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
  • How Love Gets You Killed

    How Love Gets You Killed

    Within days of Alec Baldwin's tragic accidental killing, his enemies were at work.

    Baldwin, who was acting on a movie set, shot a prop gun that had mistakenly been loaded with real bullets, killing a cinematographer and injuring a director.

    While the actor has been visibly distraught and penitent, his enemies are choosing to kick him while he's down:  Donald Trump, Jr. started selling t-shirts on his website that read 'Guns don't kill people, Alec Baldwin kills people.'

    And while these t-shirts give us pause to stop and think about Trump, Jr., we do well to pause and think... about Jesus.

    After all, while Christ was at his lowest, hanging on the cross, a helpless victim, watching his enemies draw lots over his belongings, all the while mocking and cursing him, what was his response?

    Jesus looked upon his enemies not with hatred and vengeance, but with love. 'Forgive them,' is all he said.

    He didn't hit back, scream obscenities, or print t-shirts.

    Jesus loved.

    My friend Bob says, to love God is to love the things God loves. 

    And God loves people. All people.

    Sure God hates lots of the things we do, our lying, cheating, selfishness, and indifference to suffering, but God does not hate us. Any of us.

    This weekend at church we will hear Jesus affirm the two commandments upon which our faith rests: that we love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

    When we unpack this, we realize Jesus was not put to death for being hateful, aggressive, or violent, but for loving. He loved the poor and downtrodden enough to speak up for them. He loved fairness and equality enough to champion it. He loved people who had done despicable things enough to dine with them - tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners - everybody.

    No matter what others thought, Jesus loved people. All people.

    So we cannot love God and hate people.
    No matter who they are or what they've done, our work is clear. 

    How can we trade in our tendencies to mock, denigrate, belittle, hit back, and take vengeance... for love?

    If this is hard for us, relax, it's supposed to be. 
    Loving without bounds is how we carry the cross.
    It's how we share in the passion of the Christ.
    It's the hard work of following Jesus.
    Can we do it?
    With God all things are possible.

  • Three Words to Get Us Through the Day

    Three Words to Get Us Through the Day


    For the relentless mental battles we constantly fight, let us consider three words.

    The first is for yesterday, and the word is mercy. Mercy for all of the misgivings we have about missed opportunities, bad behavior, basically the mistakes that we've made and just can't fix. Let's have mercy on ourselves. Let's stop putting quarters into the kick-me machine and more fully embrace our humanity, which means we will make mistakes, and many of them will be unfixable.

    The second word is for today, and the word is love. There are few things that bring greater contentment than the things we do out of love. Caring for customers, being patient with loved ones, our goal for the present moment and for everything we do in it is love as we consider the scriptures, 'walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God' (Ephesians 5:2).

    The third word is for tomorrow, the word is providence. This word tells us to leave tomorrow to God. We have no business worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries at its own. While there will always be a thin line between planning and worrying, let's make sure we draw that line and stay on the right side of it.

    Mercy for yesterday, love for today, and providence for tomorrow, three words to help us keep it together. 
  • Money Will Make Me Happy, and Other Lies We Believe...

    Money Will Make Me Happy, and Other Lies We Believe...

    New research on the connection between money and happiness points to something we all know, but just don't want to believe.

    The research, done by Nobel winning scientists Dan Kahneman and Angus Deaton, concludes that, sure, if you make $20,000 a year, and then double it to make $40,000, you will likely be significantly happier. However, if you make $150,000 a year, and then double that to make $300,000, the marginal increase in happiness declines significantly; you may be happier, but not that much. 

    And when we look at the track records of lottery winners and workaholics - people who have a whole lot of money, they don't appear to be that much happier, and in too many cases are actually worse off when their wealth has a corrosive effect on their personalities and lifestyles. In other words, money doesn’t buy happiness.

    Unfortunately our knowledge of this truth does little to change our behavior: we continue living lifestyles as if our income did, in fact, affect our contentment. And we see this at play no more clearly than in our Gospel this Sunday.

    It's a well-known story about a young man who comes to Jesus and asks how he might obtain eternal life. He claims that he's lived a righteous life, that he's never broken even one of God's commandments. Jesus says, fine, just leave everything and follow me. After the man refuses, Jesus turns to his disciples and says, ‘How hard it is to be rich!'  This guy has bought into the deception that seeking money will make him happier than seeking Jesus.

    It's one of the lies that Jesus came here to blow up - like losing 10 pounds will make us beautiful, getting another job will bring us permanent contentment, or finally getting that house, boat, car, or vacation will translate into unbounded harmony and fulfillment.

    Jesus knows that pursuing the life of altruism, selflessness, and giving is the key to happiness, contentment, and even greatness.

    All other pursuits are but cheap imitations.
    We free ourselves from lies when we embrace truth.
    That’s Jesus.
    Let’s follow him. 

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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430