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
  • Why Does God Talk to Me?

    Why Does God Talk to Me?

    It was the fall of 1993 when I sat on a friend's sofa and knew in my heart that God had called me to a certain job in a certain place to do something important.

    And I needed to experience that, because the job I was being called to would be fraught with difficulties, challenges, and complexities that would seriously test my decision.

    You might call that moment on the couch a mountaintop experience, a time in which I felt particularly close to to God and how God was directing me.

    Can you name a time in your life in which you felt the same thing? Tuned in to the transcendent, particularly close to the one whose voice echoes most deepest in your soul?

    We call it a mountaintop experience because we see something similar in Sunday's gospel, when Jesus and his closest disciples ascend a mountain and Jesus is transfigured, his face changed, his clothes a dazzling white, and he finds himself in conversation with Moses and Elijah, before the audible voice of God speaks from the heavens.

    God gives us the these moments of affirmation, because God knows there will be moments of doubt.
    God gives us these moments of unforgettable bliss because God knows there will be moments of unendurable pain.
    God gives us these moments of clarity and insight because God knows there will be moments of confusion and occlusion.

    Mountain top experiences are as rare as they are impactful. 
    That's why it's so important for you and me to remember; remember that we do not go through this drama alone, that the world is made up of much more than the things we can see, feel, and touch. 
    That there is more going on than we will ever know.
     That there are saints conspiring on our behalf, loved ones in a different realm plotting our advance, unseen allies who work day and night for our goodness and wholeness.

    So friends let us remember our transfigurations - our mountain top experiences - they are reminders that God is near - and that the darkness in the valley that can surround us - will not last. 
  • Valentines Make a Difference

    Valentines Make a Difference

    This week children across America are getting little Valentines ready for their fellow students. 

    It's a bit of a hassle at my house because one of my children doesn't want to write Valentines to all 21 fellow students and says "Dad I only want to give out a half dozen Valentines, to the people I play with and really like."

    My child speaks for us all when we, in our own ways, favor the people we like, who are like us, and whom we want to impress. We too want to pay less attention to those with whom we have little in common, we don't particularly like, and maybe even find a little bit weird.

    I remember hearing a bit of parenting advice from a Christian leader who asked his school-aged kids to do just two things: 1) to always stand up to bullies, and 2) to always make friends with those who have few or no friends.

    When we think about it, we suspect that’s what God does. We suspect God looks out for those whom others overlook.  And when we're asked to be like God, that means we do the same thing.

    This is at the heart of the message of the beatitudes we will hear on Sunday.  

    Jesus will call the the hungry, the mourning, and the unpopular “blessed," and he will warn those who know only what it's like to be rich, well-fed, and popular, that their eyes need to be opened to the suffering of the world and to their responsibility to help alleviate it.

    In other words blessed are those who participate in the brokenness of the world and woe to those who ignore it.

    Like everyone, I struggle in the morning when I wake up - to either enjoy the beauty of this amazing world, or to buckle down and get to work fixing it. It's a delicate balance. And I think we know from experience that our default setting is the former - we favor the easy road: of comfort, security, and safety - over uncomfortably putting ourselves out there, giving of ourselves for the benefit of others - and truly participating in the healing of the world.

    Friends, what does it mean for you and me to look a bit more at the poor, the hungry, the mourning, and those in genuine need?
    How is God calling us to give of our abundance - to those who have less?

    It may be something as little as sending a Valentine. 
  • Coming Alive

    Coming Alive

    A friend of mine survived another round of job cuts at General Motors.

    After the early retirements and thinning out of half his department, what relief when the angel of death skipped over his cube… 

    While I was certainly happy for him - I had to confess I wasn’t surprised.

    When hiring people, two qualifications many employers look for are punctuality and attitude: can the employee get there on time, and are they genuinely positive about the work?

    My friend has both, but especially the second - he loves his job, drops everything to take on new projects, rarely complains, and is an exemplary team player. His job connects with his gift and enjoyment of problem-solving. 
    Sure, he does it for the paycheck, but also because engineering is deeply satisfying.

    Howard Thurman famously wrote, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

    On Sunday, we’ll hear a fascinating story of Jesus calling his first disciples. 
    We know Peter, James, and John were not singularly learned nor accomplished theologians.
    However, it seems they were in touch with what made them come alive: the story says they dropped everything, career and family, to follow.

    It makes us consider that our greatest satisfaction comes when we, too, are taken with the pursuit of that which makes us most fully alive.

    Perhaps, then, our most profound human task is to discover, hone, and share that which most deeply enlivens us.

    After all, the one thing, the only thing, that you and nobody else can do, is to identify, shape, and share that one thing that only we have been given - that most enlivens us.

    Own it. Hone it. And loan it - with no expectation of return - freely we were given, freely we give.

    Lord, help us drop the nets. Look inside and follow. What the world needs is people who have come alive. 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430