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
  • Dream Big(ger)

    Dream Big(ger)

    One of the big misunderstandings we have is that God works against us.

    We think that when dreams and ambitions don’t come true when and how we want them to, God must disapprove and thus sabotage them.

    But what if God is actually working not only to keep us from harm but behind the scenes on the things we most deeply desire and even on things we don’t even know we desire?

    What if our problem isn’t that we overestimate God’s ability to bless and change our lives, but that we underestimate it?

    God is not fighting our dreams, god is working to make them come true.
  • The Most Dangerous Prayer

    The Most Dangerous Prayer

    Last spring I bought a 1968 station wagon. It was a in terrific shape and had been stored in dry garages in and around Los Angeles all of its life.

    In May I flew to Southern California to drive the car 3,500 miles back to Detroit. I had been assured by the seller that the car was well-maintained and that a mechanic had gone over it and deemed it road worthy for the trip. I even called the mechanic myself to make sure everything was tip-top.

    Boy, what a trip it was! I drove through deserts, over mountains, and across plains, where the speed limit was often 80 miles per hour. The car performed just fine, and after 3 days of 15 hour per day driving, I arrived home.

    Two days later I drove a mile and got a flat.

    A tow truck came and the driver changed my tire. I asked him what I had run over and if the tire could be repaired. He took his baseball hat off, scratched his head, and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this sir, but these tires are about 20 years old and all of them need to be replaced, I hope you’re not driving far on them.”

    My eyes were immediately opened, not only to the condition of my ‘new’ tires, but of how grateful to God I was that I arrived home in one piece.

    Eye-opening events like this happen all the time.

    We usually dread them, but they’re always good for us. For the truth, as distasteful and unwelcomed as it can be, is ultimately very good for us.

    Let’s face it, our biggest problem is that we don’t know we have a problem. And when our eyes are opened to it we’ve taken a first step toward addressing it, and are thus on our way to further wholeness.

    Sunday’s gospel is about blindness, and the sermon is about the most dangerous prayer we can pray: Lord, open my eyes. As a precursor, let us ask the Almighty for the courage and the wisdom to pray in this way, and even more so, to act appropriately on the newness that comes before our eyes.
  • On Self Importance

    On Self Importance

    The first baby monitor hit the market in 1937. Spooked by the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby, the president of Zenith came up with the idea of a ‘Radio Nurse.’ The modernistic Bakelite device was launched with great fanfare, but never really caught on – mainly because it cost $325 in today’s dollars and it frequently picked up ball games and comedy shows in addition to baby’s coos and cries.

    But the idea that we could listen in on baby no matter when and where would continue to be attractive, though it would have to wait until the wireless technologies of the 1980’s came along to make this practical.

    Today, baby monitors are as ubiquitous as diapers and pacifiers. We want to listen – even watch via baby cams – because we care and we love. And we do well to consider that God does the same with us.

    One of the more pervasive temptations you and I face today is this idea that our lives are insignificant – that we’re unimportant, irrelevant, or even worthless. You may be feeling that today. Our world population is burgeoning, our celebrity/consumer culture tells us we’re constantly missing out, and our world overall, seems like it’s spinning faster and faster, even uncontrollably so.

    In Sunday’s Gospel you and I will hear a familiar story of an encounter Jesus has with a Samaritan woman at the well. He surprises this stranger by telling her intimate details of her life. And in doing so reminds us that God is just as well acquainted with our lives.

    It makes us suspect that God is more intimately familiar with and interested in our lives than we think. It makes us ponder the notion that this God, who has knowledge of every sparrow falling from a bush, actually cares for us as much as we care about our newborns. For, let us not be surprised that one day we discover our lives are infinitely more significant than we imagined.

    What this offers is not simply comfort in knowing that we’re heard, but courage in taking up our cause. Our voice matters. Our actions matter. The convictions we harbor regarding the injustice and inequality around us deserve to be expressed. Speak up, your voice is being heard.
  • The Wrong Story

    The Wrong Story

    My friend was recently in the hospital.

    The doctor came by to read his history then administer a new drug. A short time later my friend became violently ill. He summoned the nurse who came and examined the I.V. then immediately stopped administering the new medication

    The nurse then consulted the physician who was puzzled about what happened. Soon it was determined the doctor had given my friend the wrong medication because he had mistakenly read a different patient’s history. If things had gone unchecked, my friend could have died. It’s what happens when we pay attention to the wrong story.

    The world around us constantly gives us the wrong story. It’s a fearful story. We’re told we should be scared; that other countries are overtaking us, that immigrants and refugees are threatening us, that gays and lesbians are ruining our values, that “minorities” are stealing away rights. This story of fear plays to our lesser angels. It harbors distrust and anxiety. And it always leads to control because that’s what fearful people do.

    But there’s another story. It is based on humanity’s best attribute, which is our capacity to love. It believes in care for others, acceptance, generosity, openness, curiosity, and hospitality. It urges us to trust and have faith. This story is harder to believe because it appeals to our better angels, and listening to them is not our default setting. Ultimately, this story is not about control, but about mutual trust, reliance on one another, the presence of the divine, and letting go.

    The hard work of the Gospel is for you and me to pay attention to stories that are more like the second one. The stories of faith rooted in love – it’s because those are the true stories, for love always wins, even over death.

    So we do well to ask ourselves about the stories we’re listening to – the scripts we’re living by. At the risk of sounding too simplistic, are they stories of control or faith? Fear or love? Let us be diligent to discern for the right stories around us and listen to them.
  • Spiritual Cross Fit

    Spiritual Cross Fit

     My friend Al joined Cross Fit on January 1.

    For the uninitiated, Cross Fit is a specialized fitness regimen that’s both physical exercise as well as a competitive fitness sport. Cross Fit workouts typically incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, power lifting, and other disciplines. As you may have surmised Cross Fit is not for those who take commitment lightly. Just the opposite. Cross Fit devotees are known for their rabid focus on fitness, paying close attention to what they eat, how much they sleep, and obviously how much they train.

    Now back to my friend Al. He is no slouch when it comes to physical fitness. He was a college athlete, he watches his diet, and he worked out regularly even before joining Cross Fit.

    But Al joined back in January because he felt it was time to take his body to the next level, to push himself to new limits, and to see just how fit he could be. And in the last two months he’s done just that, slimming down, toning up, and making some improvements of which he’s genuinely proud.

    Today you and I enter Lent.  It is our spiritual Cross Fit. This holy season encourages us to do something similar to what Al did: to take an already vibrant and active spiritual life, and take it to the next level.

    We’re not talking about push-ups and bench presses, rather the kinds of exercises that build our spiritual lives, things that make us more loving, more generous, more kind, more forgiving, more helpful to our neighbor, and more Jesus-minded than we already are. 

    After all, the best way to do kind, giving, and sacrificial things is to be a kind, giving, sacrificial person. May the Lord grant us insight and strength as to how we might use this holy season to do just that.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430