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
  • Before and After

    Before and After

    Don’t you love before and after pictures? Whether it’s kitchen remodels, landscaping updates, or even abs, it’s great to see progress.

    If you’re like me, there’s probably something in your life you’d like to change. It may be as basic and personal as your physical fitness. It may be something more idealistic like being quicker to forgive, growing more deeply in love with God, your spouse or neighbor, taking a bigger role in your community, or speaking out for the poor and marginalized in a more profound way.

    Several weeks before his crucifixion, Jesus gave his closest disciples an unmistakable image of change when his very visage transfigured before them on the holy mount. The Church marks this event on the last Sunday before Lent because this is a time we, too, look for transformation.

    This Lent your parish is inviting you to change. Together we will read Gretchen Rubin’s book, ‘Better than Before’ which is a really good guide to changing habits (we have copies for sale on the back table in the Narthex).

    So in the few days before Lent begins (on Ash Wednesday, March 1) let’s take some time to consider what habit we’d like to either start or stop. In general, Rubin writes, there are seven areas of habits we look to – here’s that list, maybe it can help you discern what God is calling you to change:

    1) Accomplishing something more and ceasing procrastination
    2) Eating and drinking more healthfully
    3) Exercising regularly
    4) Save, spend, and earning more wisely
    5) Rest, relax, and enjoying life
    6) Simplifying, clearing, cleaning, and organizing
    7) Engaging more deeply in relationships, with God and others

    Throughout Lent, during our liturgy and adult forums, we will be talking about habits with hopes that God can help us change our lives and our world for the better. Next Sunday you’re invited to write down the habit you’d like to start or stop and place it on the altar as a way to more deeply commit to change throughout this holy season.

    Collect for Lent 2017
    O Transfigured One, help us change. Show us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the direction you desire us to go and give us the will to desire change. Help us be patient with ourselves as we go about this kingdom work and assist us in adopting and shunning those habits that do not bring you glory. We ask this in the name of the One who gives us strength to do more than we could hope or desire, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.
  • How to Be Perfect

    How to Be Perfect

    When Jesus commands his followers to be perfect as he is perfect he is challenging us to live up to our potential as lovers who are divinely equipped to answer aggression with restraint, insult with grace, injury with forgiveness, and anxiety with peace and calm. Dr. King famously said that the only thing that turn an enemy into a friend is love.

    The modern definition of persecution in the West is what pushes us in another direction.
    Today's persecution is not physical torture or even social ostracism, rather it is an oppressive cultural bias toward things like selfish accumulation, anti-communalism, grudge-holding, and a propensity to answer offense with harm.

    These are forces that come against us strong and hard at nearly every moment of our lives and we can all name instances in which we have faced them.

    Our work of being perfect, then, is to move toward our deepest, authentic selves discovering and re-discovering that source of love inside us - a well so deep and so perfect - and a work so critical and so crucial - that we do well to drop everything and simply focus our efforts on how to love better.

    How might we do this today?
  • The High Road

    The High Road

    Kwame and Kendra lived in a small village in Africa where they had been married for ten years.

    Unfortunately, during the course of their marriage Kendra was unable to become pregnant. So Kwame went to the village elder and asked for a divorce.

    The village elder said, ‘You were married ten years ago with great celebration and you will split up the same way!’ So the elder hosted a big party where there was much singing, dancing, and drinking.

    During the party Kendra gave Kwame more than his share of drink, and at one point he turned to her and said, “Kendra, when you leave, you have my permission to remove the thing you love most from our home and take it back with you to your parents home.”

    A few hours later when Kwame had passed out in his bed, Kendra asked some of the village men to carry Kwame and his bed to her parent’s house, where Kwame awoke surprised and confused.

    She turned to him and said, ‘I have taken with me what I love most - you.’ Soon afterward, Kendra became pregnant.

    Chances are you and I have been offended, insulted, or slighted this week – just like Kendra. Maybe it was by a family member, co-worker, or politician.

    Of course, our first reaction is to strike back, get even, or just plain cut and run. But Jesus asks us to go another way – and return offense, insult, and attacks upon our dignity, with love and kindness.

    So let’s admit our first reaction is rarely our best reaction. Take a moment before sending that retaliatory email. Hold off on sending that flaming text message. And imagine for a moment what it would look like to tap into who you are at the core: a person who holds love in their hearts, a person who tries hard to live a life of love.

    This is what Jesus asks us to do amidst our disagreements. How do we go about showing this love? How do we answer offense with kindness, knowing that the world cannot be saved any other way?
  • Why I Love Donald Trump

    Why I Love Donald Trump

    “You are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5)

    At first blush, this headline may have taken you aback. After all, it’s no secret that I am deeply troubled and disagree with many of our President’s policies around immigration, national security, abortion rights, and economic policy. I think they are uncharitable, unwise, unchristian, and deeply threatening. So maybe you thought this title was a type-o or simply click bait. However, I hope to articulate in this short snippet, and much more so in this coming Sunday’s sermon, why I do love the President, and why it is so important for Christians to take seriously our belief in the ultimate nature and work of God in the world as love, a love embodied in the ‘light’ within each of us, and what that light demands of you and me in the midst of a our anxious lives in a divided America.

    So first, let’s talk about love.

    Christians believe that God is love. We believe that from the inside out, through and through, within and without, God is absolute love. And this love, when embodied in human hearts, makes us lovers. Love becomes our supreme trait, it is our greatest attribute, and our highest goal. You see, Christians believe that love saves us, that love saves the world, indeed, that love is what will save civilization. Love, and nothing else – even, and especially, love for our enemies.

    In seeking to embody this love we can have no place for hatred – not even for those who threaten or harm us (more about this Sunday). We believe Jesus was not joking when he told us to ‘love your enemies’ but was imparting to us a critical key of his plan to redeem the world and make the Kingdom of God real in our midst.

    I believe Jesus told us to love our enemies because to do anything less would betray the light within us and be harmful to our community, our world, and us.

    First of all, we are to love because to do otherwise would only intensify the tension, bring things to a boiling point, and cause an eruption, which would help no one.

    A second reason, is because when we hate, it changes us – and not for the better. Therapists can outline the mental and emotional impacts of a persona that dwells on hatred. We become bitter and angry. Our personalities shift and change. Our blood pressure rises. The book of Proverbs eloquently asks, “Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?” (Prov. 6:27)

    And perhaps the most important reason is because of love’s redemptive nature. We simply cannot hope to effect positive change in a situation in which our oppositional convictions has forced us to remove ourselves. A little known but critical aspect of the civil rights protests of the 1960s was that of loving the oppressor because in doing so lay the only real hope to change the situation.

    How we do this, of course, is no easy matter and I look forward to outlining more about that on Sunday as well. But let me end by saying that I am well aware that I share the pews with people who are on the opposite side on these issues. I count many as friends who voted differently than I did – and I thank each one of them who has read this far. And so my final, and perhaps most important point, is that I believe God created us with distinctive personalities, opinions, and differences that are crucial to obtaining the fullness of human life and building a just and peaceful society. I see those who stand on the opposite side of issues not as the decadent, despicable, and despised, but as humans in need of the same kind of redemption I need. We are all equal before God, and God created us differently because in the harmony of our dissonance lies truth, growth, and health. I love Donald Trump because he is my brother and teacher with whom I share high respect for this nation and its wellbeing. We can find some common ground. We can work out some differences. And it takes love. The deep divides in our pews, and in our national life will never be spanned by insults and threats, but through the creation of safe spaces founded on love. Let us speak up, cultivate our opinions, yet always do so in the name and pursuit of love.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430