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
  • This Christmas, Forgive Somebody

    This Christmas, Forgive Somebody


    Forgiving somebody this holiday season holds the potential to dramatically change the life of both the forgiver and the forgiven.

    First, forgive somebody because it’s the key to a peaceful soul.
    Unforgiveness is like hurling a huge cactus at your enemy with your bare hands. Sure he’s gonna get hurt, but so are you.
    In the days following the deadly New Zealand mosque shootings in March, a survivor, Farid Ahmed was asked why he was so quick to forgive the shooter. He said, “I do not want to have a heart that is boiling like a volcano.”

    Unforgiveness will sting, burn, and eventually suffocate our souls. It’s time we do more about it. So if forgiveness is a journey, what’s the next step? If we started by criticizing our offender, can we move to no longer bad-mouthing them? Move on to praying for them? Even wishing them well? What’s the next step?

    Second, forgiveness can radically change the life of the transgressor. 
    When we decide to forgive we can greatly relieve their stress and heartache. Theologian Frederick Buechner writes, “When somebody you’ve wronged forgives you, you’re spared the dull and self-diminishing throb of a guilty conscience. When you forgive somebody who has wronged you, you’re spared the dismal corrosion of bitterness and wounded pride. For both parties forgiveness means the freedom again to be at peace inside their own skins and to be glad in each other’s presence."

    Finally, forgive yourself and reclaim your soul.
    It’s been said that a lack of self-forgiveness is a major cause of mental illness. If we could simply let go of our internal lament over missed goals and blown opportunities, and stop the self-flagellation over the fruits of our frail humanity, think how much energy we might have for doing things that really mattered.

    This, too, is a journey. We begin by confessing our sorrow (again); by taking our minds off of our failures and reminding ourselves of our victories; by looking around us and realizing how worse things could be.

    Friends, the best present we might get this Christmas is the gift of letting go, dropping the grudge, giving up on vengeance, taking forgiveness to the next level - which is ultimately toward freedom. 
  • Crash

    Crash


    Somebody hit my car the other day.

    I found out about it when the man who did it, who had been going from table to table looking for me, introduced himself, apologized, and offered to pay for the damage.

    This is the first time something like this has happened to me.

    I wonder what went through his head after he nicked my car? Was he tempted to keep going, park somewhere else, and just let the insurance company take care of it? Was somebody standing nearby, see it happen, and was he worried he would be found out? Or was he genuinely concerned with obeying that honest voice inside of him that was certainly urging him to do the right thing?

    I like to think that it was the latter.

    The voice that comes to us, speaking truth, no matter how costly, is almost always there. And our challenge is to obey it, to do the right thing, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable.

    This Sunday, we hear the story of Joseph, who is engaged to be married to Mary, and he hears that she is pregnant.

    Certainly he was tempted to make public her adultery, to quietly put her away, or to obey the word of the Lord that had come to him that said he should stick by her and marry her.

    The voice that came to him was inconvenient, perhaps uncomfortable, but clear: he was to obey his voice, do the right thing, no matter the cost.

    As holiday stress increases for us this week, so will the temptation to cut corners, take the easy route, and maybe even to avoid responsibility. The word of the Lord to us is to do the right thing, to obey the voice, to be confident that our obedience to God is meant not to hinder, but to help.


    Oftentimes we have a choice. May we remember God's way is the best way.  
  • A Shapely Woman Bathing

    A Shapely Woman Bathing


    A shapely woman bathing in the river at dusk.

    That’s what the young Malcolm Muggeridge came across one evening while living in India. He decided to move closer. Entering the river, he approached the woman and soon discovered she was a leper, grossly disfigured and covered with sores. Muggeridge immediately retreated.

    Reflecting on his actions, Muggeridge, wisely, did not blame the woman for attracting him, rather he blamed the urges and rationalizations of his mind for tempting him to do something so unseemly as to become a Peeping Tom.

    Oh how deceitful and dangerous human thought and feeling can be! 

    How faulty our judgments.
    How ill-directed our conclusions.

    This Sunday, John the Baptist joins us for a second week in a row, this time to witness to the power of our frail human reasoning as he doubts Jesus’ very nature and identity.

    Imprisoned, confused, and soon to die, we see in John how his thoughts and feelings betrayed him. 

    Just as they betray us today.

    Depressed fathers meet in a therapy room where a sign says, ‘You don’t have to feel like a good dad to be a good dad.’ This reminds us that every day, life asks us to trust our feelings and reasonings.

    But we know we must trust, even more, Christ - in the words of scripture, the advice of saints, and witness of the Holy Spirit. This would have meant, for John, being confident that the God who called him was working through him, no matter what he thought or felt.

    It says the same to you and me.

    Do not grow weary in doing what is right, cling to Christ, bask in his wisdom. 

    You’re making more a mark than you know. 
  • The Most Challenging Week

    The Most Challenging Week


    Advent’s most challenging week has arrived!

    John the Baptist takes center stage, and he's not here to comfort - but convict.

    He's asking all of Judea to repent. And if he came to us today, of what might he ask us to repent?

    Here’s a Top Ten list...
    • Not getting to know ourselves.
    • Refusing to face the demons.
    • Getting too busy to do it right.
    • Beating ourselves up for not meeting unrealistic expectations.
    • Giving up.
    • Refusing to be vulnerable.
    • Settling.
    • Not being hopeful.
    • Neglecting the poor.
    • Putting peace over justice.
    See yourself anywhere?

    Naming our shortcomings is the first step to improving upon them.
    So what are yours?

    Using Advent as a preview to a cozy Christmas and not as a challenge to dig in and do the work robs the season of its power. If Advent is about preparing, it’s more than fun and games. 
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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