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
  • Are You Afraid to Die?

    Are You Afraid to Die?


     What if the thing we fear most, suddenly disappeared?


    Many surveys show that our biggest fear is dying; leaving familiar surroundings, saying goodbye to prized possessions, planned experiences, the precious people we love, and going someplace or no place at all.

    We fear death so much that we deny or deflect it, after all thinking about death can be scary, creepy, and downright depressing.

    During this 50-day season of Easter that subject comes up a lot. In church we hear stories of Jesus and his life after death.

    We hear how the resurrected Christ magically appears to his disciples, goes through locked doors, and is not always recognized by even his best friends.

    So there's a lot of mystery, especially when we remember all the promises Jesus made before he died, promises about the life that awaits us at resurrection - as a beautiful reunion with those we love and the loving God who gave them all to us.

    A theologian named Martin Luther was once asked to address this mystery - of what happens when we die. And he used a simple analogy of a fetus moving through the birth canal, asking, "Does that fetus have any idea what awaits her when she is born into earthly life?"

    In the same way, how can any of us right now understand what awaits us when we are born into resurrected life?

    One thing we can say, is that in both cases, what awaits us is the presence of God and an unimaginable adventure bathed in God's essence, which is love.

    So, what are our fears?
    How are we entrusting them to God?
    How are we taking on the Easter challenge, to live into God's promises of care and provision, and the cessation of our biggest fear, that we need not be frightened of death - so that we might more fully embrace the relief, freedom, and joy, that is Easter? 
  • Our “Doubt-Everyone, Trust-No-One," World

    Our “Doubt-Everyone, Trust-No-One," World

     

    Ours is an increasingly, "doubt-everyone, trust-no-one," world. Everybody is under suspicion. The government, the courts, churches, there are few if any institutions that are beyond reproach and widely considered worthy of broad confidence.

    We don't trust each other.

    Why? Maybe because we don't know each other. Research says the average American has fewer good friends than they did a generation ago. Or maybe because we don't forgive each other, as we hold on to grudges, and stockpile dark memories, choosing to permanently label people for the worst things they do, resisting the once common habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt . Or maybe it's because we are increasingly isolated from one another, we get siloed into gated communities, both geographically and digitally, surrounding ourselves only with people who look, think, and live like we do. And perhaps we  have drunk too freely from the poisonous brew of materialism and self-centeredness that can breed suspicion.

    Of course there's a place for doubt in our world. Saint Thomas shows us that in Sunday's gospel. However when faced with irrefutable evidence, Thomas put doubt to rest. He didn't look for loopholes, excuses, or alternative facts. He humbly accepted his shortsightedness, and with common sense born of Occam's razor, faced the hard truth that, yes, Christ is risen.

    Among the litany of negative cultural trends, resisting our "doubt-everyone, trust-no-one" tendency calls us to cultivate respect for others, to be quick to forgive, to have courage to reach out of ourselves and to make and maintain vital friendships, especially with people who aren't like us and who may not be easy to get along with. And finally, to draw nearer to Christ, who is the source of all truth.

    During this Easter season we do well to contemplate the power of God, which is the power to put doubt into perspective, and to accept truth no matter how hard that may be. 
  • Is There a Point to My Suffering?

    Is There a Point to My Suffering?

     

    The earliest Christian symbols we have are the fish and the lamb, because, to early Christians, they spoke of those aspects of God that fed them and cared for them. Crucifixion was still in practice and to wear a cross around one's neck would be like you and me wearing an electric chair around ours.

    So it took a few hundred years for the cross, which is prehistoric in origin, to be adopted by Christians as a significant symbol. It was just an empty cross, no image of Jesus on it, at least for a few centuries, and then the first images of Jesus appeared - which were of a spotless, healthy, and well-groomed, two-dimensional savior.

    It was only a thousand years ago before we began to see something like a three-dimensional, honest portrayal of the grotesque suffering of Jesus. The crucifix, became very popular in Catholic and some Orthodox circles, as we began to look at Jesus not as a faraway example of divinity touching humanity, but as suffering being integral to God, because suffering is integral to love.

    Holy Week, this week, is when we comb the dissonance between joy and suffering. And we discover that the closer we get to God, the closer suffering and happiness seem to coalesce. 

    It's because we find that in our pain we discover empathy for people like us who are hurting - and we discover opportunities to be companions to others who suffer. 

    Our empathy - our feeling what they’re feeling - our coming alongside others who are hurting - ironically then, produces fulfillment and even joy - because we are serving them with love and affection.

    Friends, we are all going through some tough stuff - we’re all suffering to one degree or another. And it’s this week especially when Jesus comes alongside us to say - keep on keeping on -  it’s not meaningless - I’m up to something. I see your suffering as a window into companionship with others who are hurting - and in our care and concern - we can find the happiness of bring comfort to others. 
  • Fight or Flee...

    Fight or Flee...

     

    When Ukraine was invaded, a lot of eyes were on Volodymyr Zalensky, its president.

    Would he stay? Would he run? 
    Would he fight? Would he flee?

    His decision to remain in his position and his country had a two-fold impact:
    First, on himself, he would feel fulfilled and proud because he would be living up to his ideals and convictions.
    And second, people would be looking at his example, one that could inspire and encourage them to live up to their ideals as well.

    Our decisions to remain true to our convictions and to honor our virtues - is the point here. And it is illustrated no more clearly than what we will be commemorating this weekend - Palm Sunday.

    Here we see that our Lord Jesus Christ made the most difficult decision of his life, in setting his eyes on Jerusalem and the mock trial, conviction, torture, and death that awaited him. 

    Jesus did not run from what was before him, but took the difficult path, the road that honored his convictions and virtues, even when, at points, he was doubtful and even convinced that God had abandoned him.

    How many of us can relate?
    How many of us are facing difficulties of our own, that are threatening to break us?
    We are tempted by the crush of discouragement, by apathy - to give up and give in.

    And it’s at this point we’re asked to look to Jesus — at what he did - and trust that the same God who brought him through, can bring us through.

    Friends, things are so rough out there - we are facing unprecedented worries, fears, and anxieties - 
    God knows this.
    And God cares.
    So God gave us Jesus - as a source of strength, and a living example,  that we, like our Lord, might make that brave decision, to move forward, and get though it.

    Saints, keep on keeping on, things are tough, but you can make it, God saw that Jesus did, and God can see that we can, too. 
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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