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
  • Please Cry...

    Please Cry...


    Please Cry over Uvalde.
    Please Cry over Buffalo.
    Please take a moment to read the background of just one victim. Get to know, even briefly, one human life that has been cut short because of the culture we have created.

    Please pray for Uvalde.
    Please pray for Buffalo.
    In your prayer closet imagine the feelings and emotions the victim's families and friends are experiencing. Feel their anger, grief, and devastation at the culture we have created.

    Please worry about Uvalde.
    Please worry about Buffalo.
    Please consider the fear and anxiety felt by these communities that have forever lost their innocence. Take a moment to consider the worries we all now share because of the culture we have created.

    Please care about Uvalde.
    Please care about Buffalo.
    Resist the urge of the Pharisee, to walk past a suffering victim, instead of stopping to help. Consider what a Good Samaritan would do  about the culture we have created.

    Please act on Uvalde.
    Please act on Buffalo.

    There are substantial reforms on offer that propose common sense ways to change the culture we have created. Find one that works for you. Allow your compassion, empathy, and altruism to shine. Be fueled by your optimism and ambition. Beat back the apathy and lies that tell us that things can't change.  We have created this culture. We can create another one. 
  • Children, Come Meet My Friends!

    Children, Come Meet My Friends!


    A Palestinian Christian named Jonathan was coming home late one night with his wife and two young children, to their home in the West Bank of Israel.

    Jonathan's property had recently been targeted by the Israelis for Jewish settlements. Jonathan thought this was illegal, but there was little he could do.

    And when Jonathan and his family arrived home around midnight that night, they found several Israeli military vehicles blocking their driveway. Jonathan was met by a few of the officers who told him to get out of his car and identify himself.

    Jonathan did so, telling the officers that he owned the land and that he just wanted to take his family inside so they could sleep. But the officers insisted that everyone get out of the car for interrogation, even if it meant waking up the small children, who would certainly be scared at the site of armed officers surrounding their car.

    Nonetheless, Jonathan complied, and as he reached into the back of his car to awaken his children he lovingly told them, "Get up children! I have some wonderful friends I would like you to meet! They can't wait to see you!"

    The Israeli soldiers overheard this conversation and tensions immediately lowered, as Jonathan took on the mantle of peacemaking versus confrontation.

    After a few brief minutes, the officers let Jonathan and his family go inside. Soon after Jonathan came back outside to continue the conversation, getting to know the soldiers and eventually inviting them to come inside and to get to know him.

    Friends, you and I are living in times of desperate conflict and confrontation, a racist mass shooting in Buffalo, contentious primary elections in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, a bloodbath in Ukraine.

    And into our world comes those eternal words of Jesus that we will hear on Sunday, "Peace I give to you, my own peace I leave with you." Jesus gives us this gift because God's will for our world is peace. And Jesus wishes his followers to be peacemakers, who find ways to dial down the tensions, hold back the retribution, and harness thoughts of vengeance.

    Where's the conflict in our lives?
    How is God asking us to dial it down, finding ways to harness aggression and work to bring about peace?

    Our calling is clear, not to contribute to the conflict, but to find ways to resolve it. 
  • Schadenfreude vs Mit freude

    Schadenfreude vs Mit freude


    When I look at the news articles I am most apt to click on, I say with no small amount of embarrassment, that stories of shady clerics and fallen ministers are usually a sure bet.

    Of course I tell myself I do this so I can stay informed, and even pray for my poor, unfortunate colleagues. But I have no doubt that my interest is also fueled by no small amount of schadenfreude.

    This of course, is a German word that means to take joy in the tragedy of others.

    And while there is no equivalent word for it in English, it is an internationally recognized source of human pleasure: the French speak of joie maligne. In Danish it is skadefryd. And even for a group of people known as the the Melanesians, who live on the remote Nissan Atoll in Papua New Guinea, it is banbanam.

    And the joy it causes has been proven time and time again. A recent study in W├╝rzburg, Germany found that soccer fans smiled more quickly and more broadly when their rival team missed a penalty shot, then when their own team scored a goal.

    And if schadenfreude means taking joy in another's misery, then the word mitfreud means the opposite -  to find joy in another's success.

    And that's where our Gospel takes us this Sunday as we hear Jesus give us the one commandment that we all know well: to love one another as I have loved you.

    Trading schadenfreude for mitfreud is no easy task - were it so, we would have no need of this commandment.

    And getting there means taking on the challenge of looking at others the way Jesus does -
    Remember, it’s not just to love others - but to love others as Jesus loves them.
    That means commending not condemning - 
    Complimenting not criticizing - 
    Building up not putting down.

    To love like Jesus loves means that we are encourager, cheerleaders, and proponents of those with whom we share the journey.

    What shape is that taking in our lives?
    Who needs encouraging - and how can you do it right now? 
  • Christians and Abortion: How Shall We Disagree?

    Christians and Abortion: How Shall We Disagree?


    On the week we Americans celebrate our mothers, comes a ramp-up on the debate around motherhood itself.

    Leaked documents from the Supreme Court have ignited the firestorm that is the abortion debate in the United States.

    On both sides are vehement protesters, convinced that their position is correct, and no small number of them are Christians, people who love Jesus, and portend to follow his teachings.

    On the right are many Conservative, Evangelical and Catholic Christians who equate this development with the end of slavery. They quote Bible verses about God's loving care for humans even as they are in the womb and have made their stance a veritable litmus test to Christianity itself: if one is not pro-life, one cannot be a Christian.

    On the other side, are many mainline Christians who equate this development as the beginning of slavery. They also quote Bible verses on the dignity of human life, the importance of respecting others, and the freedom God gives us to run our own lives. These folks point out that Jesus never spoke about abortion and when the Bible does allude to the subject, a pro-life stance is not always clear.

    Indeed, this debate is frequently characterized as a choice between two highly regarded and deeply held American freedoms: the freedom of autonomous and individual choice without government intervention - and the obligation our society holds very dearly to protect the vulnerable.

    It is yet another hot button topic in which we Christians of honest conviction see things differently.

    It is yet another hot button topic in which those who are not Christians, will look at the ways that we believers disagree with discerning eyes: if knowing Jesus turns me into people like that, do I want to consider Christianity?

    After all, nobody is argued into following Jesus, they are loved into following Jesus.

    And so, how are we supposed to proceed? What is to be our public witness? Are we to adopt worldly, scorched Earth tactics that allow us to demonize, denigrate, and demean those who don't believe the way we do because the severity of the topic warrants it?

    Or is our call to demonstrate the love, respect, generosity, kindness, and love that are at the heart of our faith, to define our public witness?

    We can never forget that how we treat other people, especially those with whom we disagree, is how we treat God.

    We don't get a pass because we personally believe this topic to be more important than others.

    By all means, let us be passionate about the policies, stances, and personal convictions that we harbor. Let us lobby, protest, and debate with all we have.

    But let us be very careful how we do so.

    Let us pray for those with whom we disagree, let us respect them, let us be kind and thoughtful toward them. And let us remember that they will know we are Christians not by our political leanings, but by our love. 

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



    +011 248-557-5430