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
  • Let Go and Hold On

    Let Go and Hold On

    I gave a talk recently.

    I tried something new - something I hoped would really work.

    It didn’t. 
    But I’d do it again - not the part that didn’t work - but the part that made me try.

    Every day we face decisions to either step out on stage, or crawl into the corner under a blanket. 

    When Jesus confronted the religious elite, as we’ll hear about Sunday, he affirmed the former - and asked disciples of all time to let go of a broken, established order and hold on to the fresh, new, living voice of God calling. Here are some examples:

    Let go of feelings of insignificance, and hold on to the promise that God has plans for you.

    Let go of feelings of regret and missed opportunities, and hold onto the fact you did as well as you could under the circumstances - and that is enough.

    Let go of the thinking that life is about achievement, and hold on to the idea that life is about fulfillment.

    Let go of the idea that your best years are behind you, hold on to the promise that life in Jesus means things are always getting better.

    Let go of the notion that things need to be done the way they’ve always been done, and hold onto the notion that the voice guiding you toward something new can be trusted.

    Let go and hold on. 
  • Manufacturing Memories

    Manufacturing Memories

    My friend spent $150 taking his family to the zoo.

    He was convinced that hearing the howler monkeys as they swung from tree to tree, or seeing the huge hippos waddling in the water, or watching the stalking alligators creeping through the grass would make for at least one lifetime memory. So at bedtime he asked his children what their favorite part of the day was. They were unanimous, “It was the pigeons dad, they sat right next to us and we fed them!”

    Try as we might, we can’t make memories.

    Good ones or bad ones. Despite our best efforts, we just can't change people’s minds.

    Of course, that doesn't stop us from trying. In the Christian world we plan on 15-year-olds being able to make lifetime faith commitments and 20-year-olds to say "I do" and have it last forever. This does not mean we are against confirmation or marriage, what it means is that forces far greater than human intention and action are at work.

    This Sunday we honor the Trinity, and the many ways God makes God's self known in the world. We will be reminded in our Bible reading from the Gospel of John that the Holy Spirit, the spirit of power, cannot be predicted, leashed, or controlled. Ultimately our commitments to God and to each other are beyond our understanding, but not the Holy Spirit's.

    An important thing we can learn here is to rely more deeply on this Spirit. Taking time to listen, discern, and contemplate what we are being told, how we're being led, where the wind of the Spirit is blowing.

    What does this look like in our lives? How might we not only listen better, but surrender, realizing that we are at our best when we let go and let God. 
  • The Real Power of Pentecost

    The Real Power of Pentecost

    One day a woman went for a hike.

    She crossed a river and spotted a priceless gemstone sparkling in the water.

    She bent down, picked it up, and put it in her backpack. Later she came across a man in need. He asked her for some lunch. She opened her backpack to hand him her sandwich. The man saw the priceless gemstone and asked if he could have it. Without hesitation the woman handed it to him.

    The man walked away joyfully thinking of all the things he was going to buy.

    Later he decided to go back to the woman. When he found her he said he wanted to buy something from her. She wondered what he possible might want. He said, “Remember the way you gave me that priceless gemstone - without hesitation?” 
    She said yes.
    He said, "I want that.”

    On Sunday we celebrate the gift of Pentecost. We celebrate the power of God coming down from heaven and resting upon God's chosen people. This power is not political, military, or corporate. This is the power to serve, to love, and to give. This is the most valuable power on the face of the earth.

    Every day, you and I are tempted to seek after all sorts of things, the next step on the career ladder, our reputations, our social standing, our financial portfolios, etc. Pentecost invites us to seek after something else: the power of the bended knee, the offering hand, and the generous heart.

    May Pentecost remind us that this is where the greatest strength lies, these are the most valuable pursuits in the world. 
  • Two Comparison Games

    Two Comparison Games

    There are two comparison games going on.

    The first asks us to think of people who have more than we do.
    We see it on social media - where everyone looks like they’re in a beer commercial. Laughing with friends, enjoying exotic vacations, smiling children, and pricey restaurants. 

    Comparing ourselves in this way can engender feelings of inadequacy, envy, and acquisitiveness, presuring us to improve ourselves to better compete. While this game is popular, alluring and easy to play it’s not healthy or satisfying.

    The second comparison game asks us to consider people who have less than we do. 
    We don’t always see these people, but when we do we can’t help but notice we’ve got better health, homes, even water and electricity. We have better educational opportunities and live in safer places.

    Playing this game engenders feelings of gratitude, thankfulness, and generosity, inspiring us to altruism, charity, and the betterment of others before ourselves. While this game is not as popular and is harder to play, it’s healthy and satisfying.

    Of course we do well to play less of game one than game two. 
  • Praying for Cadillacs

    Praying for Cadillacs

    When I was a teenager a spiritual mentor told me to pray for stuff.

    Not just for mom and dad, good weather, and safety, but for cars, clothes, and money. Being young, I did so. And going to the church my mentor took me to, so did everyone else. We were taught that getting stuff was a sign of God’s favor. We were told to interpret the promise of Christ for ‘an abundant life’ quite literally -  to mean that faithful people got stuff. Back then it made a lot of sense.

    But today I no longer pray that way.

    I think it’s because of my personal observations of scripture. The more I know about Jesus, who was also quite fond of prayer, is that he didn’t pray for a new car (donkey?), clothes, or money. This is not to say that he did not pray for his desires, but that his desires didn’t primarily revolve around stuff.

    This Sunday we’ll hear Jesus talk about prayer and desire. And we may ask ourselves what we desire? To be more forgiving, loving, kind, hospitable, sacrificial, and selfless? To see a more just, equitable, and healthy world? To see God’s will be done? Or is it to live in a bigger house, have a nicer car, or own nicer things?  

    See any dissonance here?

    When I’m tempted to begin my prayers for ‘stuff’ I remind myself to pray for Jesus to re-order my desires, to make them more attune to his. It’s because, like you, my deepest desire is to know, love, and live like Christ. And if he prayed like this, I suspect we want to too. 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430