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
  • 2021: Hope is Our Heartbeat

    2021: Hope is Our Heartbeat


    Has there ever been more excitement about ending one year and starting another?

    I'm sure you're as anxious as I am to get rid of smelly face masks, work-from-home, school-from-home routines, and that pestiferous phrase, "We can't hear you, you're muted."

    Yes, 20/20 was a terrible year for too many people.

    If you take a moment to do an end-of-year inventory, yours was probably rife with missed concerts, graduations, sporting events, and worship services, if not even worse: bouts with sickness, unemployment, bankruptcy, or even death, as we all did our best to stay sane, safe and healthy.

    Staying safe is something we’ll hear about this weekend when we see what motivated Joseph and Mary and the newborn Jesus to leave their normal lives behind and flee to Egypt.

    The story of the Holy family's flight is what we hear in marking the season of Epiphany, which is the churches' word for opening ourselves to newness.

    And how appropriate is that?

    Newness.

    Joseph and Mary did this not once but twice: in traveling first to Egypt, then to Nazareth. Their openness to trusting their instincts - having faith in an unknown future - and holding on to hope - and the possibility that God would work things out.

    This is an inspiration for you and me - as we too stand at the precipice of what will certainly be a very, very new time for us.
    2021.
    A fresh, white sheet of possibility and opportunity is before us. 
    A new dawn to pursue healing, reconciliation, charity, justice, contentment, and fulfillment is breaking.

    Our icon is the star. 
    And the meaning of that star is hope... 
    And hope is the heartbeat of our faith. 

    The changes you and I want to see in the year ahead start there. 

    They will not come out of hopelessness and apathy, but out of a sincere belief - hope - that things can get better.

    You may be as exhausted as I am after living through 2020 - and have very little to bring.

    But don’t worry - stay seated, stay centered - we can hold hands and hold on to hope.


     

  • A Profound Way to Celebrate Christmas

    A Profound Way to Celebrate Christmas

     


    I have a friend who's giving holiday gifts differently.

    For quite a while she’d been receiving the same ill-fitting sweaters from her siblings, tossing them into her ‘re-gifting’ area, and not until recently noticing these siblings were probably doing the same thing with her ‘more convenient than thoughtful’ gifts.

    She decided this year would be different after hearing these words by poet David Whyte:

    “Better to spend a long time sitting in our armchairs in silent contemplation of those we want to gift, looking for the imaginative doorway that says I know you and see you and this is how I give thanks for you, which may bring us to the perfect objet but also may bring us instead to write a short heartfelt message that acknowledges their place in our lives.”

    Thoughtful. 
    Heartfelt.
    Other-centered.

    Is there a profound way to celebrate Christmas?
  • The Invitation and Imitation of Mary

    The Invitation and Imitation of Mary

     


    When my friend came down with a very serious disease, he was stunned but hopeful.

    The doctor said his condition could be controlled if he made substantial changes to his lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and weight loss. However, the doctor also warned that if he did not follow this advice, his life would more than likely be cut short by several years.

    At first my friend worked hard to follow his new regimen, but gradually he fell away, and resumed his previous lifestyle.

    In fact, researchers say this is usually the case: a full 90% of us fail to make critical lifestyle changes with regard to our health even when faced with life or death ultimatums like my friend.

    Change is really tough - even when doing so can be life-saving. 

    So how do we do so?
    Where do we find the strength to change?

    This Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Advent, we hear of the blessed Virgin Mary's encounter with the angel Gabriel. He proposes a dramatic change - will she have the Christ chid? She says yes. And she does so using the same power that is available to you and me, the power of the Holy Spirit.

    When we hear the word 'power' our minds typically think of political dominance, physical strength, military might, or even expressions in nature, like earthquakes or lightning.

    However, when we hear of the 'power of the Holy Spirit' we do well to imagine it as the strength to say yes to otherwise impossible things.

    Every day you and I seek similar power - the power to forgive, to be hopeful, to have faith that God will care for us, that our lives are infinitely significant - to a number of things that we may have deemed impossible.

    But the same power that came upon this willing virgin seeks to empower you and to say yes to the difficult maybe even the impossible - to the unknown, the challenging, and the needful.

    Can we articulate what we might need that power for, what’s that impossible thing before us - and be bold enough to ask God for it? 

    This is the life of faith, this is the power Jesus came to give us - and this is the imitation and invitation of Mary.
  • The Four Stages of Pandemic

    The Four Stages of Pandemic

     


    This time of year I’m reminded of the four stages of Santa Claus: 

    1) You believe in Santa Claus, 
    2) You don’t believe in Santa Claus, 
    3) You are Santa Claus, and 
    4) You look like Santa Claus...

    Caught somewhere between stages 3 and 4, I can’t help but apply this to our present reality and the Four Stages of our Pandemic (for those of us who have not been victims of Covid-19):

    1) Yay! Snow Day
    2) Yikes! Groundhog’s Day
    3) Lord help us through this Endless Day
    4) Maybe, just maybe... Christmas Eve Day?

    The theme of the upcoming Third Sunday of Advent is ‘Rejoice’ - as in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always.” In order to do this you and I are invited not to change our reality, but to pay more attention to other parts of it. In other words, Stage 4 above could have read: Doomsday. But when we put on some other lenses we can rejoice in:

    1) The prospect of an effective vaccine
    2) Another safe holiday spent with those closest to us
    3) A new year with a new national strategy to combat the virus 
    4) The mystical ways the Divine is teaching and leading through all of this

    What else might go on your list?

    You may find, like me, that the exercise of this word ‘rejoice’ brings not only relief, but hope. For we know that things will work out not because we’re in charge, but because we’re actively remembering who is.
  • Corona John

    Corona John

     

    The message of John the Baptist had some bizarre clothing.

    You remember, it was a shirt of camel's hair and a diet of wild honey and locusts.

    This year that same message has its own bizarre clothing: medical masks and a diet of anxiety, worry, and frustration.


    The message of John the Baptist had some bizarre clothing.

    You remember, it was a shirt of camel's hair and a diet of wild honey and locusts.

    This year that same message has its own bizarre clothing: medical masks and a diet of anxiety, worry, and frustration.

    Different clothes but it's the same deal. Both John and Covid ask us to question our priorities, examine our habits, and perhaps make substantive changes to the way we're living.

    Just as those early pilgrims who flocked to the Jordan to be baptized by John were hunkering down under the oppression of Roman forces, so are we hunkering down, beneath forces outside our control.

    John's challenge is also ours: not to be hunkered down spiritually even though we're hunkered down physically.

    How are we not to allow the isolationism, disconnection, and weary prospect of a really long, dark, winter define who we are and who we want to be as disciples of Jesus?

    What kind of attitude, habits, and lifestyle changes must we make to approach this challenging time with hope, courage, and confidence in God?

    This is the challenge of Covid, this is the challenge of Advent: preparing the way of the Lord not hindered by our daunting circumstances, but clothed with trust and hope that things will work out.

    We’re being called to the Jordan. 
    Come, let us go together.
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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