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
  • Smile!


    At a coffee shop I go to there’s a man who sits near the door who’s always smiling.

    He’s not a weirdo, just conscious of people who enter the shop, and to many of them, he offers a warm smile.

    One day I asked him why.

    “Well, I figure there are many people who come into this place with a lot going on in their lives, and I’m not rich or even that smart, but I figure if I smile at ‘em, just one person might have a better day.”

    He’s right.

    Mother Teresa famously said, "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

    In Sunday’s gospel you and I will hear two of Jesus’ miracles, he heals a woman’s wound and raises a child from the dead. These are vivid examples of how Jesus used the resources he had to touch the people he loved.

    You and I have resources we can use that way too.

    When we smile at others it makes them feel accepted, welcome, special, and appreciated

    I remember someone telling me to smile when you’re on the phone - because people can actually hear the difference - it’s true - and it can make them smile too.

    You and I have the motivation to smile because we’ve got God in our lives - go ahead - pause for 30 seconds and look at your gratitude list -

    We’ve also got this wonderful resource that’s free, easy to use, and has the potential to really impact someone’s life - so go ahead - allow the feelings in your heart to go just a little bit north - and smile. 
  • How to Live More Calmly

    How to Live More Calmly

    When he was 67 years old, Thomas Edison returned home from work late in the evening to news that his plant was on fire.

    Immediately he turned around and headed back to work, knowing that the vast collection of chemicals and compounds at his plant would surely produce a spectacular conflagration.

    “Son, go get your mother!” Edison instructed his oldest, “And follow me! You will never again see a fire like this!”

    When Edison arrived at the plant, sure enough, he and his hundreds of employees, friends, and relatives witnessed an amazing fire. Nearly everything was lost including reams of priceless notes, records, prototypes, and projects that were crucial to his ongoing business. And the building, which was supposed to be fireproof, was only insured for a fraction of its worth. Tears and wails of lamentation could be heard: what would happen to the company, the jobs, the future of this once-promising enterprise?

    Yet when a news reporter asked for comment, Edison calmly said, “Well, there was a lot of junk in that plant that needed clearing out anyway. This just made the job easier.” He then added, “I’m not too old to make a fresh start.” Sure enough, within the year most of the plant would be rebuilt and revenue would exceed $10 million.

    To this day people marvel at the calm reason Edison exhibited that day. What the inventor knew was that his priceless ideas and stamina had not been lost - and what had, could be (and would be) replaced.

    This Sunday we witness Jesus asleep in a boat as a storm churns all around him. When his frazzled disciples awaken him, Jesus calmly speaks to the storm and calms the seas. Clearly, those things that frazzled the disciples did not worry Jesus.

    In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us not to worry about what we eat, what we wear, or where we live, assuring us that our Heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide. Easy for HIM to say… after all, how many of our worries revolve around our livelihoods - and act as tempests that tip over everything else in sight?

    Sure, we all know that Jesus can calm storms. But how can he calm MY storms?

    I think this can happen as we imitate Him. 

    Think about it, if the routine worries of the day put Jesus to sleep, what kept him up?

    Easy, 1) prayer, and 2) healing the broken. Time after time we hear of Jesus praying while others slept - remember the garden of Gethsemane. And more than once we hear of Jesus spending long days and nights tending to the never-ending crowds of people looking for healing.

    Does prayer keep us up? How about tending to the needs of others? Perhaps when we get better at these, our abilities to let go of our daily worries will improve. 
  • You're a Lobster!

    You're a Lobster!

    Did you know that lobsters never stop growing?

    The largest one on record was 50 years old and weighed 45 lbs.

    This is all the more remarkable knowing that lobsters outgrow their shells every couple months. And growing a new shell is a painful and painstaking process.

    When a lobster grows too big for his shell, he swallows large amounts of water in order to crack the shell from the inside, he then expels the water and begins to wiggle out of his old shell, even closing his eyes for long periods of time while the shell around his head is removed.

    Once a lobster is free from his shell, he just sort of wiggles around, vulnerable, exposed to predators, all the while waiting for the new shell to harden.

    St Paul writes,  So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" This makes the lobster the most Christian member of the animal kingdom.

    However, St Paul did not write this passage for lobsters, he wrote it to remind us that God is doing something new in all of us.

    Our lives are a series of growing shells that eventually become too small. Friends can come and go. Mentors can come and go. Homes, jobs, and relationships all have ways of no longer fitting, constricting us, and keeping us smaller than we really are.
    How are we outgrowing our shells?

    What is stirring in our spirits, waiting for bigger shells, bigger visions, to grow into?

    What if we understood ourselves as ever-growing, ever-evolving, ever improving? What's keeping us from cracking our shells? How are we allowing the bigger, better, self inside of us to emerge, grow, and live?
  • Safety Third

    Safety Third

    I recently acquired a t-shirt that reads Safety Third.

    I am aware that this is a common, if not hackneyed phrase from the tech world along the lines of ‘move fast and break things’ or ‘it’s better than good, it’s done.’ However this "slogan-ette" stuck out as something not just for tech entrepreneurs, but for Christian disciples.

    After all, Jesus regularly put his personal safety third by putting obedience to God first and care for his neighbor second.  The spirit of God does not always take us to safe places, ask any of the 12 disciples, 11 of whom were martyred. Or ask any Christian who has run into a burning house or dove into a raging river to save someone’s life.

    In other words, the right road is not always the safe road - nor, for that matter, the convenient or comfortable one.

    What does that say to us?

    Let us give Jesus our all be removing the preconditions to our obedience, praying, ‘Take me Lord’ - wherever that may lead. 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430