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
  • Where’s God in Tragedy?

    Where’s God in Tragedy?


     
    I heard something tragic the other day.

    My friend's husband, who battled drug addiction, had begun using again. Unwilling to pay closer attention, my friend came home from work one day and found him dead on the floor from an overdose.

    The trauma sent her over the edge. So she went out and got rip-roaring drunk. Driving home with her young daughter, she got into a wreck - and killed her only child.

    What can be said in the face of something so horrific?
    Why does stuff like this happen?
    How do we answer the eventual question: where was God?

    We don’t have to live long on this earth to hear about, or even experience, tragedies like this. They happen all the time. They're part of the human experience. 

    How does a God who created such beauty as we find in nature, music, and the human soul also create or permit unfathomable horror, violence and just plain evil? As we know there are many theories and no one agrees on just one.

    But what this Sunday, Trinity Sunday, does, is give us insight into the nature of God and help us endure tragedies like this.

    When Christians say God is ’Trinity’ - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - they do so as proverbial blind men feeling different parts of the elephant: while a complete picture is not possible, we can make a couple of solid observations.

    God as Father means God is powerful, it reminds us that God created everything and understands everything even when we don’t.

    God as Son shows God has empathy for the human condition. God is not unaware or faraway, but comes down from heaven to endure tragedy with us.

    And God as Holy Spirit tells us that God wants to be with us at all times -  to comfort, inspire, guide, and protect.

    While I’ll never now why my friend - or anyone else - has to face tragedies - what I do know is that my loss to understand doesn’t negate my ability to comprehend at least some things: that God understands, God cares, and God is present with us.

    We endure tragedies better when we understand that God is not part of the problem but part of the solution. 

  • A Difference

    A Difference


    My friend has has great success with Alcoholics Anonymous.

    After he discovered his drinking problem he tried quitting on his own, he tried different therapies and read several books, but it wasn't until he joined AA that he saw his life turn around - it was the education, the discipline, and especially the community that clicked with him, and he was finally able to stay away from drinking like he wanted to do, he staying sober for years, living the good life he wanted to live.

    Then COVID hit.
     And his AA meetings were canceled or moved online, which was not an ideal substitute.

    Slowly, he began drinking again. Not a lot, not enough for anyone to notice, and not enough to make him think he needed to return to AA now that COVID is receding and his group is starting in-person meetings again.

    So he called me last week and asked me if he should return.

    I told him he should consider three things. 

    First, does he feel as good as he used to when he was a committed member, or just 75% as good?

    Second, does he think that he has licked his problem completely, and there's no chance it will resurface? 

    And third, because this is an important part of AA, does he feel a need to pay it forward? By his absence, will someone coming to the group, newly struggling with alcoholism, need someone like him to be there for him like the group was for him? Are there others in the community who are struggling with alcohol, and if everyone decided to no longer attend meetings, would the community be better without Alcoholics Anonymous?

    This Sunday is Pentecost.

    It's recognized as the birthday of the church, at a time when COVID-weary believers are asking questions about returning to their congregations. After all, we've been doing without for more than a year, and we've survived!

    So why church?

    Churches help us address the broken parts of our lives - like a mirror, they can help us see ourselves and the world more clearly. Thanks to the sacraments, teaching, and fellowship they also help us keep on the straight and narrow - we build strong friendships with people like us, who are committed to following the ways of Jesus.
     
    And churches also help us, help others, with spiritual, physical, even practical needs. Churches become vital parts of their communities that are much less without groups of good people doing good things, that churches tend to be.

    Sure, by the grace of God many of us have done okay through COVID, And the temptation to continue living as independently is strong. But let's not forget why God has called us to come together - and what good we can do as a community for others, and for ourselves.

    Let's not settle for 75% - for being less hopeful, less encouraging, less forgiving, less patient, less kind, less loving, and less giving than we could be - as individuals, as a community, and as a world.
    Pentecost is about making the world a better place - and how you and I help. 


  • Living the Dream

    Living the Dream


     

    My friend finally found the perfect place to build his dream house.

    It's a quiet, serene, piece of land that overlooks a beautiful lake. The problem is that it's near a floodplain. So his insurance agent told him that he could build the house - but if there was ever a flood, he would not be covered.

    Not wanting to see his dream thwarted, my friend called another insurance agent, then another, then another. He finally found an agent that would give him the proper coverage. And it was with this confidence that he went out, built his gorgeous house, and saw his dream come true.

    This Sunday we meet Jesus as he prays for his disciples. He reminds them of how he watched over them, how he guarded them, and how he now prays for their protection.

    Why does he do this?

    Because you and I have dreams and plans that we’re scared to pursue - and need to know that God’s protection is more comprehensive than any insurance policy.

    God's dream is for you and me to go out into the world and do bold things. And in our fear, we need the assurance of God’s presence and protection.

    Do we know how important this is? 

    You know, there's something only you can hear, only you can see, and only you can do. Yet we’re scared to speak up, go out, and act on it. 
    So we need the assurance that, as we pursue the life we are meant to live, as we take chances, as we take risks, God has us covered. 

    What’s holding you back?
    Why aren’t we jumping up, jumping out, or jumping in?

    May that Holy Spirit of comfort - and power - come and do a new work in us.
  • A Parent’s Love

    A Parent’s Love


    It's been said that the purpose of parenting is to raise functional adults who are able to care for themselves, preferably by the age of 18.

    The goal is to love them, provide for them, teach them good values, be an example for them, support them, and to show them how to be parents themselves. Of course we want them to be happy, fulfilled, and important contributors to the healing and prosperity of the world as well.

    A bonus would be to have them as friends.

    As our heavenly parent, God is trying to do all these things for you and me: teach, instruct, prepare, love, and support - as well as help us be happy and fulfilled.

    The bonus is that God wants us to be friends.

    As we approach Mother's Day, this weekend, this pinnacle celebration of parenthood, we hear Jesus talk about this in John 15.

    And once again we are overcome with the depth of God's love as someone who is not simply interested in raising functional children, but who deeply desires our friendship.

    This is the character of God.

    This is how God made us.
    This is how loved we are.

    So how do we pay it forward?
    How do we love not just out of command or commitment, but out of the genuine affection God has for us?

    See you Sunday.

     


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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