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
  • Stand Tall

    Stand Tall

    One of America's greatest soldiers, Douglas MacArthur, had a very curious habit.

    On many occasions, when the great general found himself on the battle line he would stand up and take a look at the lay of the land, even walking into incoming fire, thus tiptoeing that very thin line between bravery and stupidity, which many would argue he crossed more than once. Looking at the combat behavior of Ulysses S. Grant yields similar observation. Historians marvel at how these two not only consistently made brilliant combat decisions, but survived at all.

    It makes us wonder if they saw something others didn't, and that their battle line behavior was not as hubristic and cocksure as it was a yielding to some curious, unseen intuition.

    If that’s the case, it's this kind of trust in the unseen that we hear about in Sunday's gospel. On the first Sunday of Advent, the church gives us readings that are apocalyptic in nature, filled with images of end time distress and confusion and thus reminiscent not of Jesus' coming as an infant on Christmas, but his coming again in victory at the end of time. In these passages we are told not once, but twice to stand tall in the commotion for God is near.

    We are given these words so that we may stand firm in the turbulent times we face, to set our gaze on a horizon others may have a hard time seeing.

    Friends, there may be no greater gift or witness than our resolve to keep calm in the storm, to be that voice of hope and encouragement, to live lives unfazed by enemy fire, but captivated by something more.

    The world needs us to stand tall, to have faith in the midst of enemy fire, to yield to that unseen intuition tugging at our hearts.

    So we begin this season of Advent and a new year’s call to more deeply rest in Christ, renewing our commitment to prayer, abiding in God, and caring for our neighbors. Prayer, spiritual reading, increased focus on God’s presence around us. This is how we get the strength to stand firm.

    How might we use Advent to draw closer to that unseen voice? The one looking to equip us with the curious habit of standing in the midst of battle?  
  • Why We Need to Give Thanks

    Why We Need to Give Thanks

    So it’s Thanksgiving week - a time when, according got Johnny Carson, people travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year - to discover that once a year is way too often…

    But we gather with family and loved ones in the context of saying ’thanks’ - 
    We want to thank parents who raised us, siblings who put up with us - and even thank God whose mysterious hand, we suspect, has had more to do with keeping us safe and satisfied than we’ll ever know.

    I love this holiday because it cuts across most every religious, ethnic, gender, and class line to encourage us to do what we were created to do: to look outside of ourselves and give - and grace others with a word of good cheer: thank you.

    And saying thanks isn’t just for them - saying thanks is for us.
    Researchers say that gratitude improves physical and psychological health.
    It enhances empathy and self-esteem - and reduces aggression.
    One study even says that people who are grateful even sleep better - and we thought it was because we had too much turkey.

    So go ahead - now’s the time, before things get too crazy - to think of how we’re going to thank those inside and outside our circle of loved ones - What’ll we use - words? Cards? Flowers? Make a list of who and how - and remember that reaching out to them is good for everyone involved.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Fake News

    Fake News

    So what’s in the news today?
    The White House continues to be ’must see TV’ - with a journalist suing to get his press pass back, and the First Lady firing an aide-
    Then there’s the Civil War in Yemen that’s caused a famine that could kill a record 18 million people-
    And there are those deadly wildfires torching so much of our beloved California neighborhoods and countryside - 
    On Sunday we’ll hear Jesus talk about about faltering institutions, unstable governments, famines, and natural disasters - and it’s as if he didn’t say these 2,000 years ago, but 2 hours ago.

    We all know that turbulent times are still with us - and so is Jesus' advice:
    Beware of how deeply we immerse ourselves - we marinate - in the troubles and tragedies around us - it can drive us nuts.
    Be not led astray by these things - or the people who beat their drum.
    The Lord warns us not to invest too much bandwidth on things like institutions - governments - even the weather - because they will fail and pass away.
    Instead, pay more attention to Jesus - and the job he’s given us to do.

    I like this term ‘fake news’ - though we might define it differently: Fake news is that which parades as most-relevant and important, and thus distracts us from what really is most important: our shared work of reconciliation, caring, healing, feeding, sticking up for the marginalized, working for a more just way of living together.
    Fake news warns us to take cover because the world is going south quick -
    Real news tells us to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, because he who has promised is faithful.

    Friends, God is at work around and through you and me - and that work vies for our attention alongside everything else.

    Our challenge is to focus on that - on God, on God's work, to keep that at the center of our attention, that's where we find ourselves, that's where we find our joy, that's where we find the real news.
  • Making America Great Again

    Making America Great Again

    2,000 years ago a peasant rabbi said something memorable about greatness.

    Jesus' two highest lieutenants asked how they might achieve position and power. He famously said, 'the greatest among you will be your servant.’ And these words live on.

    Sure America's greatness comes from our military might, our vast wealth, our work ethic, and our ability to educate a large percentage of our populace.

    But it comes even moreso from our altruism -  our financial generosity to needy countries, our determined interest in caring for the environment, our willingness to help refugees and immigrants, and our devotion to caring for the vulnerable - children, elderly, and ailing - something America does in spades. Our fundamental greatness is as a country that doesn't horde, but shares.

    I think most people realize that our best selves emerge when we engage in self-giving and that we cause harm when we pursue selfishness and cruelty. It’s no wonder we name our dogs Caesar and Nero and our children Stephen and Peter.

    On Sunday we’ll hear the memorable story of a poor widow who gave her last 2 cents to the poor, and thus gave more than anyone around her. 

    Making America great means showing this kind of concern. It means paying more attention to our neighbors, serving the suffering and vulnerable, and making room for those with no home.  It's a call to use our abundant resources in the service of responsibility - and to shun those lesser angels of pride and selfishness.

    To the degree in which America practices this will we be known as great. 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430