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
  • Three Places

    Three Places


    As a follower of Jesus I often find myself in one of three places.

    The first place is where I can be totally overwhelmed by what’s going on around me. Be it work, family, or current events. I become as caught up in the drama of the day as anyone and I can feel confused, frustrated, and seriously out of sorts.

    The second place is where I am most of the time. This is when I get the feeling that despite what’s going on around me, there’s a bigger plan at work. Overwhemlings seem to right size, and I can get through things rather easily as I suspect all will work out.

    And the third, more rare place is where I simply know that God is at work. These are my life’s ‘God moments’ - when I recognize that the force I suspect is at work becomes known to me.

    The day after the Resurrection, St. Luke tells us the story of two people whose journey to a town called Emmaus mirrors this.

    These people are not among the 12 disciples, but they are average folk. It is to them that Jesus came alongside and gradually made his presence known. It helps me remember that no matter where I am in my journey Jesus is near - and whatever impossible situation may threaten me, things will somehow work out.

    Yes, Jesus walks alongside us, often unbidden and unrecognized. We live the life of faith when we walk with the notion that these three phases of the journey are common and oft-repeated. Where are you on the road to Emmaus? And why are you worried?
  • Christ Our Peace

    Christ Our Peace


    One week after Easter you and I are not anxious disciples, doubled over in fear, crouching in a dark corner of our safe house, awaiting Roman soldiers to beat down the door and kill us.

    We are not pulling the blinds at midday hiding from immigration police out to permanently separate us from our spouse and children.

    And we are not Syrian peasants in an underground air raid shelter, huddling close together with our families as artillery shells threaten our neighborhood and our lives.

    But we are suburban mothers, worried about our children - fearful of the dangerous world they're growing up in.

    We are senior citizens, facing the final chapters of our lives with all the incumbent aches, pains, and financial uncertainties.

    And we are proud Americans, living in unsettled and unpredictable times, often feeling depressed, overwhelmed, underpaid, overworked, anxious, out of sorts, burned out, and unable to keep up.

    And into the midst of every of these very different scenarios comes the same risen Christ. His message is as consistent as his presence:

    Peace be with you.

    Sure, we might wish he came to solve, sort, save, or otherwise secure us, but his most endearing and most valuable promise is to simply be with us, for he is peace. With him is peace.

    Being in a peaceful place matters much less than being with a peaceful person.
  • Redeeming Judas

    Redeeming Judas


    It’s so easy to hate Judas.

    Just look at John’s gospel and see what a Satan-possessed, money-grabber he was. He’s the poster boy for traitors and heavy metal bands, the scapegoat for all societal ills. But what if there’s another way to read the story - a way that actually makes Judas more human, more like you and me than we may be comfortable considering?

    And here’s how that might go.

    First we have to imagine that we don’t get an entirely accurate look at Judas just from reading John’s gospel, but we have to look at the other biblical texts that talk about him.

    As a reminder, let’s recall that the Bible is God’s word through human hands, and we remember that experts tell us that the Gospels we have were not all written at once – but were written over time, with each author consulting the previous author for direction. For example, Mark was written first, then Matthew, Luke, and John, each subsequent author calling on the other for guidance.
               
    Also, let’s consider that those first disciples who would have joined Jesus, especially Judas, would have been attracted to Jesus because of his compassion for the poor, his commitment to healing the hurting, and his desire to bring justice to the oppressed.

    Then we consider that famous story which occurs late in Jesus’ ministry, of a woman coming to Jesus and pouring a $40,000 bottle of perfume on his feet. This certainly freaked out his disciples because Jesus didn’t stop this woman, but appeared to be enjoying it while everyone else thought ‘what a waste of money that could’ve gone to the poor!’ And that’s when Judas went to the Jewish leaders and said it was time to betray Jesus.
               
    Now it’s important that in Mark, Judas does not ask for money – he just appears indignant. Anybody ever been disgusted by crooked TV preachers - those who appear to have sold out the gospel for money and possessions? Well Jesus, here enjoying a $40,000 foot massage and not complaining about it – may have just irked his disciples enough so that action needed to be taken. This may have been what Judas was thinking – and why he thought he needed to end it.

    And we see this image of Judas change as the gospels evolve - so that when we get to the second oldest Gospel, Matthew, we see that Matthew says Judas now, did do it for money. Then we get to the third gospel, Luke, and not only does Judas now do it for money, but Satan enters into him at the moment of betrayal. Then we get to John, and not only is Judas doing it for money, and has Satan entered Judas, but Satan has entered Judas even before the betrayal.
               
    The point is, that you and I can relate much more to Judas if we understand that he was a human – just like you and me – who thought he was doing the right thing by turning Jesus in rather than making him out to be some-money grubbing scapegoat for all of our heinous baggage.

    Judas was human, like you and me, and woke up each day thinking he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. And Jesus’ compassion for him in this story is yet another example of the attitude we need to have for the people who voted differently than we did, who worship God differently than we do, and who hold opinions that are contrary to our own.

    Making Judas into Satan makes it easier for us to also make those we don’t agree with into Satan. But if we consider Judas was just like us, this isn’t that easy.
  • Let 'em Win

    Let 'em Win


    I love playing double solitaire.

    I remember many late nights at the living room table with friends and relatives dealing the cards and racing to lay mine down faster than my opponent. I was a relentless competitor having no mercy on other players - even my own grandmother!

    It's no wonder that when I reached my teens fewer and fewer people wanted to play cards with me. They knew that winning, for me, was everything. They knew I would sacrifice even close relationships just to win.

    Thankfully as I've grown I've discovered what most of us know instinctively, that the point of card games, athletic competitions, in fact, the achievement of every position and the obtaining of every possession, is not winning or getting, but the enhancement relationships. Winning games, winning races, winning arguments, falls a far second to the enhancement and preservation of relationships.

    Palm Sunday is God's way of showing us that winning was not the point. The defeat and failure of Christ’s crucifixion was the precursor to the enhancement of relationships. Quashing Rome, telling off Pontius Pilate, and beating all opposition was not the priority, it was, and always will be about enhancing and restoring relationships.

    So we ask ourselves, In what ways do we put winning and being right ahead of enhancing and preserving relationships? Do we write off people, unfriend them, and put up walls because being right is more important than being in relationship? In what ways is this idolatry?

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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