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
  • Take the Candy

    Take the Candy

    Remember the Halloween candy scare of the 1970’s and ’80’s?

    Rumors were flying about Halloween sadists who put razor blades in apples and booby-trapped pieces of candy. Parents checked our candy bags. Schools and churches opened their doors so we could trick-or-treat ’safely.’ Even hospitals volunteered to x-ray candy bags.

    In 1985 an ABC News poll found 60% of parents worried that their children would be victimized. And to this day many parents warn their children not to eat any snacks that aren’t store-bought and in a firmly sealed package.

    Then researchers discovered something shocking about this whole candy-tampering scare.

    It was an urban myth.

    In 1985, two researchers, Joel Best and Gerald Horiuchi, studied every reported Halloween incident in the previous 27 years - and they did not find one case of a stranger causing harm on Halloween by tampering with candy.

    They did, however, find two bizarre instances of horrid relatives poisoning their own children. Apparently this proves, to the best of our social science knowledge, that it’s perfectly OK to take candy from strangers - it’s your own family you have to worry about…
    Five hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: "My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened. 

    While Halloween is a time of legitimized and playful fear, studies tell us that 85% of the things we worry about will never happen. And when that bad thing does happen, 80% of us find we cope with it much better than we imagined.

    This Sunday, All Saints Sunday, we touch on humanity's biggest fear, death. This is the day we put fear and death into perspective by reminding ourselves that even our worst fear is handled by Jesus.

    We are reminded that Jesus had a lot to say about worry - mostly that he would handle it.
    All Saints invites us to renew our perspective on fear and death by reminding us that neither of them have the last word.

    We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.

    This Halloween, don't be scared, take the candy, God is greater than our fears.
  • Shine On

    Shine On

    Two people go to church to pray.

    One prays selfishly.
    One prays humbly.

    But it's not two people, it's one.

    That part of us that wants to compliment ourselves on our grand achievements and celebrate our amazing gifts must always find balance with the other part of us that realizes our frailty and constant mistakes.

    What are we most aware of today?
    Do we realize how golden you are?
    Or do we need a slice of humble pie?

    The way of Jesus is all about awareness - and balance - knowing who we are, the sweet and the sour.

    Sure, our default setting must always be humility, but that doesn't mean we ever forget our voice, our value, or our sparkle. 
  • Determination


    Keep at it.

    Go ahead, take a short break, take a moment, but then get back to it.

    Keep going - doing what you’re supposed to.

    No matter where you are or what you’re doing, be encouraged - to hear that voice, make sense of it, publicly claim it, and stand up to The Resistance - continue to keep on keeping on.

    Jesus is near you. He has told you what to do, you have the word of God etched in your heart. And you have the gift of the Spirit living inside of you.

    On Sunday we will hear a familiar story about a corrupt judge and a nagging woman whose determination convinces the judge to give her justice. We can fairly assume this woman has no real social standing, money, power, connections, oratory gifts, or influential persuasive strategies - what she does have is something we all either have or can get: determination.

    Nothing takes the place of this
    The world is littered with gifted people who sit on the sidelines. Talent is not all it’s cracked up to be. The real gift is persistence.

    Name your frustration.
    Stare it down.
    Your determination will win.

    Do not lose heart.
    Resolve to take the right path.

    Keep at it.
  • The Thank You Dividend

    The Thank You Dividend

    Steve needed some help in his college math class

    He was struggling and looking for a tutor.  He found Shawanna, who volunteered to help him for the 12-week semester.

    Both Shawanna and Steve were also part of a research study.  

    In this study, Steve, and other struggling students were given tutors who volunteered to help. At the end of the semester, half of those students, including Steve, were asked to write personal thank you notes to their tutors. Then, the following semester, Shawanna and the other tutors were asked if they would like to volunteer again.

    Would the act of being thanked have any impact on their decision?

    You bet.

    Shawanna and the other students who had been thanked agreed to volunteer again at more than double the rate of those who had not been thanked.

    The conclusion of this study, conducted by Adam Grant and Francesco Gino, meant that Steve’s decision to take the time to say thanks may not have been a big deal for him, but it sure was for the next struggling student.

    Saying thanks, which is at the heart of this Sunday’s gospel, becomes an act of service that goes far beyond the recipient.

    Saying thanks isn’t easy. It takes thought, intention, and action. It can be as small as a text or a thank you note.

    Who needs thanking in our lives?
    Do we do a good job at it?
    How might we do a better one?

    It’s not just important for us, but for the next person. 
  • Stay in Your Lane

    Stay in Your Lane

    In rush hour traffic the other day I saw someone nearly rear-end Mr. Oblivious.

    You know the type. 

    It’s the slowpoke in the fast lane. Often distracted by a conversation with someone in the car, or perhaps day-dreaming or even texting. For some reason this slow driver did not want to drive in the slow lane. And his decision not only frustrated drivers and slowed traffic, but nearly caused an accident.

    This kind of thing happens not just on the highway, but throughout our lives.

    We see the importance of staying in our lane at work, in our relationships, how we manage our health and handle our money.  When we’re in the wrong lane we underperform - and frustrate others.

    When you stay in your lane you:
    Inventory your gifts. 
    Identify your faults. 
    Own your responsibilities. 
    Articulate your calling.
    Stake your boundaries.
    Know when to say yes - and no.

    Staying in our lane means knowing ourselves and goals and diligently veering away from detours and distractions, keeping our eyes focused on the unique work only we can do - in fact we’ll hear Jesus talk about this on Sunday.

    Our challenge is to examine the ways we stay in our lanes. How firmly do we own our calling? How clearly can we articulate our goals? What tempts us to switch lanes? And what can we do to stay on track? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430