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
  • Don't Listen to Yourself, Talk to Yourself

    Don't Listen to Yourself, Talk to Yourself

     


    One of my favorite sayings in the 12 step community comes out when a group of people in recovery share about how their addiction has negatively impacted their lives - the ways they have lost homes, jobs, and relationships.

    And the saying is this, “my best thinking got me here,” the implication being that the regular choice of the bottle, the needle, another cupcake, or whatever seemed like the right thing to do at the time, in retrospect certainly was not.

    And so these wonderful folks, who have hit rock bottom, are now discovering that they weren’t as wise as they thought they were. 

    So they gather together, to hear from other people and to hear from a big book, so that they can listen less to themselves - and gather the wisdom to, instead, talk to themselves with words of truth that have come from the big book and a wise, caring community.

    Don't listen to yourself, talk to yourself.

    This Sunday you and I will hear Jesus say, "The work of God is to believe in the one whom God has sent, Jesus Christ."
    And we may wonder:
    What makes believing so difficult?
    What keeps us from doing that?
    Is it really, as Jesus says, work?

    What keeps us from doing that is that we listen too much to ourselves, and we don’t talk to ourselves enough about the truth is according to God, and who we are in God's sight.

    Time and time again we prove ourselves to be inferior predictors of our happiness, poor judges of people, lackluster predictors of stocks, world events, and even blackjack why do you think the house always wins?

    This means talking to myself more from God's perspective, about who God is and what God is up to in my life, and listening less to the doubts, fears, and anxieties that pop up inside of me – the apprehension and objections that I have deep inside - is gospel work that Jesus calls me to do.

    Don't listen to yourself, talk to yourself, with the words God uses, given to us in our big book, in a community of like-minded souls, and in prayer that brings it all home.

    Theology 101, there is a God, and we are not him / her, let us do the work of opening ourselves up to the perspective of the one who is.
  • Jesus Will Feed You

    Jesus Will Feed You

     

    If you look at all the stories in the Gospels, there's one that stands head and shoulders above the others.

    Now you may be thinking about the resurrection - or the raising of Lazarus.

    But the resurrection story is only mentioned in three of the Gospels, if you go by the oldest manuscripts.
    And the raising of Lazarus is only in one of the Gospels.

    But there's one story that's told six times, that's right six times in four gospels.

    It was so popular that it became the basis for the very first symbol of Christianity, yes even before the cross.

    You've probably guessed it, it's when Jesus feeds the multitudes - with bread, and fish which was the first Christian symbol.

    What made this story so popular?
    What resonated so with early believers?

    The first century hearers of this story lived precariously short, dangerous lives - where nearly everyone was a subsistent farmer, fisherman, or craft person. And so the daily provision of something to eat was the number one agenda item nearly every single day.

    So the carefree and simple provision of such an important commodity made an indelible impression on these folk.

    And Jesus' message was quite clear: if you're most important need is to be fed, I will feed you.

    Don't worry about things like food, or even clothing or housing; concentrate on me, and my mission for you, to do the work of loving and redeeming the world, and I'll take care of you.

    Fast forward 2,000 years to you and me, and acquiring food does not take on the same urgency, in fact most of us would be just fine if we had less of it...

    But Jesus' message endures because our hunger endures:
    We still hunger.
    We hunger for purpose.
    We hunger for meaning.
    We hunger for social acceptance.
    We hunger for approval.
    We hunger for security.
    We hunger for health.
    We hunger for peace.

    And Jesus' promise, that spans the centuries, is that he will feed us.

    Sure, we may have wanted steak, a burrito, or spaghetti, but we find that bread and fish do the job, it's enough, while God doesn't always give us everything we want, it's usually what we need.

    No matter the hunger, Jesus will feed us. 
  • True Power

    True Power


    One day during our pandemic I was in the church office when two of our parishioners popped by.

    They said they had received an unexpected government check. So they came to church to donate it - to give it to help others through the ministry of our parish.

    There are a couple of things to note about this noble act.

    What impressed me was not simply this couple's altruism and generosity, but their wisdom in knowing that the true power of wealth is wielded not by those who amass it, but by those who spend it properly. If love is the most powerful force in the universe, then acts of love like this are where real power lies.

    This Sunday we will hear a couple of stories about Jesus's ministry of teaching and healing. And we will notice that his true power is not found in his ability to do the miraculous, but in using these miracles to improve the lives of others.

    While none of us are able to heal and teach like Jesus, all of us have gifts and powers of our own. And our true power is not in the stockpiling or self-indulgent use of them, but in using them properly - recognizing that they were given to us for the betterment of the world.

    What does this look like to us?
    How are we being asked to use our gifts for those around us?

    When we understand that God's plan is for us to play our own irreplaceable role in furthering the health and redemption of the world - and we choose to share our gifts, we experience the real power of God, to heal, to restore, to bring joy, and ultimately to love.
  • Meeting Our Moment of Decision

    Meeting Our Moment of Decision

     


    Aristotle famously reasoned that our habits shape our virtues.

    He taught that the development of good, solid, healthy habits are what enable us to make the right choice in our moments of decision.

    It's our daily devotion to the push-ups, the sit-ups, and the jogging, that suddenly pays off when someone is seriously injured on the hiking trail and we have to run 5 miles to get help.

    So what happens when we are in the break room at work and someone tells an off-color joke that's demeaning to a certain segment of humanity?

    Do we have the courage to speak up?

    Most people let these things slide, reasoning that it's not a big deal, that it would be unpopular and uncomfortable to speak up. Albeit small, it's a failure of nerve.

    In fact, a big reason our country is in the place it's in is because of a rampant, widespread failure of nerve. In politics, business, and family life, we have not been careful enough to form habits that lead to the virtues needed for us to stand up in the face of injustice, dishonesty, and moral transgression.

    This Sunday we run into an example. His name is Herod. And we will read about his failure of nerve as he allowed John the Baptist to be killed. We will be reminded of the ways his moral failings are more imitated than shunned in our modern world.

    And we will see that the shaping of habits is crucial for us as we endeavor to live virtuous lives that affect our world in positive ways.

    That's why I believe in church. 

    We are a community of people dedicated to the formation of godly habits - habits of prayer, of scripture study, of holy community, that form us into a people of generosity, altruism, hopefulness and courage that help us make good decisions, that produce better communities.

    When we are grounded in good habits, we make good decisions.

    What are the habits we need to make? Or break? In order for us to be prepared to make the right choice in our moments of decision?
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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