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
  • "I know my cars"

    "I know my cars"


    My friend emailed me a car ad last week.

    It was a 15 year old Chevy, it looked to be in good shape, although it had high mileage

    "This is an incredible deal," he said, "I'm going to buy this car, turn it around, and sell it for twice as much!"

    My friend makes his living combing advertisements online looking for cars to buy. All day long he searches for used cars, domestic, foreign, sports cars, sport utility vehicles, you name it, he knows it. He's been buying and selling cars like this for decades. So when this particular car popped up, he recognized it as a bargain right away.

    This Sunday marks 40 days since Christmas, which, in Jesus day, meant his mother and father would go to the temple to present their baby to the priests and make an offering.

    And in the course of doing so, they encountered two lesser known Bible characters named Anna and Simeon. These two are devout people who have spent years of their lives, day and night praying and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. 

    When they saw the infant these two instantly recognized who Jesus was. And, to the surprise of his parents, let them know that he was destined to be a very special person.

    Why where Anna and Simeon the only ones to see this about Jesus? What gave them special insight into the divine? Why were they alone able to see the truth when no one else could?

    I like to think that their regular practices of prayer and Godly attention played no small role here. I like to think that their insight was not unrelated to the kind of mindset, priorities, and practices they cultivated.

    When we make prayer and Godly attention a bigger part of our lives, we, too, are more perceptive of divine things and the regular workings of the Holy.

    As you and I go through our work days, amidst the thousands of things vying for our attention, we pray for God's power to help us make prayer and godly attention bigger parts of our lives, that we too may be more perceptive to what's really going on. 
  • What Most People Don't Do

    What Most People Don't Do


    Years ago a young man named Richard Branson was stranded at the airport.

    He was in the Caribbean where there was only one flight a day to his destination. When the airline official told a long line of passengers their flight was cancelled, there was complaining and frustration. What most people did was rebook for tomorrow, then get a hotel for the night. But Branson was not like most people.

    Instead, he walked across the terminal to the charter counter and asked how much it would cost to charter a plane to his destination. He then walked back to the long line of frustrated, shut out passengers, and held up a sign that said $39 to our destination. He packed the plane and even made some money. 

    Not thinking like most people paid off.

    This Sunday, when Jesus calls four disciples to drop their nets and follow him, they will do something most people would not think of doing. 
    They will leave everything and follow him.
    And yes, it will pay off.

    Here we are reminded of the importance of defying the status quo - of doing things others would not.

    After all, keeping things the way they are works fine for many of us. 
    But not all of us - namely those who are homeless, hungry, enslaved, incarcerated, abused, or sick. 
    Our status quo is broken, benefiting most those who need it least, and permitting far too many people to suffer.
    These are the people Our Savior asked us to pay attention to.
    And we must do what most people aren’t doing.

    For the status quo to change, we must change. 
    We have to do something different than we did yesterday - reassess a priority, challenge a habit, question a motive.
    What aspect of the status quo is commanding our focus?
    How are we called to defy it?
    How are we not to think like most people?
    How are we called to think more like Jesus? 
  • I Choose You

    I Choose You


    Years ago, a man named John went looking for disciples.

    No, he wasn’t looking for James, Peter, or even Jesus. 

    This was John Lennon, who at 16, met 15-year-old Paul McCartney, and 14-year-old George Harrison.

    The trio clicked and went on to play music for several years before signing with an agent, then a record company. Their drummer was named Pete Best. 

    However, once the group began recording for a big label it became clear that Pete Best wasn’t fitting in. Some say his drumming wasn’t up to snuff. Others say he never really ‘clicked’ with his three bandmates. 

    But no matter the reason, someone else would be chosen as the fourth Beatle.

    It was a drummer from another band, Ringo, who, at that first recording session, embarked upon a career that would take him sky high.

    Here we see the power of being chosen. 

    This is at the heart of Sunday’s Gospel, when we see the newly-baptized Jesus, choosing his first disciples, who would make more disciples including you and me.

    And like Ringo, the journey for us is intended to take us sky high. Certainly it will not include sold out sports arenas or gold records, but it carries something of an equally irreplaceable and invaluable nature in the eyes of God.

    To be chosen is to be set aside for a purpose.

    To be chosen is to be recognized as worthy and of real use to the one who chooses.

    To be chosen is to be recognized for a gift or talent that no one else may have.

    To be chosen suggests confidence and belief in one's talents.

    When Jesus chose you, Jesus saw all those things.

    What keeps us from seeing them - and filling us with the power and joy that comes from being chosen? 
  • Are You a Perfectionist?

    Are You a Perfectionist?


    Are You a Perfectionist?

    If so, researchers say we’re not only more prone to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental health problems, but to harming ourselves (yikes!)

    In our slick, air-brushed-to-perfection society, the tendency to demand our own flawlessness is very strong.

    Better than working for perfection, though, is to work for progress. 

    Here’s one way to unpack it:

    Perfectionists say: I have only one shot at this, if it doesn’t work I’m a failure.
    Progress Seekers say: I’ll take as many shots as I can and learn, my failures actually help me.

    Perfectionists say: If I fail I’m done - life can’t continue.
    Progress Seekers say: Failure is an event not a characteristic.

    Perfectionists say: Failure is unacceptable.
    Progress Seekers say: Failure is inevitable.

    Perfectionists say: If I feel discouraged or down I’m losing.
    Progress Seekers say: If I feel discouraged or down it means I’m making progress.

    Perfectionists say: I’m not worthy, I’m too weak.
    Progress Seekers say: I’m worth of more than I think, and doing hard things makes me stronger.

    And lest we think we’re the only ones who suffer from these tendencies, we see in Sunday’s Gospel John the Baptist questioning his worthiness as he replies to Jesus’ request to baptize him saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”

    Being confident in ourselves is something with which most of us struggle. How often we can look at failure not as an event but as a personal descriptor!

    But the Gospel is clear in declaring our worthiness, Jesus talked John into his ministry, and Jesus trying to talk you and me into ours.

    Epiphany is about revealing - and revealing the call and purpose God has on our lives. 

    With this in mind, to what is Jesus asking us to commit or re-commit?
    How are we being asked to be more confident and courageous?
    If we looked for progress over perfection, how far might we go? 
  • Drawing Nearer in 2020

    Drawing Nearer in 2020


    The first thing Lashonda does when she comes home from work is kiss her husband.

    She puts down her briefcase, breezes by the pile of mail on the credenza, hunts down her beloved husband Keith, and gives him a warm hug and a kiss. 

    She does this because her husband is the most important person in her life. 
    She does this because a harmonious home life is a top priority. 
    She does this because she’s asked herself this question: 
    What's the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else at home will be easier or unnecessary?”
    And by hunting down her husband and re-affirming their shared love and commitment she has given the evening ahead a great start.

    As re-runs of the Times Square ball drop headline our news many of us use New Year’s Day to set and re-set our priorities. One of them is our spiritual priority - to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength - and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    A good question for us to ask then, is What's the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

    The answer is to draw nearer to God.

    When we draw nearer to God our attitudes, relationships, even our health, all benefit.
    Drawing nearer gives us perspective, insight, and peace.

    So what does ‘drawing nearer' mean for us?
    What’s it say about our prayers, Godly reading, church fellowship, etc.? 
    How is Jesus calling you and me to draw nearer in 2020? What will that look like?
    New Year’s puts us at the starting line of a new race - let’s run it with Jesus like never before.
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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