Grace is a Pre-existing Condition Offers Vital Insight During Watershed Debate

Church Publishing Incorporated
Posted Feb 13, 2020

The recent and ongoing controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act has opened a door for a deeper and more vigorous discussion of health care in the United States.

After a December federal appeals court ruling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi specifically expressed concern for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. With gun control and mass shootings receiving increased national attention, an opportunity has arisen to address the scapegoating of those with mental illness in conversations about gun violence. For many people in the U.S., incarceration and chronic homelessness stand in for a functioning mental healthcare system. At the same time, college campuses across the nation are increasingly aware of the mental health crisis impacting their students.

David Finnegan-Hosey, College Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries at Barton College and author of 2018’s Christ on the Psych Ward, has written a new resource for individuals, faith communities, and organizations wondering what can be done to support the most vulnerable. Grace is a Pre-existing Condition: Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare, will be of benefit to anyone concerned about creating a more just healthcare system, but particularly those who struggle with – and care for those who struggle with – mental health. The book is equally applicable and relevant to readers dealing with chronic physical illnesses.

The author’s own experience with in-patient psychiatric care and subsequent financial debt have informed his unique and multi-faceted understanding of America’s mental healthcare system. In 2011, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder: deemed a pre-existing condition. He now speaks and writes about the intersections among mental illness, mental health, and faith. Intentionally approaching the subject through the lens of Christian theology, Grace is a Pre-existing Condition is a contribution to a broader conversation about healthcare policy, likely to be in the spotlight during the 2020 presidential elections.

Said Rev. Lee Hull Moses, Chief of Staff, Office of the General Minister, and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), “One of David Finnegan-Hosey’s gifts is his willingness to share his own struggle with mental illness. Another is his sharp analysis of the U.S. healthcare system. Yet another his is ability to weave Christian theology with his own story and his critique of a broken system in a way that offers hope for change. This book is for anyone who lives with mental illness, anyone who loves someone who does, anyone who has tried to navigate the complexities of our healthcare system, and anyone who thinks we can—and should—do better.”

At a critical juncture in American public policy making, this book explores the theological and spiritual dimensions of our discourse around mental healthcare and finds there the transformative reality of grace. Grace, as the old hymn testifies, will lead us home.

Grace is a Pre-existing Condition
paper, 5.5” x 8.5”, 152 Pages

Grace is a Pre-existing Condition: Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare can be pre-ordered through Church Publishing Incorporated, at any Episcopal, religious, or secular bookstore, or through any online bookseller.

Founded in 1918 and headquartered in New York City, Church Publishing Incorporated is the publisher of official worship materials, books, music, and digital ministry resources for the Episcopal Church, in addition to being a multifaceted publisher and supplier to the broader ecumenical marketplace.