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
  • How to Decide...

    How to Decide...

    One of the perennial conundrums we face is waking up in the morning and deciding whether to spend the day in sheer enjoyment of the glorious world around us - or engaged in the hard work of repairing it.

    You and I have simply been gifted with such an amazing world, especially as we experience it as Americans, yet at the same time we also see the vast suffering and affliction that so many in the world experience on a moment-by-moment basis.

    This quandary comes to mind as we ponder Jesus' famous retort to a group of conniving critics when he utters that memorable line, 'Give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.' If you are like me you have a recurring challenge in figuring out what exactly belongs to God and what exactly belongs to Caesar.

    Thus the difficulty you and I to contemplate, one of the most important challenges we face as Christians, is discernment.

    As we discern we utilize the tried-and-true Anglican tools of scripture, tradition, and reason. We look to God's word to instruct us, we look to those who have gone before us and those who surround us for their wisdom and we look to the knowledge that we have been given as well as other resources that help us make sense of things. It is much more an art than it is science, yet this light-filled art inspires us to pray and inquire, tapping into the Divine resources with which we have been so wonderfully blessed.

    It makes us wonder: are there right or wrong answers, or are there simply better and worse answers? However we decide to move forward, we must always do so in the knowledge that God tends to judge our attitudes and intentions more than our actual accomplishments, meaning that just wanting to do the right thing holds great weight and merit. I am also strengthened knowing that God is merciful and God looks upon us with forgiveness, understanding, and mercy more than judgement and condemnation.

    May the spirit grant us resolve, wisdom, courage, and firm resolve to discern the weighty questions before us - and the grace to understand we're loved, cherished, and adored regardless of their outcome.
  • Joy Is the Best Make-Up

    Joy Is the Best Make-Up

    Paging through the victim biographies of the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history didn’t last long because I just couldn’t take it.

    A newly minted college grad, a corrections officer, a substitute teacher… such tragedy… such sadness. Why did this happen, who are we to permit this, what will be done to prevent ‘next time’?

    Yet this pain isn’t new. There are other tragedies of even greater magnitude - usually because they’re closer to home: the death of a child, a divorce, bankruptcy, or a job loss.

    What stands in stark contrast is the Christian notion of joy. Indeed, we are taught that Christians are typified by joy, that Jesus came into the world ‘that our joy may be full,' and that, as St. Paul writes in a text we’ll read Sunday, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.’

    But then Las Vegas comes around - and how could we possibly 'rejoice always?'

    I think it’s because there's a difference between rejoicing and rejoicing in the Lord. 

    What I mean is that while there’s no cause for joy in a tragedy, God’s hand is never removed from calamity. In fact, looking for God’s fingerprints, in the circumstances that surround us usually brings joy. For the Lord is present in Las Vegas in the many hands coming to the rescue, in the increased national attention to gun violence prevention, and in the greater appreciation many of us feel, having learned anew about the fragility of human life.

    Theologian David Stendl-Rast famously says that happy people are not grateful, but grateful people are happy. Thus, a role in the time of tragedy is to gaze through the lens of gratefulness, looking for God’s fingerprints and nurturing a sense of expectancy at locating the divine presence.

    This is cause for you and me to pursue, even moreso, this idea of being ‘in the Lord’ - finding ways to immerse ourselves more completely in the Light, seeking God’s company, looking for Jesus in others, probing the depths of divine love, and being more deeply rooted in the heavenly promises of guidance, protection, and provision.

    Trial and tribulation are as present as the air we breathe, finding ways to see God in it all, stands only to help us and the world we seek to serve. Author Anne Lamott says ‘Joy is the best make up’ - may we wear it with a smile. 
  • Las Vegas: A Time to Pray, a Time to Act

    Las Vegas: A Time to Pray, a Time to Act

    Will this one be the tipping point?

    Will enough people express enough outrage that our gridlocked ruling class finally accomplishes something substantive regarding gun violence?

    “Not likely” is the most common response I’ve heard. But this isn’t good enough, simply because in the aftermaths of such tragedies you and I are not content with simply sitting on our hands and saying another prayer.

    If you’re like me, the arguments in favor of our present liberal gun laws are growing increasingly weak. Here are the ones I hear:

    1) Any changes we make could not have prevented the Las Vegas shooting. True. However, research shows that the more readily guns are available, the more likely there is to be a shooting. As Christians, who are called to work for a more peaceful society, limitations on the availability of guns is part of that. We didn’t prevent Las Vegas, but could we prevent the next one?  Here’s a helpful article.

    2) Gun control limits my rights. We already have gun control, you can’t buy a machine gun at Walmart, and there are many weapons only available to soldiers. If Jesus is about anything, it’s freedom. However, our liberties must always regard their affects on others: gun ownership affects more than an individual, but a community as well. 

    3) Liberals won’t stop until all guns are banned. Most Americans have no problem with people going to gun ranges or hunting areas, but we do have a problem when our next door neighbor has assault weapons. Most of us agree that a stockpile of weapons in a hotel room at a resort shouldn’t be something a civilized society condones.  Again, Jesus is not a kill-joy, but may likely ask us how his reign of peace is being extended by unbridled gun ownership.

    4) No one paid attention at Columbine, Newtown, or Orlando, we’ll forget about Las Vegas by the next news cycle. Social changes that better our common life never come all at once. The civil rights strides of the 1960’s led to historic legislation, but the spirit of those laws has taken, and is taking, decades to catch up with us. Just because we can’t make big changes doesn’t mean we should not make little ones.

    So what are we to do?

    First off, let us not be apathetic or discouraged: God is at work bringing all of creation into fruition in Christ. Societally, we are getting more peaceful (here's a book that traces that). Change like this does not happen in our time, but God's.
    There’s a group of Episcopal bishops who are keeping this issue alive, you can keep track at Certainly there are legislators to write, vigils to attend, and movements to be started. But let us never forget that it all starts with Jesus: where are we feeling led, and what are you being prompted to do in the wake of Las Vegas?
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430