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's Look for the Blessing

    Let's Look for the Blessing

    A woman named Nell called the church this week - she needed money for rent and a water bill - 
    She lost her job and was feeling scared, alone, and desperate - a place you and I have probably been before-

    And as I prayed with her I couldn’t help but think of the Gospel story you and I will hear this weekend - 
    Quick quiz: What’s the only miracle story that’s found in all 4 Gospels? 

    It’s the loaves and the fishes - the feeding of the 5,000-

    And in this weekend’s story, the Disciple Phillip comes to Jesus and says, ‘All these people have followed us out to the desert and nobody’s got any food”
    And the passage says that Jesus tested Phillip by asking, ‘What are you going to do?’
    And the disciples said, ‘Well, there’s a little kid here with some loaves and fishes’
    And Jesus took those, gave thanks, broke them, and handed them out - 
    And everyone was fed.

    When we apply that to Nell and her bills - and learn three things - 

    First, let’s never forget that in every challenge: God is up to something.
    We don’t know why Nell is broke, or why 5,000 people walked into the desert without any food -
    What we do know is that God is up to something - sometimes it’s a test -
    Because tests are meant to make us better - nobody develops a callus without skinning their knee - 

    Second, we see these disciples looking on the up side.
    They said, ‘Hey, we’ve got some bread and fish!’
    Ever hire someone? Look for two things: Are they on time? And are they enthusiastic?
    Nell and you and me make things better when we look for the up side and remain positive about what God may be doing.

    This leads us to our third point - give thanks.
    This is the act of getting the spotlight off of ourselves and our own problems and onto something more productive - in this case, it’s thanking God for provision.
    Of course. we many not always get the answers we want - 

    Nell may or may not have gotten what she wanted -
    But we don’t pray ‘Our will be done’ - we pray ‘God’s will be done’ 
    God has not forgotten about us, God is well aware of our needs, and God is working on God's own timeline to meet those needs.
    In every challenge, let’s look for the blessing. 
  • Come Away...

    Come Away...

    "Come away, to a deserted place, and rest" - Jesus.

    One sentence, three pieces of advice, to 12 disciples - plus you and me.

    Come away from that toxic air that’s all around us - the negativity the anxiety, and stress.
    Come away from:
    • everybody else’s expectations for us-
    • the 24-hour "breaking news” cycle that leaves us over-informed and under-educated.
    • and from our own propensity to expect more from ourselves than we can possible deliver - then get depressed when we don't achieve it!
    Come away to a deserted place -
    What’s deserted?
    How about that room that ‘hope’ lives in?
    Or all those empty canals of optimism-
    And the hallway of faith - that things have a purpose and are working towards a positive end - certainly that place could use a few more warm bodies..
    Come away to a deserted place-
    Yes, the gate is narrow, 
    The road is less-travelled,
    And way too few people are taking it - so there’s plenty of room for us...

    Come away to a deserted place and rest.
    • Rest in the long view of our cosmic existence - overall let’s remember the great strides being made in human equality, food and water production, and our capacity to truly care for one another.
    • Rest in the world's overall track record of working things out to the good over time - we know life always takes us two steps forward and one step back.
    • Rest in the reality that we’ve made it this far - think about it, we’ve overcome loads of things we thought would kill us - but none of them have.

    Jesus calls us to come away, to a deserted place, and rest - not to escape life but to really live it. 
  • How Centering Ourselves Saves Us

    How Centering Ourselves Saves Us

    How Centering Ourselves Saves Us

    "Thai Soccer Coach Gives Team Greatest Victory Ever"

    That would be my headline.

    Trapped in a dark cave for more than 2 weeks with little food, water, or light, a dozen young boys should have simply freaked out, flipped out, and burned out.

    But as you may have heard, their coach, a former Buddhist monk, wisely assessed the situation and used his skills in meditation and prayer to invite his boys into quiet contemplation, which lowered their heart and breathing rates, conserving energy and resources. This bought them precious time for rescuers to figure out how to bring them to safety.

    Coach Ek is credited with saving these lives - and with inspiring us all with a real-life lesson in the importance of keeping focused, calm, and centered on that force which is saving us too.

    This story parallels our Sunday gospel, that familiar and cautionary tale of King Herod’s absurd execution of John the Baptist. 

    Herod, overcome with the wine, women, and revelry, makes a stupid oath that traps him into executing John. Herod gives in to peer pressure, the nagging of his wife, and his own shameful pride that renders himself helpless against obeying his conscience.

    In the overlap of these stories you and I see the importance of centering.

    When you and I center ourselves on Jesus, the life-giver, whose message of calm in the storm, clarity among the distraction, and peace in the moment, we cultivate the power we need to stand up to the things that handcuffed Herod.

    Our challenge is to do it - to take that time - to stand up to the head-spinning distraction and monolithic humanism that surrounds us - and to put more Jesus-time into our lives. How might we do that today?

    After all, centering ourselves both calms us and saves us.
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430