Barton chaplain has book launch Friday: ‘Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition’

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Barton College chaplain and local author David Finnegan-Hosey will celebrate the release of his new book, “Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition: Faith, Systems and Mental Healthcare,” with a book launch and signing at First Christian Church of Wilson at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale at a cost of $15 each.

Finnegan-Hosey’s latest book emerges from his experiences with mental health struggles and the health care system. Having been diagnosed in 2011 with a disorder deemed a pre-existing condition, Finnegan-Hosey traces the connections between personal stories, mental health advocacy and Christian faith. Along the way, he highlights the surprisingly theological language that underpins the modern health care system and the ways in which a more healthy theological conversation can help heal the brokenness of that system.

One of the issues raised in “Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition” is the link between pre-existing conditions and medical debt, something that Finnegan-Hosey experienced personally after he was denied coverage as a result of his diagnosis. He has donated all profits from preorders of his book to the organization RIP Medical Debt. A portion of the proceeds from book sales at the release party also will be donated to RIP Medical Debt, which works to abolish medical debt across the country.

“It’s been an honor to be able to shine a light on the important topics of mental health care and medical debt, particularly within faith communities,” Finnegan-Hosey said. “As Christians, we often struggle to discuss these topics, even though we are very aware that they impact our churches and our communities. I look forward to the launch of this book and to the vital conversations about faith, mental health and advocacy that it will help create.”

The book release event will feature a reading from the book and a brief talk from Finnegan-Hosey, as well as a conversation with the Rev. Blythe Taylor about the book, prize giveaways and a resource table.

The event will be held in the parlor of the education building at First Christian Church, located at 207 Tarboro St. N., on the corner of Vance and Tarboro streets in Wilson.

For additional information about the book or this event, contact David Finnegan-Hosey at chaplain@barton.edu or 252-399-6368.