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
  • Hold My Hand!

    Hold My Hand!

     

    Not long ago, medical researchers performed a fascinating experiment.

    They took a large group of women who needed MRIs, those brain imaging machines they slide you into horizontally, and they rigged these machines with 2 faint lights that the patient could see peripherally. The green light meant everything was ok. But when the red one went on, it was followed by an annoying sound, not painful, but eerie and uncomfortable.

    Then researchers split these women into 3 groups. In the first group, the women could go through this procedure holding the hand of their spouse sitting next to them. The second group could hold the hand of a stranger. And the third group of women would hold no one's hand.

    What researchers found as they logged the patient's brain activity during these procedures was fascinating.

    While all the women previously registered high levels of fear as that red light was activated, those holding no one's hand or the hand of a stranger, saw that fear unabated - there was no change in their feeling scared and vulnerable.

    However, the levels of fear experienced by those women who were holding on to their spouse's hand was much different, it was practically non-existent: leading researchers to conclude that the power of the presence of someone who loved them and who was committed to them, made a dramatic difference.

    This Sunday, you and I will hear the account of Jesus' first, and most popular sermon: The Sermon on the Mount. This is that monologue you remember when he says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God, blessed are the meek, blessed are the persecuted, etc. And what we see is Jesus's foundational ambition to be with those feeling the most vulnerable, the abandoned, the fearful. It's as if Jesus is coming alongside them, sitting with them, holding their hand, and not as a stranger, but as someone who loves them and is committed to them.

    This is Jesus' vocation.
    This is our vocation.
    We are called to do likewise.

    All around us are fearful, lonely, and abandoned,- people needing encouragement, understanding, and hope - in the markets, in our offices, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes.

    How are we being called to identify with their fear and discomfort, to come alongside them and hold their hands? 
  • W.W.A.D. What Would Adele Do?

    W.W.A.D. What Would Adele Do?


     When pop star Adele performs in concert it’s a big deal.


    She could set her ticket prices at hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and still sell out in a few hours. The problem, though, would be that only the wealthy would get to go - which, in Adele’s mind, is not fair.

    So as Adele’s star began to rise, along with her fan base and bank account, she decided to do something radical.

    In 2015, when Adele announced her first album tour in 4 years, she decided to set her ticket prices low - just $50 a ticket - and to make sure that the big scalping companies couldn’t swoop in and gobble up all the tickets, she partnered with a tech company that had an algorithm to identify Adele’s biggest fans - and offer them tickets, first.

    20% of her tickets in select markets were sold this way, and the percentage of those Adele fans who bought them and turned around and scalped them was very, very low - meaning that those loyal fans who wanted to see Adele, could go, regardless of their wealth.

    Accountants estimate Adele lost millions of dollars doing this.

    And so we may wonder: what made Adele ‘drop the nets’ and let all that wealth slip past her?

    Maybe the same thing that made those early disciples do the same thing.

    This Sunday, you and I will hear the familiar story of Jesus calling his first disciples, fishermen, Peter and Andrew, to do something radical: leave behind their prosperous fishing business, and follow a penniless prophet who preached a re-ordered set of values.

    We can look at it as a classic re-shuffling: knocking the security of profits off the top tier and lifting up Jesus’ values of purpose, community, fairness, selflessness, and love.

    We often think the disciples left everything to follow Jesus. They didn’t. The scriptures say Peter still had his home, and many of them would return to their fishing boats after the resurrection. But what they did is leave behind the way they ranked their values - reshuffling them according to the Jesus Way.

    In a country where we have profits without prosperity, we know firsthand what a fickle God money is. And Jesus’ invitation is for you and me to reshuffle our values as well - taking up his invitation to follow him - and to put community, peace, selflessness, and love in first place. 

    How is Jesus inviting us to reshuffle our values?
    In what ways are we being asked to drop the nets and follow? 
  • Turn, Turn, Turn

    Turn, Turn, Turn

     

    A couple took a train trip.

    Sitting next to each other in big comfortable brown fabric seats, she looked out the window, while he read his favorite magazine.

    Then at one point she said, "Look! That's the most beautiful oak tree I've ever seen!"

    Marriage therapists say this is a common case of a 'bid for connection", one partner getting excited about something and wanting to share that feeling with the other partner.

    It's at this point when her partner can do one of three things. He can turn away from her, saying something like, "That's nice honey," and keep reading his magazine.

    Second, he can turn against her by saying something like, “Trees are stupid, only little kids get excited about them!"

    Or he can choose option number three, and turn toward her, by putting down his magazine, looking out the window and sharing her exuberance, saying, "Wow! I've never seen a tree that beautiful either!"

    This Sunday, you and I will hear about Jesus calling his disciples, issuing a bid for connection, if you will. Will the disciples turn away? Will they turn against? Or will they turn toward Jesus and his calling?

    I think we all know the answer to this, but we can't help but applying this to ourselves, as Jesus calls each one of us, bidding our connection to the Divine.

    Whenever we come across these texts, these calling stories in which Jesus issues invitations to would-be followers, we rightly ask ourselves:

    How is God bidding connection for you and me?
    In what ways do we turn away?
    In what ways do we turn against?
    And in what ways do we turn toward?

    Healthy relationships result when we constantly turn toward our partner, it's the same with our spiritual lives, as Jesus asks us to turn toward him, how might we do that today and in the week ahead? 
  • Open the Curtains!

    Open the Curtains!

     


    Rambling through the verdant Irish countryside on a rare sunny day was a tour bus full of people. The bus passed idyllic scenes of crystal blue lakes, bright green forests, and rolling hillsides sporting centuries-old, lichen-covered stone fences.

    But inside the bus the tourists were trying to solve a problem. The bus had a flat tire earlier that day, putting the tour off-schedule, resulting in a tense, lingering discussion over which of the remaining 27 sights should be skipped.

    The discussion was so consuming that no one had bothered to open the curtains on the inside of the bus, meaning no one saw the countryside, one of the grandest sites of the entire tour, because they'd been distracted by something far less important.

    This week, Christians commemorate a feast called Epiphany. This word means 'revealing' and carries an air of awareness and waking up.

    And we mark this day because we all have episodes when we forget to open up the curtains on the bus. We get caught up in the detours and distractions of sports, politics, home improvement, investments, vacation planning, you name it, and before we know it we've lost sight of the fact that the main thing is keeping the main thing, the main thing.

    This is not to infuse us with guilt and regret, but to note that this is what it means to be human - yes, we all walk into rooms and say, 'Why did I come in here again?'

    The symbol of Epiphany is light, meaning hope, meaning we can find ways to wake up, pull the curtains, and bask in the awareness that God loves us, God is with us, and that everything is going to be okay.

    How will we do that today? 
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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