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
  • Roundhouses


    The first trains could only move in one direction.

    Turning them around soon became an issue. So roundhouses were built. These were yards for locomotives that feature a gigantic turntable in the middle that allows trains to change direction.

    Like these trains, our lives move in one direction.

    We barrel down the track thinking we are who we are, we do what we do, we’ll be who we’ll be, and we can’t change that.

    But life also has roundhouses.

    One is called Advent – which says our directions can change.

    I’ve found this nearly always happens in small ways - we take a baby step to becoming a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more present.

    Then we step back, repeat those small changes, and see bigger ones.

    Advent, with its emphasis on repentance, preparation, and serenity, wants to be our roundhouse. It wants to be our inspiration and crucible for the kinds of change we sense God calling us towards.

    How is Advent your roundhouse?
  • Keep Awake

    Keep Awake

    Thanksgiving is when the wheels can fall off.

    During this holiday weekend somebody’s going to drink too much. Somebody’s going to say something inappropriate. Some part of the meal will be less than perfect. Somebody who’s not around will be deeply missed. Somebody’s going to cancel.

    Holidays are often emotionally charged affairs that can magnify our family dysfunction. Both conflict and compromise arise. While they are also the things family photos and long-time memories are made of, beneath the cheery veneer our humanity shows up to cloud things.

    In case you didn’t notice, Thanksgiving always inaugurates the church season of Advent. In addition to marking the Christian ‘New Year,’ Advent invites us to take the themes of pause, preparation, and attentiveness to heart.

    On Sunday, we will kick off Advent with a Gospel reading that urges us to, ‘keep awake.’ We are to keep awake to Christ in his many forms, including generosity, charity, and the warm smiles of those we love.

    However, Advent also invites us to keep awake to the imperfections of the season - to irritation, inconvenience, and discomfort. These are our growing edges; for growth rarely comes comfortably or conveniently.

    This holiday weekend let’s be awake to the myriad of ways God is trying to communicate with us. Let’s accept the gifts of love and friendship, but also be attentive to the imperfections, misses, and miscues. God often speaks to us through them. Advent is here. Keep awake.
  • Above the Fray

    Above the Fray

    In 1982 "Lawnchair Larry" Walters of Los Angeles made his historic voyage. He attached about a dozen weather balloons to a lawnchair and floated to 16,000 feet before shooting out a few of the balloons with a pellet gun and safely floating back to earth.

    He said it was something he’d wanted to do since he was 13 years old, to float up into the sky, to be awed by the view and the calm, to drift lazily above the fray.

    This Sunday the Church celebrates the end of the Christian year with the commemoration of Christ the King.

    His kingship reminds us of the ways Jesus lives above the fray

    And so the Gospel reading is that famous passage in which Jesus is led to his execution and actually prays for his assailants. He doesn’t say, ‘Hey, get me down from here!’ rather he seems remarkably calm through it all. He sees to the heart of the matter, which is that he must die knowing that, of course, he cannot be constrained by death.

    His attitude forces us to ask why we’re so unwilling to join Jesus in living above the fray. Before each of us is a battle, a tussle, a conflict. And we are constantly getting too close, too involved, and too convinced that the fracas is where we have to put all of our energies.

    When we are caught up in the details of life we are diminished. When we occupy ourselves with small worries we become small people. The scratch on the car, the spot on the carpet, the dirty dish in the sink – we can, and do, get preoccupied with these things but the world does not turn on them.

    How can we live above the fray?
  • Join My Secret Society of Creative Philanthropy

    Join My Secret Society of Creative Philanthropy

    A lawyer recently sent me a letter.

    He said I overpaid on my taxes. He said he would go to court and get the money back. He told me I’d receive $1,000.

    I want you to help me spend it.

    Well, not all of it. I decided to keep half (this is to remind you that I may be a priest, but I’m not Jesus).

    However, the other half, $500 - I want you to help me give it away.

    So I’m asking 10 parishioners to take $50 and creatively spend it.

    I don’t want you to simply pass it on to your favorite charity – no - take time and pray, then act. Whose day can I make? What’s that creative Spirit saying to me?

    Maybe you’ll buy $50 of really great chocolate and make brownies for a shut in. Maybe you’ll go to the Eastern Market and buy $50 of flowers and give them away on the street corner. Maybe you’ll buy a crate of apples and make applesauce for our homeless friends?

    So if you want in, send me an email, a letter, or a text. I’ll choose the top 10 and arrange to get you your cash.

    The only hitch is that you have to report back to me in a month and tell me what you did. I may make your story public, but I won’t use your name if you don’t want me to. After all, it is a ‘secret society.’

    Why am I doing this? Because November is stewardship season and I constantly need to remind myself of the liberating power of giving. And if your pastor can’t be generous, what business do I have asking you to be?

    So go ahead, start dreaming – it’s a season of generosity – who can you bless? How can you bless them?
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430