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
  • Welcome Home

    Welcome Home


     Remember Homecoming weekend in high school or college?


    That's the occasion when grads would return home to re-visit the people and places that played a formative role in their lives.

    Aside from the big hair and wide lapels on those polaroids in a shoebox somewhere under your bed, this was an occasion to pay some sort of honor or tribute to the positive influences that shaped us into who we are today.

    Ideally, home is where we learned positive values, habits, and priorities - of honesty, fairness, justice, generosity, acceptance, and forgiveness. And returning home can bring recalibration and renewal to lives that may have drifted far from this.

    In this sense, let me suggest that Lent is a sort of homecoming.

    Today, Ash Wednesday, kicks off a 40-day journey of rediscovery, culminating in Easter, God's great declaration that no matter how far we've strayed or how completely we've snubbed, forgiveness is possible, restoration is possible - we can return home, to God, to Christ, to love.

    A guiding question for me this year is, "What are you optimizing for?" In other words, all this money you're making, all this exercising, learning, watching, reading, spending - what's the end goal? Is the way I am now living bringing me closer to Christ and helping me make a world I want to live in?

    On this journey we ask: is all that I'm thinking, doing, and being, pointed toward home? Are my habits, attitudes, and goals aligned with where I want to go and who I want to become? Lent can be a life-altering exercise in recalibration, getting us back on track and back in the game.

    Andiamo! Let's go home. 
  • Making Sense of Mass Shootings

    Making Sense of Mass Shootings

     

    Where were you at 830 on Monday night... When shots rang out over the campus of Michigan State University?

    Did your phone ping with a news notification?
    Did a friend text you?
    Did you see it on a TV news bulletin?

    Did you immediately think of friends you have on campus? Friends of friends?

    Did you think of the last time you'd been in East Lansing, as a sports fan?
    The parent or grandparent of a student?
    Or a student yourself?
    After all, we're not talking about Boise State or Cal State - this is our school, Michigan State...

    Just 14 months after the same thing happened at Oxford High School, just up the road, you and I are plunged, yet again, into a miasma of stunning confusion, raw anger, gut-wrenching sadness,  and genuine surprise: how, why, what to do?

    2,000 years ago a trio of the innocent watched in speechless awe as a similarly incomprehensible, life-altering event unfolded on a mountaintop in the Middle East - the Transfiguration, which we will hear more about on Sunday, was an event equally confusing, disabling, and void of any sort of immediate understanding.

    And those who witnessed this event were forced to do what you and I are doing - to find some way down this mountain of serious emotional distress - and somehow make our way back into a dangerous and unpredictable world still in need of desperate reform.

    Those early disciples used that event to inspire and fuel reform that brought remarkable change to the world - more vast, life-giving, permanent and positive than the world had ever seen.

    In their confusion and pain, they resolved to follow the light, the light of God, who held them through the darkness, the pain, the loss - and guided them to places of action - of healing, restoration, and reform.

    We all know we have a problem.
    We are all looking for a solution.
    Can we look to Jesus as an icon of hope - who shapes the stunned and confused into the bold and the brave - who turns pain into purpose, and just might, through this unspeakably evil act, be equipping you and me to be the change we want to see?

    Mountain top moments don't come along very often.
    Let's not waste them. 
  • Highway Blues

    Highway Blues

     

    The freeways in Los Angeles are so big many of them have High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV lanes.

    These are large, spacious lanes on the far left side of the highway that are usually wide open, and can only be used by vehicles with 2 or more passengers, Los Angeles being well-known for smog, and carpooling being a proven way to lower emissions. However, for anyone else who tries to use them, there's a very stiff fine.

    When you're stuck in traffic on the highway, all alone in your car, sweating in the afternoon sun, glancing over at drivers in the HOV lanes, blissfully whizzing off to their destinations, it can be very tempting to find some way to use that lane.

    And the cops have seen it all.

    Drivers have used life-size, blow-up dolls.
    One guy strapped into his passenger seat his St. Bernard.
    A lone woman argued she could use the lane because she was pregnant.

    The measures we will go to to get around laws we don't like are as extreme as they are legion.

    And this Sunday in church we will hear reminders from God that, like those HOV laws, the Lord's rules are not given to annoy us, but to help us!

    Think about it, when we set up our own rules around diet and exercise we're wanting to be more healthy and live longer.
    They help us be free of disease and illness.

    When we set up rules to pray, go to church, study our faith, and help others, we want to be more joyful and fulfilled.
    They help us be free of guilt and selfishness.

    God's rules are meant to free us to be good and to do good.

    So we can't help but to ask ourselves:
    So what rules are we skirting?
    How are we being untrue to ourselves or to others in ways that may come back to bite us?
    How are we rationalizing our rule-breaking?
    In what ways is God trying to show us that doing things the right way is the best way? 
  • No Limits

    No Limits

     

    For decades weightlifters believed there was a limit to how much a person could lift.

    In the popular category called 'clean and jerk' no one thought that 500 pounds could ever be lifted. Then one day a Soviet weightlifter named Vasily Alekseyev did just that. The curious thing is that, before the year ended 6 other people did the same thing.

    Something similar happened when medical student Roger Banister ran the very first 4 minute mile. No one had ever been able to run that fast, but once he did it, a sub-four minute mile became commonplace.

    What do these two events do but show us the artificial nature of limits and open the floodgates of human freedom and possibility - something we see Jesus doing for us this Sunday.

    Imagine that you and I are one of those early followers of Jesus, sitting on the side of a hill in Capernaum. It's the continuation of the Sermon on the Mount we heard last Sunday when Jesus called the meek, the mourning, and the poor 'beloved of God.'

    And now he's calling them God's light, God's salt - God's chosen vessels of guidance, comfort, even seasoning in the world. Like Alekseyev and Bannister, their best is being pulled out of them, as their eyes are being opened to the limitless possibilities before then.

    This is good news - that we are capable of doing and being much more than we think.  Barriers can be broken, preconceptions can be shattered, yes, limits are really limitless.

    Jesus is inviting us to live this kind of life - to live not with fear, but with curiosity - to see what our bodies, minds, and souls can do, especially when we really don't know how much we can accomplish if we don't create a limit. Nulla impossibla per dio - With God, all things are possible. 
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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