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
  • Winning in 2019

    Winning in 2019

    The new year is right around the corner: are you positive about 2019 or are you scared and worried about it?

    Perhaps you're somewhere in the middle, and I suspect most people are.

    And probably the most important thing to take into 2019 is a deeper leaning into the positive. 

    Empirical research shows us that, unquestionably the attitude we take into a situation can be the single most defining element of its result.

    A positive, hopeful attitude will help us endure suffering, overcome challenges, it makes hospital stays shorter, and generally we will be happier people.

    A negative attitude will look at challenges as depressing, victories as suspicious, it will make us angrier quicker, and lead to an overall less enjoyable life.

    Two things:
    There are precious few things in life that we can change-
    We know that nearly everything we have can be taken from us- often, in the blink of an eye.

    Yet the one thing we can change, and the one thing that can never be taken away from us is our hopeful and positive attitude. 

    And we have this because we know God.

    At Christmas we remember this great gift that God has given us, that God is present in our hearts to help us take on life’s difficulties - to give us strength to reach outside of ourselves and help others - and to attain our best selves - which is always in giving - and this fills our souls with gratitude.

    A day does not go by and which we don't thank God for our health, our wealth, our families, our vocations -  the list is nearly endless.

    Having a positive attitude is a choice.
    And we have plenty of sensible reasons to cultivate one.

    So let's let our attitude be fueled by the gratefulness - it will make us more positive - and let's take that into 2019 and see if this can't be our best year ever. 
  • What Do Pregnant Women Really Talk About?

    What Do Pregnant Women Really Talk About?

    Early pregnancy tests.
    Gender reveals.
    How to sleep comfortably.
    Prenatal nutrition.
    How-to books.

    Oh, and wonder. 
    Awe and wonder.
    Sure, millions of babies are born every day.
    But every single one is nothing less than a miracle.

    This weekend we’ll hear how pregnant cousins Elizabeth and Mary came together for a visit.
    And how quickly they cut through the chit-chat to sing of the sacred: the human body reproduces, the human soul cries out in praise.

    Oh how good it is to go deeper.

    And we need deeper.

    Instead of asking, ‘How are you?’ ask, ‘What’s your story?'
    Instead of, ‘How was your weekend?’ try, ‘What was the favorite part of your weekend?'
    Instead of, ‘Where did you grow up?,’ ask, ’Tell me something interesting about where you grew up?’
    Instead of, ‘What do you do?,’ try, ‘What drew you to your line of work?’

    This holiday, when the brief, shallow, and superficial suffice, may God help us break the surface, plumb the depths, not be content with weather and sports, but see and reflect the depth that dwells in every soul we’ll meet.

    Too often we live in the shallows - when the Sacred dwells in the depths. 
  • Reaching Our Potential

    Reaching Our Potential

    A dozen years ago a lot of manufacturers were complaining about Walmart.

    The retail giant, at its zenith, had begun demanding more and more from the companies that made the goods the retailer sold. Walmart wanted it cheaper, wanted free shipping, and wanted longer terms to pay their bills. Manufacturers were outraged, complaining that their profits would suffer, people would lose their jobs, and there was no way they could possibly meet Walmart's demands and stay in business

    At the time, I had a good friend who was an executive with Kellogg's. He worked on the Walmart account. And I noticed that he did not seem troubled by this development. And I remember initiating a conversation with him.

    He explained to me that many in his industry thought Walmart was a big, bad, brute, but he chose to look at things a bit differently. He saw, in Walmart, an entity whose demands were great, but who ultimately made his company, and many others, more competitive and more productive. They had to figure out a better way to make their product, if they were going to survive, and even meet their greatest potential.

    This story comes to mind as you and I ponder the radical side of John the Baptist this coming weekend. We look at that part of the prophet who demands a deeper commitment to God, a deeper awareness of our sinfulness, and a willingness to repent and try harder.

    Good Christian people, this comes across as harsh and demanding, after all we feel like we're doing the best we can. But John the Baptist thinks we can do better, he was sent by God 2 challenge the followers of God and to help them meet their highest potential.

    From this, we learn that God it's not out to punish us or to criticize us without cause, but God wants the very best for us because deep down, we want the very best for ourselves.

    This is the season, Advent, for us to ask a new, how committed are we? How much more committed might we be? What does that look like in our lives? And how do our attempts to draw nearer to God help us and those around us? 
  • Hello Jack

    Hello Jack

    I suppose there's a bit of irony in going to a filling station to lose your water.

    But that's what the text she sent me read, as mom spent the next few hours wondering if that's what had indeed happened before heading to Providence hospital in Novi to confirm. And yes, two and a half weeks ahead of schedule, a child would soon be born.

    Labor would officially begin in room 333 at 1:10 a.m., the feast of Deacon Nicholas Ferrar, with a dose of pitocin, followed by an epidural at 11:30 a.m. with the contractions forcing momma to push at 2:50.p.m.

    Little Jack's head prove challenging to fit through the exit and several positions were tried as an escalating heart rates meant that this couldn't go on much longer. At 3:42 p.m. the calm, cool delivery doctor, Dr. Hermann, flanked by two students and three nurses, God bless Wendy for her standout performance throughout, issued a stern ultimatum. “Kathryn," she said,"you get one more chance to push or we go to the operating room for C-Section surgery." Whether this was true or had medical experience proved the efficacy of such threats, I don't know. But armed with a manual suction pump, Dr. Hermann pulled and Kathryn pushed. This winning combination brought Jack into the light of day at 3:45 p.m. to the tearful delight of mom and dad.

    After nurses checked him out under something called a Panda Baby Light (acquired used from the Detroit Zoo?) Jack was placed into the arms of his overjoyed mother. Doctors stitched up Kathryn whose blood loss was substantial enough to warrant two transfusions and tack two more days on to the hospital stay. Jack, having spent too long in his ruptured bag of washers, was also under 48-hour observation.

    The level of joy Jack's arrival infused into our family made it possible to enjoy the disorienting few days of fatigue and pain that always follows, as his smile, his warm, his voice, his peacefulness, even his scent, all destined to have an even greater effect on the world that awaits him. Mom and dad stand in awe and gratefulness knowing that if these few days are this good, imagine what a lifetime with Jack might bring. 
  • Advent Punch List

    Advent Punch List

    Before a baby comes, there's always a punch list.

    Amidst the hectic schedules we regularly keep, we somehow make room for some important tasks: we paint rooms, buy clothes, and celebrate with gift-giving friends. There’s reading to do, from what-to-expect books to crib assembly instructions. We pray more - for a safe delivery and a healthy newborn.

    We know that babies bring joy, help us meet our potential, and give us a sense of meaning and purpose. We know their arrival means life as we knew it will be changed forever.

    In Advent we await the coming of a baby who promises to bring just such gifts. And yes, there’s a punch list.

    During the weeks before his arrival (unlike other babies, Jesus always comes on his due date), we grapple with what we need to do to make room. We know we can read, pray, and contemplate what this newborn will mean to us. We know we can ask anew just how Jesus brings us joy, a sense of meaning and purpose, and helps us meet our potential.

    We also know the craziness of the season and our hectic schedules with which Advent always competes. And as John the Baptist will ask us this week (and next), how are we preparing for the baby? How are we making room? What mountains need to come down, what valleys need to be filled in?

    In the weeks before our Savior’s birth let us pause to ask: What’s on our punch list? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430