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
  • Closed Doors, New Opportunities...

    Closed Doors, New Opportunities...

    I talked with my friend this week who just lost her restaurant.

    She had made a good living serving creative cuisine to a loyal and growing following.
    But as soon as the country went on lockdown, my friend knew it was just a matter of time before she'd have to lock up. No amount of payroll protection was going to be able to sustain what is turning into a very long drought for our friends in the food service industry.

    But instead of spending a lot of time down in the the dumps, my friend told me about her plans to open up a catering business. Her face lit up and she became animated as she described her new menu, her new location, and how she was going to use technology to take and process her orders and to market to a growing number of people that she feels would be interested in her culinary offerings.

    Her spirit of enthusiasm and optimism lifted mine. She was not going to let circumstances dictate her destiny. She was going to dust herself off, get back on the horse, and plan out the ride of her life.

    What an inspiration. 

    If the Bible is a history and description of the relationship God has with us, then Pentecost tells us that this relationship can be a characterized as one of deep care, visceral presence, and active participation.

    In Pentecost, we do not see a passive God, an uncaring God, nor a quiet God, but one who is quite keen on inspiring, energizing, and dramatically equipping us for whatever the job ahead might be.

    During these incredibly trying times, when people are not only losing their jobs, and quite literally their lives, it is this side of God, the one that inspires, energizes and equips, that we have to remember is by our side.

    This is not to discount the very real need we have to mourn or lament, it's simply to put it into perspective, reminding us that we are in God's hands, and this God is one who is active, attentive, and at work during our good and bad times.
  • Burnin Down the House

    Burnin Down the House

    Just before the pandemic my friend’s house caught fire.

    Teresa and her family had been out to dinner and they arrived home to see their gorgeous Northside Chicago house surrounded by fire trucks hosing down the smoke and flames.

    All Teresa’s family could do was stand and watch in stunned silence at the nightmare unfolding before them.

    Then Teresa's youngest son came up beside her and put his arms around her waist.

    He said, ‘Mom, I can’t bear to think of all the stuff that’s burning up right now! My clothes, the furniture, our bikes, all of our electronics!’

    Teresa said, ‘Yes, this is a tragedy isn’t it?’

    Then Teresa asked her son a question: ‘But what’s the most valuable thing this family has?’

    Without hesitating, her son said, ’That’s easy, it’s all of us.”

    “That’s right,” his mother said, “And we’re OK. No matter what happens to all our stuff, we have each other to get us through this. And that’s all we need.”

    The soothing voice of someone who loves us more than themselves… of someone who puts tragedy into perspective… of someone who speaks truth in the face of great fear… that’s what Teresa did. 

    That’s what God is doing.

    Right now many of us are like Teresa. 
    We're forced to stand and watch many of our hopes, dreams, and opportunities go up in smoke.

    But God is coming alongside us, like the good parent God is, to comfort, assure, and encourage. In church this Sunday we’ll hear these words, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you’ and we’ll be reminded of the great love and care God has for us.

    May God give us perspective and gratitude as we endure that we never thought we’d have to endure. 
  • Hope Unmasked...

    Hope Unmasked...

    I did my first funeral ‘under lockdown’ last week.

    As you might surmise, the trauma of losing a loved one was only exacerbated by the Covid-19 trauma.

    The dozens of friends and family members who would have come to comfort one another - were now limited to 10.

    And those 10, who could have used the comfort of many more, went without.

    And loved ones that perhaps would have cried under ordinary circumstances, now wailed.

    And when it was my turn to preside over that emotionally-charged gathering, the only message that came, perhaps the only message that mattered was that of hope.

    And not a human hope based on promises from politicians, doctors, or the people or systems we’ve grown to trust. 

    For, as this virus has forced us to wear masks, it has also unmasked our false hopes: those hopes are rooted in created things, not the Creator.

    Friends, God is with us.
    The Spirit is in us.
    Jesus is inviting us to take him up on his promises that he will never leave us - and has even gone ahead of us to provide for us.

    This pandemic, this lockdown, and this uncertainty around it all has many off our lives as emotionally-charged as that funeral.
    We are all mourning, we are all wailing, we are all flummoxed over what the future might bring.
    And into our midst comes God - urging us to let go, look up, and receive the hope on offer.

    Friends, hope is here because God is near.

    As we trust in God’s promises, we will endure, we will fight on, we will come through this thing with a new kind of shine-

    Not because of what we’ve done - but because of what God’s doing - in our midst - in your heart and in mine - as we reach out - and grab hold of that hope we have in Jesus.
  • Differently Productive

    Differently Productive

    The other day my exasperated friend said, "I just want to go to sleep and wake up when it's all over!"

    I totally understand our widespread discomfort with this unpredictable, scary, and what many consider to be unproductive time.

    But while this strategy can be helpful for some events, usually of a much shorter duration, author Seth Godin points out that this is not very helpful for extended periods, like the one we're going through. And as Christians, who's faith has prepared us and even been designed for times like this, we do well to ponder how this point in history can be used to inspire, connect, create, serve, and grow.

    On Sunday we get some timely advice from Jesus. He's on his way to the cross and  it’s a time of deep instability. So Jesus urges his increasingly alarmed disciples not to worry. Time and again he urges focus, concentration, and confidence that what they’re going through has meaning and purpose.

    You and I are in a similar space. And God’s word to us is to be present, calm, non-anxious, and even expectant of what God is up to. Thus, these are not unproductive times, but differently productive times.

    Let us not wish away this extended discomfort lest we find we’ve also missed out on a different sort of opportunity. Let us take a tip from the Spring that is exploding outside our doors this week: What’s coming into bloom? What’s being recreated? How are we being invited? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430