The Emergent Grace Movement

Christian Hope for Lasting Mental Health


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Emergent Grace

Emergent Grace: Christian Hope for Serious Mental Illness

  • Chapter Contributor: Rev. Dr. Chris Pritchett (PCUSA), co-author of On Retreat with Henri Nouwen
  • Correspondence Featuring the Rev. Dr. Richard B. Steele (UMC) of Seattle Pacific University, co-author of Christian Ethics and Nursing Practice
  • Foreword by Rev. Lindsay Vernor (pastor, writer, a wife, mother of two, and dear friend)

Synopsis of Emergent Grace:

Are you Christian or thinking about becoming Christian but don’t know how to reconcile faith and medicine?

Do you yourself, or someone you love, live with debilitating mental health challenges?

Do you find it necessary to take medicine?

Have you been told to take medicine but can’t find meaning in the process?

After over a decade of struggling with serious mental illness,(SMI), Erin Michael Grimm is finally stable and (often) symptom free, though she is committed to staying on a relatively high dose of medicine to stay well and to encourage her readers to do the same. The book was written to encourage persons with serious mental illness to commit to treatment and wellness so that they will be able to thrive and fight stigma with enduring confidence.

More praise of Emergent Grace:

“This is a book that is full of beautiful hope and severe mercies. Deep, muffled, but secure glints of light reach out through this text and by the spirit of Erin Grimm’s profound knowledge. This is a book, a prayer, really, for those who need a whisper in their ear that you are beloved, you are worthy of love. Come and receive this sip of grace that says you can make it through this minute, this hour, this day, this year.”

— Jim Wellman, chair, Department of Religion, University of Washington

As the Scriptures invite the church to rejoice with those who rejoice and join in the struggle with those who are struggling, this act of compassionate presence is not about having all the answers, but a loving solidarity refusing to allow persons to suffer in suffocating solitary anonymity. This book invites those who suffer to find hope and others to embrace those who struggle with loving hospitality. With a Wesleyan lens, salvation invites a full healing of all aspects of a person’s existence. Moreover, mental health is not only an individual problem, it is a struggle for all humanity. Read and be challenged and encouraged.

–Brent Peterson, Co-Author of Backside of the Cross and Dean of the College of Theology and Christian Ministries at NNU

“This book displays the author’s deep Christian faith, her fierce moral earnestness, her gentle and gentling love for people who suffer, and her extraordinary honesty about her own experience of emotional challenges and the journey toward wholeness. It is buttressed by a wide-ranging erudition that is completely free of pedantic nit-picking and self-proclaimed “expertise”. She has discerned her own limits and stays within them—but for that very reason she invites readers to face and share their own stories with confidence, greatly expanding the conversation about the relationship between faith and mental illness in many fruitful directions.”

–Richard B. Steele, Co-Author of Christian Ethics and Nursing Practice and Professor of Moral and Historical Theology, Seattle Pacific University

“Erin Grimm is a brilliant young thinker with a passion for uniting faith and the diversity of human experience. She offers a wealth of perspective as both a follower of Jesus and as a student of human behavior. I’m a big fan of her faithful (and faith-full!) commitments to holistic theological development.”

–Jay Akkerman, professor of pastoral theology, Northwest Nazarene University

“Emergent Grace offers us a story–a story shaped by, but not ultimately defined by, serious mental illness (SMI). Erin Grimm shares her story, shaped by her faith and the grace of God. While not a mental health professional, Grimm shares her journey of the deep and abiding relationship between SMI and faith, medicine and therapy. She offers hope for many facing similar challenges. We need more stories like Grimm’s.”

–Brad D. Strawn, chief of spiritual formation and integration, Fuller Theological Seminary

“In this volume, Erin Grimm shares from experience rooted in substantial study. Emergent Grace is not lightweight encouragement to ‘feel better.’ It is just the right mix of research, personal stories, and solid wisdom. I commend both the writer and the word to you, with a prayer that you will learn to live joyfully into your created design as you navigate its limits.”

–Carolyn Moore, author of When Women Lead

What I Remember of the Little I Understand

What I Remember of the Little I Understand: A Memoir of Finding Mental Health in Christ

  • Foreword by Joycelynn Baker, and Gwen Benedict
  • Afterword by: Rev. Dr. Brent Peterson, PhD, co-author of The Back Side of the Cross: An Atonement Theology for the Abused and the Abandoned and dean of the school of theology at Northwest Nazarene University
  • A meditation by: Lita Artis, LMT
  • An essay on the environment by Rev. Caleb Cray Haynes, Director of Nazarenes for Creation Care
  • An essay on adoption by Stacie Latimer, an adoptive mother and retired public school educator

Synopsis of What I Remember of the Little I Understand:

Christ died on a cross, humiliated and rejected. He is there for the abused and abandoned because he rose again. Erin Grimm lives with hope today, but that hasn’t always been the case, and in this memoir she shares her life as a trauma survivor and as someone who has attained stability in the midst of a serious mental illness diagnosis. She offers her story in hopes that you and your loved ones will find your way back home to hope and health in Christ. The book is filled with Scripture verses and prayers from The Book of Common Prayer and was written as a devotional.

More praise of What I Remember of the Little I Understand:

“With both stark honesty and gentle humility, Erin Grimm invites us into the long journey of healing and hope for those dealing with trauma and mental illness. Her prose is equally honest, articulate, and accessible leaning into her own journey of ongoing healing and life. Grimm’s story is a helpful window both for those whose families struggle with mental illness and those who desire to be friends, advocates, and pastors to them.”

—Brent Peterson, co-author of The Back Side of the Cross

“Erin Grimm takes us on an inner, insightful odyssey of her own neuroatypicality. Impacted by schizoaffective disorder, she informs us that ‘people with psychosis are great teachers of the human condition.’ This book, as an emic, psychological translation, is unapologetic, candid, courageous, arresting, and informative as it opens our eyes to a reality that most will never experience and rarely understand.”

—Peter Bellini, author of Truth Therapy

“Erin Grimm has written a moving, honest, and sometimes painful memoir from the perspective of a person living with mental illness. She outlines in vivid prose the struggles she has faced in her relationships, faith, and career. Yet she also strikes a hopeful note as she describes the process of learning to manage her mental health, maintain fulfilling relationships, and rediscover purpose in life.”

—David F. Watson, professor of New Testament, United Theological Seminary

“Erin Grimm’s book is a gift to those who struggle with mental illness. Her willingness to be open about her journey with schizoaffective disorder should embolden others with mental illness to share openly. Sprinkled with passages from scripture and The Book of Common Prayer, this book offers ‘breadcrumbs’ of hope to those who are blindly navigating the ravages of mental illness—a hope of experiencing true love and full identity in the Triune God.”

—Cindy Strong, education librarian, Seattle Pacific University

The Nine Principles of Hope

The Nine Principles of Hope: On Making a Difference as a Christian, forthcoming, 2024

This book will be co-authored with Rachel Hayden, my fellow student at Northwest Nazarene University. It is an adaptation of the 9 principles of mindfulness into a Christian framework, and will be a sturdier book than my first two, which were written to be short and helpful to people who are suffering. This book will also be for people who are suffering, however, and I wrote it because when I’m having a hard time it can be hard to be encouraged by Christians who, though well-meaning, often offer platitudes of consolation.

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