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
  • Tax Collectors and Telemarketers

    Tax Collectors and Telemarketers

     

    Telemarketers...

    Why do they always call during dinner time? Or when I'm on a ladder? Or when I'm in the middle of a conversation with somebody else?

    ...trying to sell me replacement windows, a timeshare, life insurance...

    So when I answer the phone I will admit that I'm not always on my good church behavior. I can only imagine the amount of displaced anger and vitriol these phone bank staffers put up with, what kind of thick skin they must have, and why they chose this line of work.

    In Sunday's Gospel, you and I will meet someone else whose profession makes them easy to be looked down upon, a tax collector, who goes to the temple to pray, and is mocked by a high-minded clergy person who treats him with about as much respect as some people treat telemarketers.

    This epic story is an invitation for you and me to judge people not by their professions, but by their personhood - not by what they do, but by who they are.

    So let’s take telemarketers, 2/3 of whom have a high school diploma, 1/3, though, who don’t even have that. On average, they make $13.46 per hour, for an annual salary of less than $28,000 per year. This is less than half of the $61,000 that is considered to be a living wage in the United States.

    So when I interact with that person, who has come into my life, I am talking with someone who is among the less educated and less wealthy among us. And instead of using this opportunity to vent my displaced anger, it becomes a chance to talk with someone with whom Jesus and the entire Bible give a preferential option: the poor and powerless.

    Instead of seeing telemarketers, or anyone else in the same circumstances, as an aggressor or pest, wouldn’t I do better to see them as someone who very well may need a good word? Instead of seeing my annoyance, can I see their personhood - someone who deserves respect and affirmation?

    Who are the tax collectors (or telemarketers) in your life?
    How do you treat them?
    How might God be calling us to do better? 
  • What's in Your Tank?

    What's in Your Tank?

     


    When Etienne Martin was 12, and the Germans came to occupy his hometown of Bordeaux, France, he and his friends decided they would not idly sit by. Because they knew the city so well, and the occupiers didn't, they were able to move around almost freely at night, hiding from guards and doing incredibly destructive things to German vehicles.

    Specifically, Etienne and his friends liked to put things in gas tanks: water, urine, sand, metal shavings - anything to foul up the car's engine.

    Yes, we don't need to remind anyone here in the Motor City of an automobile's need for refueling, specific fueling; gasoline, Diesel fuel, and now electricity. Automobile makers clearly communicate the exact kind of fuel that's needed to make the vehicle functional. Cars don't run well on orange juice, Maple syrup, or Diet Coke - no matter how many Mentos you add...

    This Sunday you and I will hear a familiar parable Jesus uses to tell his disciples about their need to pray. After all, prayer is the Christian's fuel. 

    It's our regular act of talking with God, reflecting and meditating, in which we take in the values, goals, and ambitions, indeed the image of the Most High, knowing that the more connected we stay with God, the more likely we are to find our own wholeness, to do God's will, to lead altruistic and contented lives.

    Of course the problem arises when we put other things into our tanks, when we think that we will run optimally on things that are not recommended by the manufacturer.

    So when Jesus talks about our need to pray, we can ask ourselves, how are we fueling our tanks?
    What are we letting in and what are we keeping out?
    How might we put more of the right fuel into our souls? 
  • Headwinds VS Tailwinds

    Headwinds VS Tailwinds

     


    My friend Diana tells the story of a college friend who seemed to have everything.

    She came from a wealthy family, went to private schools, had a great wardrobe, and was very popular. Yet over time Diana noticed how often this woman would complain. She did not get the perfect grades she wanted at school. The man she was dating was not popular enough. Her wardrobe was never right. And on and on.

    Eventually Diana and her rich friend parted company, and soon after Diana came upon some research that talked about headwinds and tailwinds.

    Tailwinds are those blessings we have that we have a hard time remembering, our wealth, education, status, etc. Our headwinds are the challenges that beset us, often with our careers, our families, our finances, etc. And research finds that we are much more apt to pay attention to the headwinds than the tailwinds, often to our demise.

    This may have been the case in Sunday's gospel, when 10 lepers approached Jesus asking to be healed, Jesus heals them all, sending them to the high priest, who has the authority to readmit them into society. Curiously, only one of the 10 return to Jesus, and a Samaritan at that.  Jesus, then lifts up a lesson about the importance of paying attention to our tailwinds.

    Many of us are more than familiar with the scientific research on gratefulness, that grateful people have lower blood pressure, sleep sounder, are more resilient when faced with adversity, etc. - this, as we fight forces around us that would have us pay more attention to our adversitties than our blessings.

    So perhaps we are being asked,
    What are our tailwinds?
    How often do we remember them and thank God for them?
    What might I do this week to more regularly take note of these blessings? 
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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