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
  • Mirror, Mirror...

    Mirror, Mirror...


    I remember standing in line at Sacred Heart School as a second grader waiting my turn to go to Confession.

    This is something we Catholic second graders did every week - sinful 7-year-olds that we were... And what I remember most is racking my brain, trying to think of something for which to repent.

    I usually re-racked some version of not obeying parents or not listening to teachers, as I desperately tried to think of something new or creative to confess to Father Esper.

    Fast forward a couple of decades, and my capacity for self-reflection has certainly improved, although I still feel utterly naive about the full extent to which my words and deeds fall short of the glory of God.

    One thing I understand better, is the subtlety of my sinfulness.

    In C. S. Lewis’s classic book, The Screwtape Letters, senior devil Screwtape explains, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

    Noticing, "a gentle slope, the slow turnings, the lack of signposts," is what Lent is all about.

    After all, like marriages that dissolve, and parishes that dwindle, people rarely exit abruptly, but gradually. We always notice the dramatic, not so much the subtle.

    This is why the work of Lent - and self-examination - is so serious, dead serious. Deep down, we want to see the places where we miss the mark, we want to know our shortcomings even if there are heavy consequences. Better we notice our fly is down by looking at a mirror in the rest room, than be told by a stranger on the dance floor.


    As we look in the mirror over these next 40 days, what will we see? How is our fear, exhaustion, happiness, longing, gratitude, and arrogance showing? How are we accepting, forgiving, and supporting ourselves? How is God shaping us into the people we want to be as a result of our intentional, persistent self-examination?
  • That’s a Wrap

    That’s a Wrap


    My friend Anne makes her living reading movie scripts.

    She gets hundreds of them every week. They first land on her assistant’s desk where he whittles them down to a few dozen. He then attaches a one-page synopsis. Then Anne gets them.  After reading the synopsis, Anne picks up the script. And the first place she turns is the ending. Anne wants to know where the story’s going, where the viewer will be left, how the journey will be affected by the result, and certainly what the production ramifications might be for her company.

    Knowing the ending removes stress and enables her team to get behind the project and row in the same direction.

    This Sunday you and I will hear the familiar story of Jesus taking his three best friends to the top of a mountain and being transfigured into shining light before being joined by Moses and Elijah, the Old Testament icons of The Law and The Prophets. His three friends, James, John, and Peter will be awed and humbled by this experience. They will then head back down the mountain, and begin the journey to the Cross that will require every ounce of their faith.

    This magical mountaintop event is meant to help them do that.
    Jesus is showing them the end to give them faith.
    He shows them who he really is and what the ending will look like to take away the stress and help them row in the same direction.

    Today Jesus wants to show you and me the ending.
    He wants us to know that the culmination of our stories lies in him.
    The journey is arduous, but not without purpose.
    Our end is in God and everything will be alright.
    So be faithful.
    Be encouraged.
    Be hopeful.
    God has not abandoned us, but has gone ahead of us.

    Together, with joy, let us follow. 
  • Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

    Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?


    When I was in school, my favorite teacher was Mr. Rademacher.

    He was our English teacher, and everybody's friend. He brought candy to class. He had a record player and all of the latest music. It was not difficult to get an A.

    My least favorite, at the time, was Mr. Gagnon. He taught us Art. He was demanding, exacting, he pushed our limits, and made it really difficult to get a good grade.

    However, looking back, I learned much more in Art than I did in English. It was the relentless pushing, the regular raising of the bar, the high expectation that Mr. Gagnon had for us that forced us to perform better than we did in English class.

    And as I look back, I'm thankful for Mr. Rademacher and the fun he made our everyday learning. But I'm deeply appreciative of Mr. Gagnon because of his relentless drive to make us the best we could be.

    In Sunday's gospel, we hear some very harsh words from Jesus. He takes on four subjects, murder, adultery, divorce, and the swearing of oaths. First he gives us the letter of the law. Then he raises the bar and gives us the spirit of the law. Here he offers a much more comprehensive and difficult understanding of what it means to live holy, dedicated, and devoted lives to God.

    Why does he do this?

    Because Jesus understands that the more we grow in devotion to God the happier we'll be. He knows that the more deeply we live in God the more generous, kind, forgiving, encouraging, hopeful, and peaceful we can become, which is not only good for us, but good for the world.

    Jesus knows that in raising the bar, making us stretch, and lifting up our expectations, that very often, we can meet those seemingly unreachable goals.

    And so we ask: who is pushing us?
    In what ways are we seeing that the bar is set higher so that we can meet our potential?
    Sometimes the biggest favor our teachers can do is push us.
    Sometimes the biggest favor God can do is push us.

    May Our Lord give us grace to make the right choices, which may take us on more difficult paths, but ultimately do us, and the world, the most good.
  • Finding Waldo

    Finding Waldo


    Ever read the book Where’s Waldo?

    It’s a children’s book that’s also a search game. On each page is a different drawing that's intricate and colorful. And hidden away somewhere in each picture is a character named Waldo. Finding him is sometimes easy. And sometimes hard. But it can’t be done immediately because Waldo, even though colorfully dressed, is simply drowned out by all the other images and colors around him.

    Wouldn’t it be easier if Waldo was on a stark white page? You bet.

    In Sunday’s gospel Jesus will tell us ‘you are the salt of the earth’ and he will warn us that if we lose our saltiness, we are no longer good for anything. Of course, there’s only one way salt can lose its taste - and that is by being diluted - by letting that which surrounds it drown out its flavor.

    It’s the same with you and me.
    We live complicated, over-committed, and over-burdened lives that often jeopardize our abilities to give our full flavor to the world around us. We become diluted when things are allowed to creep in that take our minds off Christ and his promises to keep us fed, clothed, and housed. We become diluted when other things take priority over building our relationship with Christ. We become diluted when our best energy and attention go to things outside of the purposes to which God has called us.

    Finding Waldo, and our saltiness, is much easier on a stark white page. Let’s do that. 

    PS In the image above Waldo's head is at the very bottom toward the center...
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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