Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lift Up Southfield!
Resolution of Support and Denunciation of the Violence
at the Tree of Life Synagogue
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We, the clergy of Lift Up Southfield!, an interfaith community of Southfield congregations, pray for the victims and families affected by the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and roundly denounce the violence which occurred as innocent worshippers gathered for Shabbat services on October 27.

The murder of eleven people and wounding of many more have broken the hearts of faithful people of all walks of life, but our souls, our beliefs, and our shared unity of purpose remain unshaken.

As representatives of many faiths we share values shaped by our holy texts - all of which command us to revere life. And we recognize that an attack against anyone, particularly who’s practicing their constitutional right to freely worship, is an attack on all people of good will.

We further denounce the current political climate of polarization, prejudice, and xenophobia, which is now so rampant in our country. We will not stand by idly and allow forces of hatred and bigotry go unchallenged.

In solidarity, we commend the interfaith community of Pittsburgh, more than a thousand of whom gathered shortly after the shootings, to demonstrate their love for and mutual support of their Jewish neighbors during this tragic time.

We commit to embodying these ideals by drawing closer to one another and by urging all peoples and communities of faith in Southfield and Metro Detroit to do so as well.

The Very Rev. Chris Yaw – St. David’s Episcopal Church
The Rev. Kimi Riegel – Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church
Pastor Jill Heather – Emmanuel Lutheran Church
The Rev. Theodore Turman – First Baptist Church of Detroit
Rabbi Aaron Starr – Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Fr. Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM - Catholic Church of the Transfiguration
Fr. Jeremy Harrington, OFM – Catholic Church of the Transfiguration
Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian – St. John’s Armenian Orthodox Church
Rev. Fr. Armash Bagdasarian - St. John’s Armenian Orthodox Church

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Interfaith Group Calls Community Together to Help the Needy

Congregations for Coats

This November Join Local Congregations to Fill a Truck with Winter Coats

 (Southfield, MI October 29) - The cold will soon be upon us and a local interfaith group wants to help those most vulnerable. Lift Up Southfield! a consortium of 9 Southfield congregations along with the Friends of the Southfield Police, are inviting the community to donate new or gently used coats throughout the month of November.

Coats can be taken to a Lift Up Southfield! congregation, or St. David’s Episcopal Church, 16200 W. 12 Mile Road, where a huge truck is parked. Special thanks goes to Central Transport of Warren for the truck donation.

“The Christian scriptures say that if one person has two coats, he ought to give one away to a needy person,” said Lift Up Southfield! Convener, The Very Rev. Chris Yaw, Rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church. “If you’re like me, you have way more than one coat. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on our blessedness, and take action for those who don’t have enough.”

Organizations involved with Lift Up Southfield include: The First Baptist Church of Detroit; Northwest Unitarian Universalist; Congregation Shaarey Zedek; St. David's Episcopal Church; Emmanuel Lutheran Church; Peace Lutheran Church; Transfiguration Catholic Church; St. John’s Armenian Orthodox; and the Covenant Presbyterian Church.  The Friends of the Southfield Police Department are a group of officers and supporters dedicated to community improvement.

Coats will be collected throughout the month of November. They will be distributed to several local charities throughout Metro Detroit including the South Oakland Shelter in Lathrup Village. For more information, please contact The Very Reverend Chris Yaw of St. David’s Episcopal Church: 248-557-5430 or visit their website at

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lift Up Southfield!
Clergy Recruited as Police Department Chaplains

What happens at the scene of a fire, accident, or other tragedy when pastoral care is needed?

The Southfield Police Department has a list of chaplains they regularly use to provide emergency chaplaincy services to our community. 

Several 'Lift up Southfield!' members serve, and are being recruited to serve, as police department chaplains. If you are a clergy member in Southfield, or if your religious leader would like to serve in this capacity, please contact Fr. Chris Yaw at: 248.557.5430 or

Monday, April 17, 2017

Interfaith Group to Educate about Refugee and Immigrant Issues
Immigrants, Refugees, and Sanctuary: A Non-Partisan Discussion
Free Panel Discussion with State Experts
Sunday, April 20, 2017 | 3-4:30pm
Southfield Public Library

With the war in Syria raging and conflict throughout the world growing, along with the construction of a new border-wall between Mexico and the United States, the question of immigration to the U.S. and the status of international refugees has become a hotly debated topic. As political leaders on the left and the right debate strategies to alleviate humanitarian crises and also to ensure the safety of Americans, Lift Up Southfield – an interfaith group of Southfield religious communities dedicated to building relationships with one another through mutual service to the community – is organizing an educational opportunity called “Immigrants, Refugees, and Sanctuary: A Non-Partisan Discussion.”

The event, scheduled from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Auditorium of the Southfield Public Library, will include a panel discussion of experts.

Currently slated to participate are:
- Bing Goei, a Grand Rapids entrepreneur named by Governor Rick Snyder to direct the Michigan Office for New Americans;
- Yuliya Gaydayenko, a social worker who helps to coordinate immigrant services for Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit;
- Angie Reyes, Executive Director and Founder of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation;
- Rev. Ken Fouty of Trinity Lutheran Church in Clawson, who serves as community outreach specialist for the refugee assistance organization Samaritas; and
- Dr. Mustfa Ahamah of the Iraqi Consulate. 

Organizations involved with Lift Up Southfield include: The First Baptist Church of Detroit; Northwestern Unitarian Universalist; Congregation Shaarey Zedek; St. David's Episcopal Church; Emmanuel Lutheran Church; Peace Lutheran Church; Transfiguration Catholic Church; St. John’s Armenian Orthodox; and the Covenant Presbyterian Church. 

There is no cost to attend the event and it is open to the community. For more information, please contact The Reverend Chris Yaw of St. David’s Episcopal Church: 248-557-5430 or visit our website at 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Lift Up Southfield!... completed it's 4th annual interfaith Thanksgiving worship service on November 20, 2016, at the Church of the Transfiguration, 25225 Code Road, Southfield, MI 48033.  Many faiths joined in giving thanks to God for the many blessings of our lives. Congregations attending were Church of the Transfiguration (our host for this year's service), St. David's Episcopal Church, Peace Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church of Detroit, and Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church.

Fr. Harrington begins the service

Scripture readings

Pastor Tim Larson provides the sermon

Combined church choir presents the anthem

The Offering

An anthem of peace from the Larson family

Prayers of Thanksgiving

The Blessing

Closing Hymn

Conducting the service:
Fr. Jeremy Harrington, OFM 
(Church of the Transfiguration)
Pastor Tim Larson
(Peace Lutheran Church)
Pastor Theodore Turman
(First Baptist Church of Detroit)
The Rev Kimi Riegel
(Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church)
The Rev Chris Yaw
(St. David's Episcopal Church)
Fr. William Farris, OFM
(Church of the Transfiguration)

Refreshments and conversation

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lift Up Southfield!...invites you to join us in an interfaith Thanksgiving worship service.  Join those of many faiths in giving thanks to God for the many blessings of our lives. 

The service is Sunday, November 22, 7:00 PM, at First Baptist Church of Detroit, 21200 Southfield Road, Southfield MI 48075. 

Please bring a food offering and/or financial contribution that will go to Southfield Social Services.  If you would like to sing in the mass choir, please arrive no later than 6:00 PM. 

Questions?  Call 248-569-2972.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lift Up Southfield! presents
“Islam and Free Speech:
Religious Toleration in a Modern World”
March 8, 2015
at Peace Lutheran Church
6:00pm Meal—7:00pm Program

Speaker: Imam Achmat Salie

Dr. Salie is founder and director of Islamic Studies and teacher of Arabic at the University of Detroit Mercy, co-editor of Journal for Academy of Muslim Philanthropy, president of AAMPAC, vice president and religion chair of Michigan Academy Conference (established in 1897), and pioneer of two Islamic centers.

Dr. Salie has extensive experience in Islamic Studies both in South Africa and in the USA and has created Islamic studies program at various universities.

Learn more about Islam by sharing a meal with other people of faith in the Southfield community and hearing Imam Achmat Salie, a dynamic speaker.

An Indian community meal will be served at 6:00pm to honor our Indian Muslim neighbors.

A fee is required for dinner. The fee is paid at the door.

Peace Lutheran Church
17029 West 13 Mile
(between Greenfield & Southfield Roads)
Southfield, MI 48076
(248) 642-7047

Lift Up Southfield! is “A Gathering of Southfield Faith Communities”