Guest Book for Henry E. Horn

These reflections on the life of Rev. Dr. Henry E. Horn were posted by visitors to the University Lutheran Church website after Pastor Horn's death in January 2007. To add to the collection, please email our webmaster.

Name: Rev. Peter J. DeBartolo, Sr.
City: Middleburgh, NY, USA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Pastor Horn was my mentor and friend while I was student at LTSP in the early '80s.
Sent: 05-Apr-2007 09:54 PM

We just recently heard of Pastor Horn's passing on to the Church Triumphant! God bless him and we keep Catherine and the family in our prayers.

My most memorable moments of recollection of Pastor Horn were of his overwhelmingly peaceful pace and awesome godly presence as he walked, talked, taught... on the campus at LTSP. Whether he and Catherine were sitting on our porch chatting, or just passing by going to and fro to classes, he always had such words of wisdom for us all. He baptized our oldest son, Peter John Jr., at LTSP, and we treasure our photos of him being held carefully and lovingly by the gentle "giant" that Henry was.

We always looked forward to the "annual Christmas letter" from Henry and Catherine, updating us on their incredible family. What a wonderful legacy they have left. We will never forget him.

Name: Eleanor Hemstreet Nickles
City: Minneapolis MN
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Student and confirmand
Sent: 18-Mar-2007 08:10 PM

As a young teenager growing up in Augusta Georgia, Henry Horn made an enormous impression for two reasons:

  1. His firm and unwavering stand for civil rights in the South at a time when it was not easy to do so.
  2. As a student at Wellesley, I remember the evenings at University Lutheran and hearing some of the eminent people he attracted to the gatherings there.
  3. I also treasure the many letters over the years and the annual phone calls that would come at unexpected times.

Thanks be to God for the life of Henry Horn.

Name: Jane Marston
City: Philadelphia, PA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: UniLu alum
Sent: 11-Feb-2007 07:32 PM

I got to know Henry best when he stopped by the church office on his daily walks around Harvard Square. Novice as I was to life in the church, I formed the impression that Henry was related to or acquainted with virtually every Lutheran up and down the East Coast. I wasn't far wrong, though of course Henry's network of connections extends far beyond those geographic boundaries. The latest confirmation of this occurred for me in reading his obituary, where I learned that the first congregation he served is two blocks away from the apartment where I am now living. Is there any place in North American Lutheran circles where Henry hasn't left his mark?

But as important as his work in the larger church has been, what I treasure most about Henry are our conversations about small things—what he and Catherine had been reading together, news of a former student, a memory of Cornell or the Mt. Airy Seminary or Marion College, his opinion about an issue at UniLu. Things didn't always go the way he would have liked, but I learned a great deal from him. I have a much richer understanding of the history of the ELCA and its predecessor churches because of the wisdom Henry so freely shared.

I am honored to have known this pillar of the church and servant of Our Lord. And I will miss him.

Name: Bryan Russell
City: Cambridge, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Fellow parishoner
Sent: 07-Feb-2007 01:21 AM

I too was born after Pastor Horn's retirement and hence did not experience his ministry while he was the pastor of UniLu. My personal contact with Pastor Horn was very brief, though memorable. We chatted once after service as he was exiting the church. He asked me what I studied and told me that one of his children/grandchildren shared my interests. He asked me how I liked my studies and how my graduate career was going. He was fully present and seemed to genuinely care about my situation and what I was doing. I can now see how that simple gesture, repeated over and over, is what made Pastor Horn great and allowed him to change and affect many lives.

Name: Dennis Bushkofsky
City: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Relationship to Pastor Horn: student
Sent: 05-Feb-2007 10:37 AM

My primary recollections of Henry Horn come from having been a student in his class on liturgy and hymnody as a junior seminarian in the fall of 1982 at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. I was profoundly shaped by his churchmanship, pastoral style, and humor, and I know that many others in my class were as well.

Some years later, after I had graduated from seminary and had begun ordained ministry, Henry wrote affirming letters to me following the publication of various articles I had written for Lutheran Partners and Word & World. His care to be a mentor for me at that distance, and even several years after I had been in his class, impressed me greatly and is an example of what it means to support and encourage others in the practice of ministry.

Now, if I were to name the people who have most influenced me regarding my understanding of the pastoral office as a lifetime calling, Henry would most certainly head the list.

"Well done, good and faithful servant.... Enter into the joy of your Lord." (Matthew 25:21)

Name: James R. Pearson
City: Park Ridge, IL 60068 USA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Student member of Uni-Lu 1961-1969, regular member 1969-1971
Sent: 03-Feb-2007 02:39 PM

Name: Lloyd Sheneman
City: Chesterbrookm PA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: A Warm Friend
Sent: 03-Feb-2007 12:26 PM

Our acquaintance goes back to my student days at Philadelphia Seminary in 1950. Our friendship began first when I was a very junior professor at Gettysburg Seminary and was refreshed on numerous occasions later. I admired the stellar work of the original Board of Theological Education of which Henry was a member. It envisioned most of the many changes in seminaries that had taken place by 1989 when the ELCA began. A grandson of Henry Eyster Jacobs, he also stood firmly in the same Lutheran Confessional tradition.

May his family be blessed now in the memory of one whom we can truly call a good and faithful servant.

Name: Martin A. Gilman
City: Lexington MA USA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: 75-year UniLu member, Campus Ministry Activist, friend
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 07:21 PM

Probably I first saw Henry Horn in 1936 in Albany at the Synod meeting where he was to be ordained. I was there with some other UniLu students to plead for greater financial support for our work. Of course we would not have met or realized that our paths would cross some years later.

Our first meeting came in Syracuse in 1951 or '52 in a prearranged Sunday Service at which he was the guest preacher and several of us on the Pulpit Call Committee, of which I was Chair, were there to listen and then interview him. Much of that meeting was given to his detailing the obstacles to his coming to Cambridge. We went back to Cambridge and started the wheels moving to have him visit and being willing to consider a call. Over the next months there was a lot of communication between Augusta and Cambridge/Lexington but now we all know the great ending which resulted.

Over the subsequent years our lives intertwined in Campus Ministry in the Synod and through the Coordinating Committee for Lutheran Ministry in Higher Education in New England (what a name) in which we worked with the Missouri Synod pastors and visited many Contact Pastors throughout New England.

So, just a few of the myriads of memories!

Name: Mildred H. Gilman
City: Lexington MA USA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Long-term UniLu member and friend
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 07:02 PM

We welcomed the Horn family when they arrived at our Lexington home at the start of Henry's ministry at UniLu. We, the Halfmans, and others housed them temporarily. On the following day Catherine and I hunted down heavy jackets, boots, etc. for all the children to augment Southern clothes.

Then in Cambridge the children enjoyed exploring the new parsonage. Esther Bonnet and I had chosen the wallpapers guided by Catherine's diagram as to the anticipated use of each room and by whom.

So started a long cherished friendship with Catherine and Henry. At our home over dinner we always enjoyed our discussions which ranged from global issues to UniLu.

Now in these later years we have admired Henry's stamina getting to Sunday Church service even with walking difficulty. He always arrived with a big warm smile.

Name: Michael DePlonty
City: Arlington, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Fellow Parishoner
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 04:14 PM

My connection with Henry is most certainly through music, him always complimenting my cello playing, whether I played along with hymns or more featured solos. Didn't matter to him, and made my experience that much more meaningful.

I was also blessed to see how music touched Henry's life in a more intimate fashion. Twice I was over to the Horn house in Cambridge to share music with Henry and Catherine. The first, a couple of years ago with some other musical Uni Lu folk. We had given a musical offering of Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze" (I think) in church, and at Henry's suggestion, dropped in to share with Catherine. I received a very eloquent thank you letter that I still have. The second, the Uni Lu choir dropped in for some Christmas carols. Both times I saw his (and Catherine's) face light up in a way I had not seen before. In the second, I had the honor of witnessing a profound, tender, precious expression of love between husband and wife. It really was quite simple. A simple glance. Oh, but in his eyes, in his face, etched into his soul was this deep love. A love that transcends words. I had never seen anything like it before and shall remember it for what I hope to be a long time.

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