Hold on Loosely—the 1981 rock hit by 38 Special—was blaring on my radio as I drove to work this morning. I bobbed my head, rhythmically patted the steering wheel, and mentally concurred with the good bit of advice. We tend to hold more tightly during a crisis. If we are falling on our bikes, riding a roller coaster, or anticipating an inevitable auto accident, we tend to tighten up. This tightening adds to the possibility of strain and injury. Most sports physiologists would advise us to hold on loosely during a crisis or crash. While many people may be ‘tightening their grip’ during these COVID-19 Crisis Days, I want to encourage you to hold on loosely. Continue to live a generous life in your world and community. Here are a few ideas:
1) Hospitals are in need of blood. First Baptist is sponsoring a blood drive on Sunday, August 30, 1:00-5:00pm. The Blood Connection will have a mobile collection unit in our Narthex circle during those hours. You may give the gift of blood, and they will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing for all donors. As part of our safety protocols, the building, including restrooms, will be closed and space will be limited, so make your appointment here.
2) Remember my birthday is right around the corner—September 22. This year, on Sunday, September 20, our Missions and Affiliations Committee will place a large barrel in the breezeway between the Rotunda and the Fellowship Hall. I’m encouraging you—as a birthday gift to me—to come by between 1:00 and 4:00pm to drop off fruit for United Ministries. I’ll be in the breezeway to greet you and receive any other well wishes you might want to share.
3) I think everyone is aware that November 3 is Election Day. The COVID-19 crisis has reduced the number of persons willing to be poll workers. As a Baptist minister, I am fully committed to the separation of church and state. You will never hear me endorse a candidate or political party from the pulpit. I will, however, encourage you to exercise your freedom to vote, and I will encourage you to help ensure that right for others. You can apply to be a poll worker at this link and assure your fellow citizens have easy access in the expression of their rights and opinions.
Hold on loosely. Live generously.

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