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
  • When It's Time to Change...

    When It's Time to Change...

    Years ago it occurred to me that spending my life void of any sort of physical exercise may have a long-term health implications, So I decided to join a gym.

    However, my fondness for keeping my money in my bank account and not Vic Tanny’s, led me to construct a home gym in the basement using second (or third) hand equipment purveyed from various suburban garage sales (the upside of living in a culture where fitness is more aspiration than practice, is that this sort of equipment is not hard to find nor afford).

    But the trick of course is not joining a gym, but using it. 

    That’s when a friend imparted a very useful piece of advice. ‘Every other day,’ she said, ‘choose a 30 minute time slot and go down to your home gym and just sit there’ - the savvy reasoning being that anybody can do that - plus sitting in my empty gym for 30 minutes, surrounded by equipment, will lead to its use, and hence a regular workout pattern will emerge. 

    She was right, it did.

    And both body and mind were aided - as it occurred to me that conversion isn’t something totally out of my hands - but often, something I can influence - and is well within reach.

    On Sunday we’ll hear a conversion story like this - about a man who’d lost everything, and found himself in surroundings that motivated him to a dramatic conversion.

    And isn’t that the point of Lent?

    You and I want to be converted - we want to be more kind, more patient, more forgiving, more generous, more relaxed, more at ease and able to enjoy and more fully participate in the life we’ve been given?

    And we can be ‘converted’ to that kind of person when we, too, pay attention to our surroundings.

    To use the analogy about the gym, Lent is when we take time to sit in our chapels - be they at church or at home - with our Bibles or faith books or icons - to get in better spiritual shape - to do our exercises - to pray, to journal, to contemplate what God might be saying to us - and how we might respond.

    And how we can start, is by taking my friend’s advice - choosing 30 minutes, a few days a week, and just going there - and sitting. Soon we’ll be doing more than just sitting.

    Friends, conversion isn’t something we have to wait for - it’s often something we have to work for - 

    What is it we want to be converted to? What kind of project do we want to accomplish? What kind of person do we want to become?

    Conversion is possible, we can play a role, Lord, show us the way. 
  • Stall Tactics

    Stall Tactics

    If we lived 2,000 years ago we may have asked what those 50 New Zealand Muslims had done to get themselves killed.

    How had they sinned? How had their parents sinned? It would have been the subject of endless debate.

    Today we ask, what has our culture become, so that hateful ideologies can be so easily communicated? Why has our society failed to be properly infused with tolerance and mutual respect? And it is also the subject of no small amount of pontification.

    While we’ve certainly evolved to a better informed and more compassionate understanding of how the world works, we can’t help but notice the way both of these responses fall short. For neither of them gets to the most critical question we can ask: what are we going to do about it?

    All the endless chit chat, Monday morning quarterbacking and water cooler debating, does just as little 2,000 years ago as it does today. We’re all wired to take way more time talking than taking action.

    And what this world needs is more action.

    On Sunday, we will hear Jesus teach about this.

    He knows the easy role of the critic and cynic - and the far more difficult job of the doer and mover.

    And he urges us to be among those who get off the sidelines and get into the game.

    What does this mean to you and me?
    In what ways do we talk more than do?

    Ultimately we need to ask, what are the stall tactics we use to avoid doing the work? 
  • Let's Speak Up

    Let's Speak Up

    The story is told about a quaint little farming town that could only be reached by a narrow road with a bad curve in it.

    This curve was the site of occasional accidents, and every decade or so, even a death.

    Since the town was too small to have an E-M-S unit, members of the local Episcopal Church organized a volunteer medic service, and when word would come on the police scanner of an accident, these volunteers would be first on the scene to transport accident victims to the County Hospital.

    The Church took this ministry so seriously, they even bought a used ambulance to help them in their work.

    One day a town councilman suggested a wider road be built, one that would eliminate the bad curve. However, the mayor owned a profitable fruit market right in the middle of that curve - and was against the measure.

    This councilman asked the rector of the Episcopal Church to talk to the mayor, as he was a parish member. But the minister, and most of the people, thought it best for the church to stay out of politics. So the following Sunday, the rector preached on The Good Samaritan and encouraged his members to continue their fine work of tending to accident victims, which they did.

    It can be so hard for us church-folk to rock the boat.
    It’s much more comfortable and safer to keep things the way they are - and even find some Bible passage to back it up.

    The problem is that these injustices go on all the time - often untended by us.
    We know foster kids need our help - but we pay more attention to Oscar winners.
    We know our neighbors are lonely - but we know our favorite sports stars better.
    And no one is even surprised about the news this week that rich kids get into elite colleges easier than poor kids.

    In Sunday’s Gospel we see that Jesus' work of healing the world was something from which he could not be distracted.

    So in Lent, we ask ourselves: how distracted are we from the work God has called us to do? 
    How have we lost the script?
    And how are we getting back on track?

    May our attention be captured by on the problems - and solutions - that captured Jesus’ attention. 
  • Lessons from the Drive Thru

    Lessons from the Drive Thru

    One guy said it was busier than the McDonald’s drive-thru.

    That’s right - more than 500 people came through the St David’s Drive Thru Ashes this year, our 5th and most attended to date - nearly twice as many as last year. Here’s what we heard:

    ‘I was just diagnosed with a brain tumor, can you pray for me?’
    ’Will you pray my sciatic nerve can be healed?'
    ‘Please, please pray we can have a baby.’

    We are hungry for God’s touch in our lives.
    We want to know that God cares for us.
    We want to draw closer to the One who can heal, comfort, and forgive - and we see Ash Wednesday as a particularly fitting time to do so.

    So as we begin this season of Lent, let’s learn from our neighbors that this indeed is a terrific time of year to reach out to God.
    What does God want from us?
    What does God have for us?
    What do we have for God?

    What can we do to draw closer to that One who heals, comforts, and forgives? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430