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
  • How to Get Rid of Jealousy

    How to Get Rid of Jealousy


    When I first became a priest I suspected that some of the more intimate conversations I would have with members of my flock would include dark admissions of sultry secrets told in titillating detail.

    But what I found is that the most pressing questions people had revolved around vocational anxiety, a deep wondering about who we are and what we are called to do.

    It's because today, more than ever, we have more opportunities, more possibilities, more chances to become, to do, and to be. The thought that we only get to do one or two or even up to six of these in a lifetime is incredibly limiting to say the least, and certainly the source of no small amount of anxiety.

    This anxiety frequently gives birth to jealousy - that ugly predilection we have to worry about losing what we have to someone else - like a co-worker or significant other.

    This Sunday we will hear two stories of jealousy, from both Testaments, where followers of God became jealous of others who sought to follow God a different way.

    The Divine advice in these instances is the same as it is to you and me: the key to getting over jealousy is to think more about who we are and what we have and less about what we aren't and what we don't have.

    Now more than ever we need effective practices that reinforce these suspicions of our hearts, which is that we are more capable and cared for them we suspect.

    maybe that's prayer, maybe that's going to church, maybe that's writing a journal whatever works.

    But jealousy is always a sign of our disconnection from our purpose and our calling: we will feel less threatened by others the more deeply rooted we are in God. 
  • You're Better Than You Know

    You're Better Than You Know


    Once there was a man named Matthew.

    He was sitting at his tax collector booth when Jesus walked by.
    Jesus said, ‘Follow me,’ and he did.

    A few things stick out.

    First, who does that?

    Second, how hard was this, really? 

    After all,  as a tax collector, Matthew was a three-strikes loser: his friends, family, and religion had tossed him out, they probably hated him. But the worst bit was how much Matthew must have hated himself.

    George Bernard Shaw famously said that, ‘In the beginning God created man, and ever since, man has not ceased to return the favor.’

    Shaw articulates our propensity to make God in our own image, and in Matthew’s case, that’s not a pretty God.

    So what I love about Matthew is that he was able to get over what is probably our biggest hurdle: ourselves.

    Let’s face it, we are all smarter, better looking, kinder, more helpful, and more beloved by God than we suspect. And God is calling us, just like Matthew, to do something bigger and better than we usually imagine (nb bigger and better in God’s eyes, not always our own).

    This week we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew. So if you know any Matthews buy them a pop, and toast them, for their very name reminds us we’re better than we know. 
  • When Suffering Is Good for You

    When Suffering Is Good for You


    My pregnant wife had never been heavier.

    But when she stepped off the scale after a recent weigh-in, curiously she didn’t collapse in a ball of distress, rather she remarked, “Wow, now I know what many of my patients go through.”

    As a nurse, the average weight of a patient at her hospital is 274 pounds. That means most are experiencing difficulties walking, sitting down, getting up, and catching their breath - all things that pregnant women suffer through. And now that she had put on a few pounds, my wife better understood the plight of her patients.

    Empathy.

    This is just one way suffering can make us better.

    If you’re like me, when Jesus calls his disciples to deny themselves, to lose their lives, and to follow his example of suffering, it can seem like a real buzz-kill. After all, we like our comfort, convenience, and freedom. 

    But what if denying ourselves was actually good for us? 

    I think that, deep inside, we all know that’s true. And not just because we can become more empathetic, but because we can become more resilient, and we can become more like the ‘Suffering Servant’ whom we have dedicated our lives to follow.

    I think Jesus calls us not just to suffer, but to change our attitudes about suffering. What we discover is that often times it’s not as bad for us as we suspect, but suffering is something God uses to better ourselves and the world. Count it all joy, therefore, when you suffer, God is at work.  
  • Can Christians Be Ambitious?

    Can Christians Be Ambitious?



    I made a big mistake with this super-quiet friend once.

    We were out to dinner and I put my foot in my mouth, which is not untypical, and called him ‘passive’ - when the truth was he wasn't passive, but quiet.

    In other words, just because he preferred being thoughtful and introspective didn’t mean he lacked an opinion or an idea.

    The problem with a religion like Christianity is that it’s best known for serving, forgiving, and letting the other person go first - so that we Christians often get this reputation for meekness, submission, and compliance - and the assumption is that we lack ambition, courage, and a strong desire to achieve.

    In Sunday’s gospel Jesus commends an ambitious woman for knowing what she wants and going to great lengths to get it, the subtext being that there’s nothing wrong with ambition, it’s a natural drive to cooperate with God’s plan as we pursue the improvement of our particular set of abilities.

    This should serve as motivation for you and me to cultivate our ambitions - not for more money, possessions, or experiences, but for the things that pumped up Jesus:

    Can we be ambitious about serving people around us?
    Can we be ambitious about jumping into campaigns and movements that serve to heal the world?
    Can we be ambitious about practicing the presence of Christ at all times - realizing that He’s with us always - looking hard to see Jesus in everyone and everything that’s here?

    In Matthew 28, Jesus’ last word to his disciples wasn’t ‘stay’ but ‘go.’
    Don’t ‘stay’ mired in the ‘way things have always been’ and a mentality not to 'rock the boat.'
    But ‘go’ follow the ambitions of your heart - stir things up - cause a ruckus.
    Racism, suicide, opiate addiction, political gridlock - there’s no shortage of mountains to climb.

    Let’s not be afraid to look at that mountain and say ‘yep’ - I can climb that. 
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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