“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isaiah 58:10-12)
On Sunday afternoon, I learned of the death of Mr. Bill Horne, the current Vice-President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since being elected at the 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans, Bill was a regular at the Conference of Bishop’s meetings. I loved the way that he always began his reports: grounded in Scripture and smothered in Prayer. Bill Horne could pray. And then throughout his report, he would return to the opening Scripture passage, offering the church a deep connection to God’s Word and God’s Work. This evening, I looked back at his last report, and the Scripture passage he used was Isaiah 58 (see above).
Bill Horne was the best kind of leader, a servant leader. He was a husband to Loretta. He served his local parish, St. Paul’s, Clearwater. He served the Florida-Bahamas Synod. He served the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served his country as a Colonel in the United States Air Force. He served his community of Clearwater, Florida, as the City Manager, a position from which he was scheduled to retire in three weeks.
I loved talking with Bill Horne and learning from him over breakfast. I appreciate the time I was able to spend with him, and grateful for his servant leadership. He will be missed by his family, his community, and this church.
Rest eternal grant him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.