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: Faith Bloomquist
City: Woburn, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: beloved pastor and friend
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 04:05 PM
I count on one hand those individuals whose lives have intersected mine in significant ways over the course of nearly 30 years. Henry was one.
I was a young pup in 1977 when I first got to know Henry, in the first job that impacted the rest of my life. Henry invited me to hear my own voice in a way unlike any other. As with the multitude who have crossed the threshold of Unilu, he invited me in and left it to me to make whatever could be possible. He taught me about the church in ways I never could have imagined—that blessed mystery of God's will at work within the tension between parish ministry and campus ministry. To paraphrase another Lutheran pastor, Henry reiterated that we should "sin(g) boldly that grace may abound."
But, I confess, to a profound ache in knowing that I won't press his hand in passing the peace. I so look forward to singing those hymns without end—in harmony—with him.
Beloved one—know that there are many here who can't wait to greet and sing with you again.
Name: Kristen Dimas
City: Chicago, Il
Relationship to Pastor Horn: granddaughter
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 01:15 PM
As I think about my grandfather, I am not thinking about all of his many accomplishments in the church. I am thinking about the man I knew as "Grandpa." I am thinking about how it felt to sit on his lap as a little girl while he sang and read to me. I am thinking about our vacations to Roaring Branch. Watching him read in his chair outside the cabin, with his wild hair sticking out from under his hat, and a piece of hay sticking out of his mouth. Walking down the road with our flashlights to the big field, spreading out our blankets, and listening to him tell about the constellations in the night sky. I am thinking about him bursting into song at the dinner table, singing "Joy to the World" in the middle of July. As an adult, I remember him shouting my name over the phone, "Krissy!!" when I called to say that I had just given birth to my oldest child. I have been fortunate enough to watch him with my three oldest children, telling them stories, singing to them, and holding them in his lap.
These memories are very dear to me and I have shared many of them with my three oldest children. They have come to know and love him, too. They asked regularly about when we were going out to Boston so they could see great-grandpa and grandma. When my daughter, Sophia, heard that he had died, she asked, "Who is going to tell us about the stars?"
I feel so blessed to have had him be such a big part of my life for so long. We will all miss him very much!
Name: John Kidd
City: Baltimore, MD
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 12:45 PM
My eastern Pennsylvania Kidd family roots intertwined with the Horns. When my father died during my first year at HDS, Henry touched me with his pastoral care and his personal knowledge of my father. I greatly valued that. A year later, he and Connie Parvey presided over Kate's and my marriage. He will be forever linked to these two major life passages. Later, I annually checked in with him at synod assmblies. His inquiries indicated that he continued to track me through the years with caring interest.
Whenever I sing a hymn for the first time I think of Henry standing before the congregation explaining the its rhythm by singing and dance stepping down the aisle. He knew the boundary between the human and the holy. At UniLu he regularly transported us back and forth.
He taught me that the pastoral word is also the prophetic word. Henry's translation of exalted words into down to earth living continue to nurture me. I give great thanks for his impact on my life.
Name: Carl Ficken
City: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Relationship to Pastor Horn: He was my pastor in Augusta, Ga., when I was in high school, a colleague in campus ministry, a life-long friend.
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 12:35 PM
It has been my deep privilege to work with Pastor Horn on my papers during the past two years. I have visited him several times in Cambridge and made an inventory of the Horn Collection in the regional archives in Philadelphia. Working with him in this way has deepened my profound respect for the depth and breadth of his ministry. How he could do all he did, how he could remember in detail all he could remember, how he could roar in laughter in his 90s just as I remember him doing when he was in his 40s and my pastor in Augusta, I do not know. He was always larger than life. We will miss him.
Name: Katherine Shaner
City: Somerville, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Field Education student during his years as Emeritus
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 11:08 AM
I remember the first couple of times that I preached at UniLu as a M.Div. field education student. Being aware of the "somebodies" who populate the pews on Sunday morning, I was always a bit nervous, particularly since I knew that Pastor Horn would not hesitate to interrupt my sermon if he could not hear it clearly. After my second sermon, Pastor Horn shook my hand and with his eyes sparkling said, "You did a good job. And the best part was, I could hear every word!" He supports student ministers just with the way that Christ's light shone through his eyes from the pew on the font side, about 10 rows back. I know that he can now hear the angelic songs with clarity and joy...and with no requests to turn up the volume!
Name: Bob Flannery
City: S. Pasadena, FL, US
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Parishioner
Sent: 02-Feb-2007 10:02 AM
The things I remember most about Pastor Horn are the clarity of his preaching, his love of good music, the letters we exchanged over the years, and the annual Christmas reading of Thurber's "The Thirteen Clocks" in the old parsonage at 338 Harvard Street. I am grateful for his life and ministry and will miss him deeply.
Name: Cynthia Rosenberger Hanson
City: Belmont, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: member of Uni Lu
Sent: 01-Feb-2007 07:10 PM
Dear Catherine and family,
Having gone to Gettysburg College with Henry and Catherine's son, Bill, I knew when I arrived in the Boston area that Uni Lu would be my church. That decision opened up treasures for Paul's and my entire life, beginning with Henry's baptizing our son Nathaniel and continuing through our family's history at Uni Lu. Henry was always a presence I loved to behold, and I am thankful for the warmth and vitality he has shared with all of us. One day, in retirement years, I hope to read aloud to Paul in the way Henry read to Catherine. Henry, we shall love you forever.
Name: Claye Metelmann
City: Belmont, MA
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Fellow parishioner
Sent: 01-Feb-2007 05:15 PM
Despite Henry's legendary status as a campus minister, a teacher, and an orator, I feel that my experience of him as a fellow parishioner at UniLu over nearly 20 years was an intimate one. These vignettes capture some of my memories and a shared experience of our dear friend.
We laughed together. Henry came into the 10 a.m. Forum a few minutes after it had started and took the seat right next to me. There was a buzz of excitement in the room. As part of the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of campus ministry, the St. Olaf Choir had joined us for worship. As Melvin George, a former president of St. Olaf College, read Joseph Sittler's essay, "Polish Sausage, St. Augustine, and the Moral Life," Henry heartily joined in the laughter, which erupted at several points. Henry recalled Sittler's lecture series at Harvard, placing the date based on an episode with peanut butter ice cream that had laid Sittler low for part of his visit. After the Forum, Anton Armstrong, St. Olaf Choir conductor, made a point of introducing himself to Henry and expressing his appreciation for the work that Henry had done.
We prayed together. When I first came to UniLu sometime in the late 1980s, I learned of Henry's tradition of having the young adults over to his house for a reading of James Thurber's short story "The 13 Clocks." I had no idea what a treat I was in for as I settled down on the floor of Henry and Catherine's living room for a listen. Henry had a first rate storytelling voice. I think this was the first time that I had been read to as an adult. I remember that Dane Krampitz was there, perhaps David Hoglund too. The evening concluded with a prayer offered by Henry on our behalf.
We shared stories together. In the late 1990s Henry pulled together a Forum based on stories of the parish. Just as stories of deeds of faithfulness sustained and nurtured the early church, Henry believed it was important for us to share "deeds of faithfulness" stories at Uni Lu. I recounted the 1993-4 commissioning by the Board of Worship of Easter banners from Boston College liturgical artist, John Steczynski. His dossal "Anastasis," which depicts the risen Christ emerging from the tomb still unfurling his burial linen with Adam and Eve looking on, was first unveiled at Easter Vigil in 1993. As I recalled that spectacular moment, by the glow of the Easter Vigil candles, my eyes unexpectedly welled with tears. I noticed that Henry's had as well.
Name: Lee E. Snook
City: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Colleague in Campus Ministry 1962---; colleague at Luther Seminary
Sent: 01-Feb-2007 10:15 AM
In 1962 Henry drove through a rain storm from Boston to Ithaca where I had taken up ministry at the campus church where Henry's father and brother had served. His mission was to make sure that I appreciated both the history and the distinctiveness of that ministry stretching back to 1913 or so. I later learned his role in my receiving that call. After his retirement I urged that Henry be invited to teach liturgics at Luther Seminary for several years. His presence and influence on the faculty and students were huge. Then, during the Fall term of 2002, I was invited to be the interim at B.U. and UniLu while Joanne was on sabbatical leave and we got to see Henry many times. For those forty four years of knowing him and Catherine, I can only say, "Thank you, God, for the life and work of Henry Horn."
Name: Faith E. Rohrbough
City: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Relationship to Pastor Horn: Friend, Dean at LTSP when Henry taught there
Sent: 31-Jan-2007 11:05 PM
When Henry and Catherine came to LTSP to grace our institution, interact with our faculty and mentor our students it was an extraordinary experience for the whole community. So many students went forth from the seminary with Henry's love of hymnody, liturgy and the church in their hearts. As an historian I was amazed and humbled at Henry's incredible documentation of his life in the Lord and his service to the church. I hope that more of those reflections will become available to us all.
To quote Shakespeare: "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"
To quote Bach: "Soli Deo Gloria!"