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
  • Taking Off the Training Wheels

    Taking Off the Training Wheels


    Years ago, when my daughter was itty bitty, we decided it was time for her to lose the training wheels and learn to ride a bike.

    I took her down to an empty parking lot and watched her ride, then said, “Okay honey it's time to do it on your own." The very idea frightened her. But after some cajoling she let me remove the training wheels as long as I promised to hold on and stay with her. 

    So there we were, her on her bike, and me holding on to her seat and handlebar, jogging alongside as she rode on two wheels.

    As she got the hang of it, I slowly removed my hands from the bike and let go.

    My daughter declared, “Look Dad! I’m doing it!” I was smiling from ear to ear as I said, “You’re doing great! And don’t worry, I may have let go - but I’m still right here.”

    On the 40th day after Easter, Christians celebrate Ascension Day - the day Jesus took off our training wheels - ascending to the heavens - and leaving his followers to carry on His work.

    The very idea of Jesus letting us go on our own is as scary for us as it was for my daughter. But Christ trusts us to find our balance, choose our direction - and while he may have let go, he’s always here.

    So we ask:
    Where are the training wheels in our lives?
    Are we stretching our minds?
    Challenging our bodies?
    Exercising our souls?


    Ascension Day asks us to consider our maturity - and the ways we are losing the training wheels - and trusting in God’s faith in us to do the work.
  • Puppies and Pizza

    Puppies and Pizza


    My friend has a new puppy who loves pizza.

    After many failed efforts to keep the dog from bothering family members during the dinner hour, especially when they have pizza, she downloaded a dog obedience class.

    Apparently it's not that hard to keep your dog from stealing pizza, according to this class. And it's not by convincing the dog that pizza is bad, but by having the animal believe that there's something better.

    In this case, it's a crunchy dog treat. Just the sound of the shaking box is enough to keep the puppy calm even when a steaming slice of pizza is waved in front of his nose.

    Apparently dogs have amazing self control.

    And so do we.

    On Sunday we will hear a well-known piece of advice from Jesus, he bids his disciples, 'Do not let your hearts be troubled.'

    Yes, we know that worry and anxiety have deep roots in us, much of which we have no control over as they are residual gifts from our evolved past.

    However, this Bible passage hints at a sense of agency, Jesus tells us not to let this happen.

    And, like my friend's puppy, we do well not to denigrate anxiety, but to set our sights on something better.

    Do looming job cuts keep us up at night?
    How about the medical challenges of a friend?
    The stability of our closest relationship?
    Or the desperate suffering of the hungry, homeless, and abused?

    We are not to let these worries take center stage, but allow God's provision to. Jesus bids us to set our sites on the things above, not on the things below. He promises to take care of what we eat, what we wear, and where we live.

    We have a choice.

    Let us choose wisely. 
  • Where Do Babies Come From?

    Where Do Babies Come From?


    “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, 
    and giving life to those in the tomb.'


    One of our oldest Christian hymns talks about Christ conquering death.
    But how are we to understand this?
    What does that mean, if not that conquering death means conquering the things that cause death.

    What causes death?
    Stress! It’s a leading cause of heart attacks and cancer-
    How about unforgiveness, despair, hopelessness, fatigue, worry, boredom, loneliness - these are the things that lead to death.

    And how have they been conquered?
    By offering us an alternative. 
    This is what Jesus did.
    It's by suggesting that the world works best not through these things that cause death, but the things that cause life.

    One of my earliest memories was asking my mom where babies came from.

    My mother said when two people love each other new life comes into the world.
    Now this may not be the most comprehensive explanation of human reproduction, but it does say something really profound about what makes us tick.

    Jesus was the human image of God, that means he was love - walking around on earth - bringing life - by bringing love.
    And when humans killed love, love could not stay dead. 
    Love conquers death.

    What that means is that every single little thing we do in the name of love, sending an encouraging text message, visiting a lonely friend, sending a card or email to someone who needs hope, are ways we spread that news of victory over death. 

    What are other ways we can spread that love?


    May we take our vocations seriously and celebrate the victory. 

  • Are You a Sheep Dog?

    Are You a Sheep Dog?


    A friend of mine grew up with a collie.

    She got Harry when she was 3 years old and her sister was five. And before long, Harry's vocation as a sheep dog made itself apparent.

    Whether the two little girls were walking down the sidewalk, the path to the lake, or in the mall, they regularly noticed a cold nose at their elbow, gently nudging them towards the center of the path, keeping them away from danger and helping them take the shortest route possible to get where they needed to go. No dawdling or detours allowed, the sheep dog knows his job is to keep everyone on track.

    The 4th Sunday in Easter is typically called Good Shepherd Sunday, it is on this day we contemplate Jesus's role as the Good Shepherd, and our role not only as sheep, but as shepherds - or even sheep dogs who do our Master's bidding.

    This year we view this theme through the lens of Mother’s Day and we contemplate not only the ways our moms have served to keep us on track, nudging us away from danger and keeping us focused, but the ways you and I are called to be sheep dogs to those around us - keeping us all on the right track, pointed us to where we need to go.

    So we ask, in what ways are we pointing our lives in the right direction? 
    What are the sheep dogs around us saying? 

    And how are we helping herd those in our care toward the things that matter? 
  • Follow Me

    Follow Me


    When Jesus said ‘Follow me’ it was both a challenge and an invitation - to follow his example…


    Follow Jesus' example of healing others:

    Be aware and on the lookout for those around us who are hurting - who around us in pain?

    Use our words and actions to make things better - how can we bring healing, peace, reconciliation to a situation?

    Be the first to take action - whether it’s to say we’re sorry, take the blame, or put the situation back together.


    Follow Jesus' example of sticking up for justice:

    Call out injustice when you see it

    Empower the less and the least

    Befriend the vulnerable and poor


    Follow Jesus' example of faithful living:

    Pray often and sincerely

    Give alms and attention to all who need it

    Don’t acquire more than we need


    Follow Jesus' example of faithful suffering:

    Don’t try to get out of the difficult but necessary work

    Don’t complain about it

    Don’t brag about it.


    Follow Jesus' example of trust:

    Trust that God will care  - God will see us to the mountaintop or care for us in the valley

    Trust that God will provide - it may not be what we want but it’s what we need

    Trust that God will guide - we may not see it, but God’s hand never leaves us

    When you think about Jesus’ invitation to follow me - what comes to your 

    mind? 
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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