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
  • Lent: Time to Make a Change

    Lent: Time to Make a Change


    What kind of change do you want to make?

    Do you want to be more fit, physically, spiritually, mentally? Do you want to be more of a peacemaker, reconciler, advocate for justice? Do you want to be more resilient in the face of change? Do you want to be more empathetic towards others? Do you want to find a way to let go of the things that bother you?

    I ask this because a week from today we are going to kick off the holy season of Lent. Research shows that when we look to a season, look to a specific day, like New Year's, a birthday, or Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent, we can find a solid foundation for transformation.

    This Sunday in church we will hear the epic story of Jesus ascending a mountain with his best friends and being transformed before them into an image of light, offering these close friends an icon of encouragement and faithfulness for the difficult times that lay ahead for Jesus and the Jesus movement, suffering, death, and resurrection.

    It is a transfiguration that is so obviously linked with the divine. And you and I wonder how the transformations we want to make are also linked to the Divine - if taking intentional steps to draw nearer to God can help us make the kind of changes we'd like to see?

    In the week ahead, let's think about Lent, and the transformation God is calling us to. 

    Let's think about what we would like to be like, advocate for, and take action about in 40 days time. Let's think about the virtues and habits we will need to get there. The good news of the Gospel is that yes, things can change, we can change, we can make decisions and take actions that bring more justice, reconciliation, healing, and love into the world: how can Lent 2022 help us so to do? 
  • Loving Others: Loving Yourself

    Loving Others: Loving Yourself


    Ever notice how the Bible is chock-full of people we're supposed to love? 

    Love your parents, love the poor, love the immigrant, love your neighbor, even love your enemies. But the Bible doesn't talk much about loving ourselves, and what that actually looks like. After all, psychology experts like tell us that we can only love others to the degree that we love ourselves.

    This Sunday in church, we are going to hear one of those iconic Biblle passages where Jesus charges us to love those around us, those who are in need, friends, enemies, even those who are ungrateful.

    If you're like me, and talk more negatively about yourself than positively - and find certain parts of you, frankly, unlovable, then it makes me wonder if Jesus's strategy is this: when we do the work of loving others, especially those who are difficult to love, we also do the work of loving ourselves.

    There is a saying I like that goes like this, who we are and who we become depends, to a large degree, on whom we love.

    So when we choose to reach out and love those around us, especially those who are hard to love - we do the work of Jesus - the work that made Jesus who he was.

    When we show forgiveness, encouragement, pardon, and good cheer, especially to those who we don't really like, we become the kind of people we want to be, that is, forgivers, encouragers, peacemakers, people who will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    We all know this is really tough work! In our cancel culture we're much more likely to avoid, ignore, and denigrate, then we are to turn the other cheek. But how is that working out for us? 

    Because we know that when we do the more difficult work of trying to love, forgive, and care for those around us, we actually love ourselves - and do us and the world around us a whole lot more good.

    Making things better starts by changing the only person we can change - ourselves - so let’s do that by loving others. 
  • Roller Coaster

    Roller Coaster


    One of the strategies operators who answer phone calls at suicide prevention organizations use is to remind distressed callers of the cyclical nature of life.

    When someone calls who is in dire straits, unstable, and deeply depressed, using this strategy, an operator will point out that the deep, dark place the caller is inhabiting is not a place of permanence, but is temporary, and that this, too, shall pass.

    The operator will try to help the distressed caller think of times when things were better, vacations, job promotions, or the birth of a child, and let the caller see that despite life's ups and downs, things even out and life is worth living.

    Having the fortitude to remember the good times when we're in the midst of bad times, is as important as having the humility to remember the bad times in the midst of good times.

    Fortitude and humility are two traits you and I need as the ups and downs of life come and go. And it's at the heart of the famous words we hear from Jesus this Sunday.

    That's when you we'll hear that familiar Bible passage commonly called the Beatitudes in which Jesus says 'Blessed are the poor, 'Blessed are the hungry,' etc. and then says, 'Woe to you who are rich,' 'Woe to you who are full,' etc.

    One way to read this is as a description of the daily rhythm of life, noting that we all go through times of need and sorrow as well as fullness and joy - so that the message is of fortitude and humility.

    As we go through good times, how can we stay grounded and thankful?

    As we go through tough times, how can we remember that things will likely get better?
  • Inadequacy and Purpose

    Inadequacy and Purpose


    My friend Jim gets up early every morning, and gets dressed with a white shirt, a suit and tie. And he's done this for 60 years.

    Of course it's a habit, but it's a habit that's rooted very deeply in his understanding of who he is and what he is on Earth to do.

    "I spent my life in business, and I think if a person wants to be taken seriously, they need to look the part," he once told me.

    Now I'm not sure if Jim's dress code is a result of his confidence or if his confidence is a result of his dress code, but either way I've always been envious about Jim's close connection with his purpose.

    And this is what lies at the heart of our Gospel on Sunday, this is when you and I will hear the familiar story of Jesus calling his disciples. He will perform a miracle with a couple of fishermen and Peter will be so impressed that he'll fall at Jesus's feet and declare that he is not worthy to be in his presence.

    In doing this, Peter will tap into our own feelings of inadequacy.
    Who are we to be called by God? - to start a business, be a parent, wear nicer clothes, or speak up for the vulnerable?
    We, like Peter, are programmed to always undervalue ourselves and overvalue others.

    What we can find here is that a lack of self-worth and significance is related to our understanding and ownership of our purpose: our feelings of inadequacy are related to our disconnection with purpose.

    So Jesus responds to Peter by telling him not to be afraid and to come and embrace his purpose - to be a fisher of men, to live a life rooted and grounded in God and in God's call and purpose, which only Peter will be able to fulfill.

    To get nearer to Jesus means to get nearer to ourselves, to who we are, and what we're called to do. And it is Peter's example of taking Jesus's hand, amidst his fear, his poor self image, and his doubt, and following.

    When we follow Jesus, when we move to order our paths after God, when we make our pursuit of God our first priority, and walk in the confidence that God has called us, equipped us, and is using us to do the work of love in the world, that only we can do, our sense of inadequacy can be greatly diminished.

    Jesus' call to St Peter is the same call to you and me, that we put our feelings of poor self-worth and inadequacy aside and look to get busy with what we're called to do.

    In what ways is God inviting us to double down on our calling, to take our lives in Christ more seriously, and to engage the purposes for which we've been called? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430