs.

    Thankfully, my sister’s home was being renovated and she asked me to store some things until the construction job was completed. This included two chairs that looked like they were custom made for my kitchen counter.

    My children loved these chairs, the height and styling were perfect. Guests always commented on how well they fit the space.

    Then, after 8 months, my sister asked for the chairs back. I was bummed. Where was I going to find another set of chairs that would do the trick? The closest I could come was a pair of wooden chairs that never quite fit. And every day I passed that counter all I could think of was how substandard my current chairs were and how ideal my sisters had been.

    However, I no longer pass that counter feeling that way. No, I don’t have new chairs. I have a new attitude.

    I have discovered that much of human discontent comes when we look at what we have as something that’s due to us – whether it’s earned, willed, or otherwise acquired. What has done the trick for me is to understand, instead, that everything is a gift.

    What I mean is that I started out with an empty kitchen counter. And then my sister gave me a gift. I really enjoyed that gift, and I was lucky to do so for 8 months.

    Earlier this week, when a friend asked if I could run a very inconvenient errand, I found a way to say yes, and did so happily because I looked at the gift it was to be able to help someone plus enjoy a scenic drive.

    In other words, nearly every hassle, headache, and heartache can be greatly lessened by our understanding that it’s not what it appears to be. Of course, it may not be expected, recognized, or as mundane as the examples I’ve mentioned. But even grief over the death of a loved one is greatly lessened by my thoughts of gratefulness toward them.

    The wonder of creation, the work and ministry of Jesus, the calling God has on our lives, it’s a gift. It’s all a gift.

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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430