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
  • Why Jesus Was Never Sick

    Why Jesus Was Never Sick


    Not long ago a researcher took 132 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and formed two groups.

    In the first group, people met individually with a doctor to learn coping skills. In the second group, people met individually with one of 5 other MS patients to receive support. The goal was to see which group fared better: those who learned coping skills from a doctor, or those who heard from a fellow MS sufferer.

    At the end of the test period, researchers found that members of both groups fared about the same. However, their surprise finding was that the health and well-being of the 5 MS patients who offered support dramatically changed. Depression, self-confidence, and self-esteem improved markedly. One researcher said, “These people had undergone a spiritual transformation that gave them a refreshed view of who they were." 

    The conclusion was simple: caring for others brought healing for the caregivers.

    Where is our illness?

    If not physical, is it in the societal ills of sexism, racism, addiction, mistreatment of the marginalized, or our growing economic inequities (today 8 men have as much wealth as half the world’s population)? We find it is not enough to blame, complain, ignore, or distract ourselves from these pains - these are the most popular coping skills - but when we find ways to jump in and help solve the problem. 

    Caring for others brings healing to caregivers.

    This Sunday we will hear of numerous ways Jesus healed, including exorcisms and severe fevers, which betray the compassion he had for others. Sure, this was obviously great news for those who were healed, but let us also understand it was very good for the caregiver - maybe this is how Jesus stayed healthy and sane amidst such suffering?

    So you and I ask: What illness is burning us up? And what can we do to jump in and help? There is where our healing may be found. 
  • Is Dr. Larry Nasser Evil?

    Is Dr. Larry Nasser Evil?


    To listen to the nearly 150 women testify at Dr Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing is to expose ourselves to the underbelly of human depravity.

    His victims have called him a monster, have repeatedly said that they hate him, and even his protests about this testimony being emotionally damaging to him, have gone unheeded by the judge who seems to consider this public lashing a part of Nasser's well-deserved punishment.

    The hope seems to be that this public airing of such deep and harmful pain and egregious harm will somehow prove cathartic to the victims and inspire others who live in the shadows of abuse to come forward.

    Our prayer for these victims is just that - that they would indeed be able to put these horrid incidents behind them and that their unspeakable pain may serve to inspire others to come forward and, hence, discover healing of their own in the bright light of truth.

    However we must also consider the perpetrator, is he evil?

    On Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus casting a demon out of a man. What's interesting about this account, which is the very first miracle that Mark mentions in his gospel, is that Jesus does not have harsh words for the man who was possessed, rather his actions protest the demon itself, the unseen powers and principalities of the air, the forces of evil that are constantly looking to take possession not just of this anonymous man but of all human lives, giving us all the potential agency to do harm of our own.

    Would that Larry Nassar were in fact the full embodiment of evil and that we were able to thus isolate evil, and then lock it up or kill it off for all eternity. The problem is that Larry Nassar will go away to prison, but the evil will remain. And our best safeguard against evil is to become a society based on things like the truth-telling we are seeing unravel in this Ingham County courtroom.

    People who do such heinous things not only need to have their crimes brought into the light of day, but to face justice as society determines it. This is part of our shared and continued journey toward equality for all people, especially #metoo women, and on the love and care of children as gifts and not targets of abuse.

    One of the lessons we can learn is that we do ourselves and society a great injustice when we point to scapegoats like Dr. Larry Nassar and expect that his wandering off into the bleak desert of incarceration will shoulder all of the sins of the society which has ostracized him. But the more helpful insight is for you and me to look at the way we treat those around us, everyday, every moment, especially the young and vulnerable. The scriptures are clear that we are to walk in love with all people, that we are to seek love in every word and every interaction with everyone. Let us not move forward so much by hating the darkness of evil, as by following the light of truth and encouragement that says we can do better.
  • Heeding the Call

    Heeding the Call


    The call of the disciples can leave us with the impression that Jesus was either a hypnotist or cult leader.

    After all, the text tells us that James and John, on-the-job fishermen, ‘immediately followed’ Jesus - without question or protest, even from their father.

    We get this impression because we reason that to leave a settled job in the family business and to run off with a stranger, especially a mysterious religious teacher, must have been a risky proposition at best.

    But what if we understood Jesus as the medical school admissions officer inviting two new students to join the freshman class? How quickly they might drop everything? How approving mom and dad might be?

    In other words, what if following Jesus was a step up and not a step down? What if it was more about fulfilling our deepest dreams than rationalizing allegiance to a cult leader?

    We followers know this but need reminding: there’s nothing more fulfilling than a life awash in service, overcome by generosity, and lost to love. We are blessed when we follow. For blessed are those who heed the call, for this is eternal life. 
  • Knowing God's Will

    Knowing God's Will


    Lord I’ve got a big decision and you’re nowhere in sight…

    The question came to a middle-age nurse - trying to decide whether or not to take the promotion to become part of the administration team.

    She weighed both options and was sincerely split between remaining where she was and enjoying the freedom of following a schedule someone else set and doing work someone else assigned - or to make a bit more money, have better hours, but become the person who scheduled others and assigned work to others.

    ‘I keep praying for an answer,’ she confided to her mother. ‘But I don’t seem to get one. How can I know what God wants me to do?’

    Her wise mother paused for a moment over their coffee at the kitchen table, then said, 'You can’t.

    ‘You just have to pause and get in touch with three areas of your life - yourself, your situation, and God.

    ‘And at the end of the day, we make the best decision when we feel it resonates with the kind of life Jesus lived and lives.’ 
  • How to Improve Your Memory

    How to Improve Your Memory


    Some say write things down.
    Others say stopping to make a mental note helps.
    Still others say eating more veggies makes a difference in the long run.

    Improving our ability to remember (literally ‘re’ meaning ‘call to’ and ‘memor’ meaning mindful, thus 'calling to mind’) improves when we find ways to routinely get important things in front of our minds.

    I once asked a parishioner why he came to church. He said that without Sunday church his week was disorienting and, ‘just didn’t feel right.’ That may be because church-going is a way we remember.

    Remembering that there is one God (and we are not her), remembering that God has things covered, remembering that giving is our real source of joy, remembering the plight of the less fortunate, and remembering that our main job is simply to love other people, are all things I routinely forget. My daily rituals of remembrance make me much more mindful of these truths, and thus improve my level of happiness, and I like to think, the state of the world around me.

    What are the rituals of memory in place around us? How well are they working? And how might they be improved?

    Our memories improve when we find routines that help us regularly call to mind the truth of our lives. 
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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