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
  • Scrubbing Toilets

    Scrubbing Toilets


    When Andrew Fastow went to Federal prison, he had one question.

    'What’s the most detested job among prisoners?'

    Andy was a highly educated, intelligent, and wealthy man. He was the only member of the Enron Corporation executive team to plead guilty and admit to wrongdoing following the huge scandal that bankrupted the company.

    He was Enron’s former treasurer, and among many executives who regularly received hate mail and death threats from people who had lost their life savings when the company went under.

    And when Andy went to prison, he didn’t check his brain at the door.

    ‘Cleaning the toilets’ he was told, was the least desirable job among the prison population.
    ‘Ok, give me that job.’ said Andy.

    And from that day forward he dutifully scrubbed every commode and shower stall until they sparkled. He always smiled and he never complained.

    And Andy Fastow never had a problem with any of the other inmates.

    When we seek humility we choose a road that leads to respect and appreciation. When we seek the lesser chair at the banquet, which we will hear Jesus talk about on Sunday, we acknowledge the position and gifts of others. Humility means listening first and talking second; serving others before serving ourselves; putting the needs of others before our own.

    How is Christ calling us to a deeper place of humility?
  • Handling Hecklers

    Handling Hecklers


    Years ago Jerry Seinfeld was doing a midnight comedy show in Las Vegas.

    He was wearing a pair of brown boots, when a heckler in the front row shouted out, "I hate those boots!"

    Seinfeld paused, and said, "Then you are a very, very, lucky man. Because tonight, my boots will not be performing."

    Hecklers, of course, are people who try to gain attention by pulling us off track. 

    Sure, we see them in comedy clubs and baseball stadiums, but we also hear their barbs from well-meaning family members, friends, and respected colleagues, who consciously or unconsciously, can say or do things that push us off track.

    When Jesus meets hecklers he’s not always as kind as Jerry Seinfeld, in fact, he’s a bit more like Amy Schumer, who was once hassled about her boots also and said, ‘Where did I get them? At the intersection of You Can’t Afford Them and Stop Talking to Me…'

    Yes, Jesus makes quick work of shutting down those voices that would pull him off track - and in doing so gives us an example of what we’re supposed to do.

    On Sunday we’ll hear a couple of Bible readings that remind us of how precious and serious life really is - ask anyone over 50 and they’ll tell you ‘it’s so short’ - 

    But we’ve been tapped to do the crucial work of faithfully tending to the people and professions to which we’ve been called.

    We don’t have time to spare for hecklers - let’s stay focussed - stick to the script - let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. 
  • Courage, Please

    Courage, Please


    Walking along the beach I stopped to pick up a stray candy bar wrapper.

    ‘Why are you doing that?’ a young person asked,
    ‘Because it shouldn’t be here, it should be in the garbage can.’
    ‘But there’s other trash out here, you can’t pick it all up, just leave it.’

    And the temptation to stand by and do nothing once again rears its ugly head.

    From litter to politics to gun violence, the nagging temptation is always the same, isn’t it? 
    ’Speaking up doesn’t do anything.’
    ‘It’s not your responsibility’
    ‘You’re too busy with other things’
    ‘You won’t make a difference.’

    Yet we know it does...
    Not right away.
    Not all at once.
    But doing that next right thing, however small, however seemingly insignificant, has a cumulative effect that has and will change things.

    Progress doesn't come all at once.
    It comes when a whole lot of people do very little things.

    Whatever you’re facing as you read this, take courage and do the next right thing.
    It’s always hard.
    Rarely convenient, comfy, or fun.
    But it can change things.

    It’s the only thing that ever has. 
  • Enough?

    Enough?


    Will this one be the tipping point?


    Will enough people express enough outrage that our gridlocked ruling class finally accomplishes something substantive regarding gun violence?

    “Maybe” is a response I’ve heard - if enough people act. In the aftermaths of such tragedies you and I are not content with simply sitting on our hands and saying another prayer.

    If you’re like me, the arguments in favor of our present gun laws are growing increasingly weak. Here are the ones I hear:

    1) Any changes we make could not have prevented the El Paso and Dayton shootings. True. However, research shows that the more readily guns are available, the more likely there is to be a shooting. As Christians, who are called to work for a more peaceful society, limitations on the availability of guns is part of that. We didn’t prevent these shootings, but can we prevent the next one?  Here’s a helpful article. https://theconversation.com/six-things-to-know-about-mass-shootings-in-america-48934

    2) Gun control limits my rights. In the 1930’s and afterward the government has decided the citizenry shouldn’t own land mines, truckloads of explosives or nuclear weapons. We already have gun control. If Jesus is about anything, it’s freedom. However, our liberties must always regard their affects on others: gun ownership affects more than an individual, but a community as well. 

    3) Liberals won’t stop until all guns are banned. Most Americans have no problem with people going to gun ranges or hunting areas, but we do have a problem when our next door neighbor has assault weapons. Again, Jesus is not a kill-joy, but may likely ask us how his reign of peace is being extended by unbridled gun ownership.

    4) No one paid attention at Columbine, Newtown, or Orlando, we’ll forget about El Paso and Dayton by the next news cycle. Social changes that better our common life never come all at once. The civil rights strides of the 1960’s led to historic legislation, but the spirit of those laws has taken, and is taking, decades to catch up with us. Just because we can’t make big changes doesn’t mean we should not make little ones.

    So what are we to do?

    First off, let us not be apathetic or discouraged: God is at work bringing all of creation into fruition in Christ. Societally, we are getting more peaceful (here's a book that traces that). Change like this does not happen in our time, but God's.
    There’s a group of Episcopal bishops who are keeping this issue alive, you can keep track at www.bishopsunitedagainstgunviolence.org Certainly there are legislators to write, vigils to attend, and movements to be started. But let us never forget that it all starts with Jesus: where are we feeling led, and what are you being prompted to do in the wake of these shootings? (This post was adapted from a 2017 post)
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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