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
  • The Shepherd’s Care

    The Shepherd’s Care


    When we were going through COVID, didn't it feel like we were trying to live our lives while walking through water up to our necks? Every step was labored, time-consuming, life was exhausting.

    We were scared, full of anxiety,
    we were utterly dependent on others, thank God for essential workers,
    and we were really clueless about where this whole thing was going.

    Even now, while COVID is not the threat it once was, it still feels like we're walking through the water, maybe not up to our necks, but certainly up to our knees.
    There's a lingering anxiety, dependency, and lack of awareness as to where things are going - and this is all now simply part of daily life.

    This Sunday is called Good Shepherd Sunday, it is full of pastoral imagery of sheep and shepherds.
    And while we are not reminded of how much sheep smell, or how warm their sweaters can be,
    we are reminded that sheep are a very fearful and skittish sort.
    We're reminded of how utterly dependent they are on the shepherd and on others to care for them.
    And we're reminded of how unaware and unable they are to predict or even cope with the future.

    Sounds a bit familiar doesn't it?

    Fear, dependence, and a lack of awareness.

    And what's curious is that Jesus's solution to these clueless sheep, is not to provide weapons or high walls to assuage fear,
    Nor does he instantly provide a lifetime's worth of food and water,
    Nor does he give the sheep superhuman intelligence and savvy insight to better predict the future.

    No, Jesus gives himself,
    He asks them, and us, to put our trust in his assurances of protection, his promises to provide for us, and his invitation to trust him for our future.

    Fear, dependence, and a lack of awareness.
    God knows who we are and gives us the shepherd to accompany us on the journey.

    Let us entrust our fears, dependency, and futures to the Shepherd’s care. 
  • WD-39



    Slaving away in some laboratory in San Diego, scientists tried and tried and tried to perfect a product that I love: WD-40.

    It’s great for hinges, to loosen bolts, even to get oil stains off the car.

    But it took some time to perfect -
    In fact, it’s called WD-40 because the final product was the 40th iteration of their idea.
    They tried to make this thing 40 times.
    What if they’d given up at 35? Or 36? or 39?

    This Sunday you and I will hear the story of Jesus, who shortly after his resurrection, joined a couple of his disciples walking on a road to a nearby town called Emmaus.
    These disciples had no idea who this stranger was who was walking with them, and they peppered him with questions and were intrigued by his answers.

    So when it began to get dark and the disciples were headed inside to stay the night - and Jesus wanted to keep going - these disciples  strongly urged him to stay with them - to continue to talk with them - to continue to satisfy their spiritual curiosity.

    Jesus did.
    He stayed with them.
    And shortly thereafter, they finally recognized him in the breaking of the bread.

    But what if those disciples hadn’t invited Jesus in?
    What if they’d said, ‘Hey, great conversation, see you around!
    And never pursued their, spiritual quest?

    Friends, as we bask in the glory of the Easter miracle - we are bidden to keep on keeping on in our pursuit of Jesus.
    Don’t be satisfied with what we know or where we are - but to keep on keeping on in our pursuit of the spiritual life.

    What does that look like to you?
    In what ways are we too ’settled’ with God?
    And how might we pursue the spiritual life even more deeply -

    So many of the problems that plague us, the issues that roil us, the challenges that overwhelm us, can usually be handled much better when we are at higher levels of spiritual fitness.

    Easter is a time to get in touch with our true self, our spiritual self, that self that recognizes Jesus all around us, all the time. 
  • Quid, Quid, Recipitur...

    Quid, Quid, Recipitur...


    My friend bought a new car recently and remarked, ‘Wow, I didn’t know how many cars were out on the road that were just like mine!’

    And an old, Latin phrase came to mind:

    ‘Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver.’

    In other words, we take biases into our perception of reality.
    We have our own lenses - through which we perceive things:.
    We get a new car - we immediately see others that look like it.

    Bias, preconceptions, ingrained habits - these all come to mind when we turn to that perennial ’Sunday after Easter Story’ of Doubting Thomas.

    When the Risen Christ comes to the disciples, while Thomas is out at Starbucks, we see several biases at work when, upon his return, they tell him that Jesus has appeared - and Thomas doesn’t buy it - and when he rejects the idea of the Risen Christ, we see his biases coming to light.

    We see Confirmation Bias, which is when our brains welcome information that confirms what it already thinks, and resists information that disturbs or contradicts.

    We see his Complexity Bias, the proclivity of our brains to reject a complex truth, in exchange for a simple untruth.

    And we see his Convenience Bias, which is when our brains welcome information that keeps us happy and complacent, but rejects information that causes us to work or embrace discomfort.

    Thomas’ is a story about facing our biases - being open to new paths - to possibility, openness, in order to make room for God.

    Jesus knows this - and here’s how he addresses it:

    Notice how he appears to his disciples?
    Not arrayed in white light, ascending as a regally clothed Deity saying, “I told you so!”

    No - Jesus comes among them pointing to his wounds.
    Jesus calls attention to the marks of his suffering, his humiliation, his fraternity with everyone who has, is, and will ever live - by connecting with our suffering.

    Ask people when they’ve felt closest to Jesus, and I always get the same answer - “When I was down, when I was out, when I was at my lowest."

    Jesus comes to us at our lowest, in his lowliness, to help us climb higher.

    Jesus transcends human bias in the humility of the cross to show us the strength of vulnerability.
    He shows us how we build fraternity in our woundedness, and strengthen our bonds in the admission of our frailties.

    Ours is an authentic God - asking us to be who we are - and bidding us to come to him as we are - laying our preconceptions aside - walking in a humility he mirrors, in pain and inadequacy he feels, that we might be strengthened enough to show other walking wounded, where they too might find healing.

    Go through the day today humbly and not afraid to connect with the wounds of others - with our own wounds.

    Humility is not a sign of powerlessness, but of true power. 
  • Somebody Famous Was Arrested This Week

    Somebody Famous Was Arrested This Week


    Somebody famous was arrested this week.
    Yep, everybody expected it.
    In, fact, things were so tense, authorities worried a riot would break out.
    So they meticulously orchestrated it, and made sure plenty of armed enforcement was on hand.

    As the accused surrendered to his fate, some celebrated, some booed, some called it justice, others scorned it as a travesty.
    Some wanted to set him free, others wanted to kill him.

    In the end, he willingly gave himself up to authorities.
    He stood silently before his accusers.
    He didn't answer anybody's questions.
    - although he was very, very rich -
    - although he was very, very powerful.

    And if we want details, we can read about it in any newspaper in the world.
    Indeed, for some, Donald Trump's legal battles have become an obsession.

    But in this holy week, there's another arrest story vying for our attention.

    This is a story you know quite well because down through the years it has brought you, and untold billions of people, life, peace, healing, restoration, and salvation.

    And, like every year, the recounting of this story is never convenient or easy.
    It means putting aside other stories,
    Paying less attention to other priorities,
    Making a serious effort to set the story of Jesus above all others.

    So friends, in this Holy Week, fight off the distractions,
    Make Holy Week the powerful engine room to a life ablaze with hope and possibility!

    At this very moment, there are people languishing in prisons, scrounging through garbage cans looking for a meal, one million of our public school children are homeless, thousands of people will be evicted from their homes today.

    And the solutions to these big, looming problems always begin with small, seemingly insignificant decisions - the resolve to live outside of ourselves and to help others, as Jesus taught us to do. And the stories we make room for in our minds will determine the actions we take to live the selfless, charitable, and loving lives we want to live.

    Headlines will come and go.
    Distractions and detours will always abound.
    But in this story we find the keys to eternal life, the foundation stones to the healing of the world.

    Make room for that story this week.
    Open your hearts anew to its message.
    Draw closer to God, and God will draw closer to you. 
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    St. David's Episcopal Church, 16200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076 USA



    +011 248-557-5430