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
  • Promises, Promises

    Promises, Promises


    Upon entering the museum with the toddler, he made a bee-line for the gift shop and immediately glommed onto a little stuffie - with instant admiration.

    Mom and Dad walked over and put the stuffie back on the shelf.
    They explained that there was an entire museum to tour before they would consider souvenirs.
    But they promised they would return.

    The toddler relented, unhappy, but taking solace in the promise that he would come back - and that his deep desire would be met.

    This Sunday is Palm Sunday.

    It marks the triumphant celebration of Jesus, our king, entering the Holy City of Jerusalem to begin the long-promised reign of God.
    However, the Romans and corrupt religious authorities would not make that easy.

    The celebration would quickly turn into an angry mob scene, ending in the arrest, torture, and death of Jesus.
    His followers would flee in terror, giving up on their messianic hopes, cowering in fear, certainly considering any further developments improbable, even impossible.

    But the magic of Palm Sunday is in the lingering promises of Jesus.

    He told his disciples, numerous times, that this would happen, that he would not leave them alone, that he would return.

    Today you and I face fears, threats, and anxieties of our own over a myriad of problems - to which, Jesus has also made promises.

    Wherever we find ourselves today, Jesus has said he will provide for us. 
    Jesus has said he will forgive us.
    Jesus has said he will accept us.
    Jesus has said he will be with us - and never leave us

    Palm Sunday invites us to remember Jesus’ promises that yes, he will return, to fulfill our deep desires. 
  • Of Mice and Hope

    Of Mice and Hope


    Years ago a fascinating study was published on the topic of mice and hope.

    Researchers took a number of mice and, one by one, put them in a bucket of water to see how long they would live.

    These scientists noted that an average mouse would try to swim for about 10 minutes before giving up, surrendering to his fate and sinking to the bottom to drown.

    The researchers would then scoop the mice up, revive them and let them go on their merry way.

    However, when they put these same mice, who had been once rescued, back into the bucket, they noticed something absolutely astonishing.

    These mice did not try to swim and struggle for 10 minutes before giving up, they would now go on for 60 minutes.

    In other words, having experienced a miraculous rescue, seeing that there might be some possibility of survival, these mice hung on six times longer.

    This Sunday, the last Sunday before Holy Week, we hear the iconic story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave. Lazarus had been dead for 4 days, people thought Jesus had lost his marbles for suggesting he would be revived.

    You know the story, Jesus commanded the dead man to come out, he did, and the amazed disciples would take this story and store it in their hearts as they went into the very first Holy Week. 

    It's as if Jesus wanted them to witness this life after death event in preparation for his own, hoping, perhaps that they, too, would have six times more faith than before.

    Jesus has us hear these stories because he wants us to believe as well. Jesus wants us to know that we serve a God who makes possible the impossible.

    So when people tell us we'll never solve the problems of gun violence, loneliness, homelessness, political division, and poverty, we are not ones to chime in and say, 'You're right, these will never be solved.' No, we have seen God do impossible things, so we can be a people of hope.

    We know that the world does not get any better by negativity, pessimism, apathy, and defeatism, of which there is way too much. What the world needs, is Jesus message of hope, and Jesus's people, you and me, to be heralds of that hope.

    We, too, have seen, let us go and act accordingly. 
  • The Faith of a Four Year Old

    The Faith of a Four Year Old

     Not long ago the cat went missing!

    Maybe someone left a door open, maybe he slipped out when groceries came in from the garage, maybe he joined a gang of alley cats who dropped a rope down the chimney at midnight...

    At first, we were hopeful.
    We placed food outside for him, but it went uneaten.
    We placed ads on social media, but they went unanswered.
    We took neighborhood walks calling his name, but that went nowhere.

    So as the days went by, hope began to dwindle in the household... Mom, dad, the kids... Everyone except the 4 year old.

    Weeks after the cat left and miles from where he could have possibly gone missing the 4 year old would, all of a sudden, quite randomly scream the cat's name out the window of the moving car.
    He would wake up in the morning asking for him, and he would ask to go outside after dark looking for the cat, which he never found - until, one night, he did.

    Skinny, hungry, and chatty, he was ok - which sent joy sweeping through the house: the cat had been found!

    But would he be here, were it not for the hope of a 4 year old after everyone else's had fizzled out?

    This Sunday you and I will hear a story of a dramatic healing amidst a sea of doubt.
    We will hear the doubters, the mockers, and a believer - whose faith parallels the 4 year old's - and comes to us in the midst of our hopeless, apathy, and doubt:

    Take courage.
    Don't give up.
    Don't assume you've got it all figured out.
    Be open to the unimaginable. 

    With God all things are possible. 
  • How Do You Explain It?

    How Do You Explain It?


    A friend recently told me this story...
    Once, when she was in her kitchen preparing a meal, she felt a tap on her shoulder.

    She turned around to see a stranger pointing to the other side of the room, where my friend turned - only to see her 18-month-old daughter with the car keys that she was about to insert into an electrical outlet.

    My friend leapt across the room, snatching the keys from the little hands of her surprised daughter, before embracing her ever so tightly, feeling so grateful she was ok.

    Then, when my friend turned around to address the stranger in the kitchen, she realized nobody was there, the room was empty.

    My friend believes that this was a sign from God - and it was given to her as an enduring message that God is with her, that both she and her daughter are not to take life for granted, and that God's gift of life must be paid forward to help others.

    Has God ever sent you a sign?
    Have you ever been sent one as profound as this, or one that's much more subtle?
    What are you doing with it?

    These questions pop up as you and I approach Sunday's Gospel, when a Samaritan woman was so touched by a dramatic and unexplainable sign from God that her life, and the lives of those around her were indelibly changed.

    In fact, the Bible is full of stories of Jesus performing unexplainable signs with life-altering consequences. These consequences undoubtedly build gratitude, joy, satisfaction, and more than likely a deeper societal cohesion as people look to pay forward the gifts that they've been given.

    I think, when most of us search our histories, we find moments in which we felt the Divine doing positive things for us.

    And a big reason that God gives us these signs is so that we can pay it forward, that these "God moments" might inspire us to be kinder, more hopeful, more forgiving, and more loving to those around us, because we are more deeply in touch with the eternal and abiding presence of the Creator.

    How has God made God's self known to you?
    What kind of message was God sending?
    How good are we at remembering this - And using it to fuel our own work of inner peace, reconciliation, and healing?

    One of the most important words in the Bible is that word remember! Remember what God has done for us, remember how God has provided for us, remember how blessed we are - and use that remembrance for our own good, and the good of others. 
  • Where Do Babies Come From?

    Where Do Babies Come From?


    When I was much too young to understand biology I asked my mother, "Where do babies come from?"

    Of course, this is the question every parent of a 6 year old looks forward to...
    But Mom never flinched... didn't head toward the liquor cabinet...

    Instead she sat me down and said that when two people really love each other, babies are the inevitable result - life follows love - love gives birth to life.

    Apparently that answer was good enough, because my next question was, "Would you rather be a Popsicle or a pickle?"

    But the point is, you and I were created to love.
    We love ourselves, our pets, our neighbors, our country, our cars, our God, the sunset, the Amazon driver, even Justin Bieber, some of us - But we soon figure out we are at our best when we love - we come alive to love.

    In fact, researchers say our greatest source of happiness in life will come from loving relationships.

    But how hard this is to put into practice!

    It was for Nicodemus - a religious leader who sought out Jesus in the wee hours for a clandestine rendezvous - the original Nick at Night - because the socio-religious culture  which had evolved around Nicodemus made it difficult, uncool, almost unacceptable, to talk so openly and comprehensively about love, God's love for everyone.

    And things haven't changed much today.
    It's still difficult to live in love.

    Which is why we need Jesus, in him we see love without expectation or requirement, unbridled and unlimited, all we need is awareness, waking up to the reality that we were created to love. Our big job is not to change, convert, bully, or baptize, but to love.

    You are a love machine, sang the Miracles, and they weren't far off, you come alive to love, Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus was to awaken him to love, how is God trying to awaken us to the same thing? 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430