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
  • "No more camping trips with dad!"

    "No more camping trips with dad!"

    To see how far religion has come, it helps to read up on some ghoulish history – namely, the history of human sacrifice - keeping in mind this is not for the faint of heart.

    What we see is that not more than a half dozen centuries ago, humans were doing unspeakable things to other humans in the name of religion.

    It’s understandable, as we had no idea how the earth worked. So to appease the invisible forces behind rain and sunshine, fertility and health, humans reasoned they were to give up something valuable. Anthropologists say this is the genesis of nearly all forms of religious sacrifice.

    It is in this primitive setting that one of the most popular religious stories appeared: Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his only son Isaac.

    If you have a problem with a God who wants an innocent child sacrificed you’re not alone. However given the setting in which this story first appeared, there would have been far fewer objections.

    The revelation here is that, in fact, this God does not want a child sacrificed. The revolutionary statement was that while the gods of Abraham’s neighbors were calling for human sacrifice, this God wasn’t.
    This God was different.
    Very different.

    Israel’s God was interested in blessing. Indeed, the bigger story of Abraham was his call to be a ‘blessing to all nations.’

    This story announces that God is not the angry, judgmental, punishing deity that too many of us still suspect – rather God’s interest is in loosing you and me from the ideas that we are here to do anything less than to love, heal, reconcile, and assist in repairing the brokenness of the world.

    You and I are called, as Abraham was called, to come face to face with a God who wants to bless others through us. How are we seeing ourselves as this vessel? Whom is God asking us to bless, and how are we doing so?
  • The Surprising Joy of Change

    The Surprising Joy of Change

    An elderly man, who lived his entire life in his beloved Detroit, died one day.

    As he arrived at the pearly gates, he clutched a fist full of Belle Isle dirt. God welcomed him at the pearly gates and said, ‘Welcome to heaven, now put down the dirt and let’s go inside.’

    The elderly man said, ‘Put down the dirt? Never! Detroit is my home and heart, I shall never let go.’ God, taken aback, went back through the pearly gates alone.

    A few decades went by and God walked out to see the man. This time, God brought two bottles of Stroh’s beer and the two talked and laughed for a while. Again, God invited the man to put down the dirt and to accompany him through the pearly gates. Once again, the man said, ’Never!’

    A few more decades passed when God sent one of the man’s relatives – a granddaughter to try to persuade the elderly man to come in. ‘Let’s go grandfather – there are so many of our relatives to see!’ she said. This time, the elderly man relented, and as the earth dropped from his fist, he passed through those pearly gates.

    Then, as he looked out at the sight before him, the elderly man dropped to his knees - for he was standing at the entrance of Belle Isle.

    Friends, we cannot accept the new without releasing the old. Change is always difficult, but when we trust the Lord’s voice, taking that step of faith, we are usually rewarded.
  • Go


    My friend Eddie drove drunk in high school and killed his best friend.

    The loss of a buddy, the anger and devastation of family and friends, not to mention all the legal entanglements that resulted put Eddie in a mental state that lasted for years. At the core, and in the end, the most pervasive challenge was getting rid of the guilt and forgiving himself.

    Years down the road, after Eddie had married and had children, he was still haunted by the crash. Then one day he opened up to a friend who was brave enough to come alongside Eddie and offer some advice. He pointed out that one’s inability to forgive one’s self has been scientifically proven to had adverse affect on one’s children – and if Eddie really loved his kids, he would learn how to let it go.

    This piece of advice had an amazing affect on Eddie, who marks it as a major milestone in his road to wellness – all because someone was willing to go deep with him and care enough to care.

    This Sunday you and I will hear an overwhelmed and overburdened Jesus ask his friends for help tending to the hurting people around him – people like Eddie.

    Jesus knows there are a lot of Eddies out there just waiting for people like you and me to come alongside them.

    So our challenge today might be: Whom around us needs a friend, a touch, a call, an email? How can we get in better touch with the challenges others are facing around us? How is Jesus sending us out to heal the hurting?

  • How to Improve Your Relationships

    How to Improve Your Relationships

    When we agree to enter into a relationship with someone we’re best to do so with wide-eyed, generous, optimism grounded in the reality that the other person has some very serious problems.

    After all, they’re just like us – human. And we humans, for some reason, are desperately flawed - the Church often calls this ‘original sin’ – so much so that we really don’t know what we don’t know about ourselves, much less about the situations around us and the future into which we have no choice but to be dragged – fearfully and pitifully unprepared. It’s no wonder we behave erratically, becoming angry and frustrated with big, though usually small things, inflicting the greatest amount of pain upon the people we claim to cherish most.

    It is given this reality that we seek trajectories we hope will take us upward, into becoming the best versions of ourselves. And we know, instinctively, because we humans are a communal breed, that we do this better when we are in relationship with others.

    And those relationships work best when we take into account our shared imperfections and act generously, kindly, and forgiving toward others.

    Relationships come to mind this time of year because this weekend we celebrate something called Trinity Sunday. This is the only feast day on the calendar not dedicated to a person or an event, but a theology – as the Church wants us not only to worship God, but to spend at least one day a year trying to figure out who s/he is.

    Centuries of analysis by the best minds in the tradition have concluded that the idea of a ‘trinity’ – of a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is the best way to conceptualize this - which, of course, bespeaks relationship. The famous icon by the Russian iconographer Rublev depicts this so wonderfully in the illustration above.

    The image suggests a civil, respectful conversation around a shared table. No one is throwing a fit. Dialog is occurring. There is peace, if not joy and hope, in the shared work being undertaken.

    And we humans are at our best when we enter relationships with the crazy people around us not only recognizing our own craziness, but with a polite and optimistic outlook toward the abundance of shortcomings we’re bound to encounter.

    It is in this way that we emulate the Trinity – becoming like God by showing respect, calm, and even hope for the potential of relationships around us. How do we encounter others as well meaning, though mutually flawed? How are we working to be more generous, forgiving, and accepting of those who are most likely doing their very best?
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430