An interview with Bruce Hornsby, published in the denomination's official publication, the Christian Science Sentinel (4 December 2000), features in-depth information about his faith and beliefs.
The following profile of Bruce Hornsby's mother Lois Hornsby describes her Christian activism, her son Bruce's upbringing, and mentions that she is a Christian Science adviser at a local college. From: Emily Pease, "'To Be Is to Do Good': Profile: Lois Hornsby's Activism Bears Out Her Motto", published 23 July 1996 in The Virginian-Pilot, special to The Daily Break, page E1 (http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1996/vp960723/07230041.htm; viewed 18 October 2005):
That's just the way it is
Some things will never change
That's just the way it is
But don't you believe them.
- Bruce Hornsby
There's a Christmas tree in Lois Hornsby's living room, a 6-foot artificial spruce nestled in the corner near the bookcase.
"Isn't that funny?" she says. "I just never have the time to take it down."
At Easter, she decorated the tree with a few eggs. For the Fourth of July, Hornsby hung some tiny flags. When her grandchildren stop in, she'll even turn on the lights.
If neighbors look out and see lights twinkling at the Hornsby house, they won't be surprised. The place has been lively since Bob and Lois moved in 42 years ago.
Right now, Hornsby's favorite project is All Together, which she helped organize last fall. Since then, she has been meeting with a core group of men and women from a variety of backgrounds. Each encounter teaches her something, she says.
"We began with an awareness of our racial differences," she says, "but we've come to realize there's a lot of other diversity that deserves our attention. You have to care to learn the attitudes and circumstances of other generations and cultures."
That's a challenge to the status quo, but Hornsby is accustomed to those. "You do the best you can each day," she says, "and you can't be afraid of what people say."
At one time, as many as 60 teenagers met at the Hornsby home to sing in a chorus affiliated with the national Up With People group. Black, white, Native American, Asian - they stood shoulder to shoulder in the Hornsby living room to sing songs like "What Color Is God's Skin?"
For Lois, it was an eye-opener. Young people responded with enthusiasm to the four simple principles of Peter Howard, founder of Up With People: honesty, unselfishness, truth and love. But to the parents of some of those teenagers, the multiracial chorus was distasteful, even threatening.
"It really tore some families apart," Hornsby says. "Kids came home and questioned the way things were."
Including Hornsby's own sons. Bobby and Bruce went on to form their own band, which performed songs inspired by the Up With People philosophy. John organized an after-school music program for teens in Charlottesville.
Later, Bruce would win his first Grammy for "The Way It Is," a song about racial prejudice.
Lois Hornsby couldn't have asked for a better outcome to her early work with young people, but her work has never stopped. A grandmother of seven, she still works on behalf of teens as a life member of the Lafayette High School PTA. Parents throughout Williamsburg are familiar with the way she gently pushes for better schools and more parental involvement.
And at the College of William and Mary, students may get to know her through her role with Campus Ministries United as an adviser to the Christian Science organization.
She's also a member of the Collaborative Leadership Group, a think tank of 50 community activists in Williamsburg and James City County. And she's on the board of the Cultural Alliance, working on behalf of the arts throughout Hampton Roads.
The list of memberships goes on: League of Women Voters, Citizens for Community Progress, PTA Council, Williamsburg Garden Club, Richmond Woman's Club, Church Women United. In addition, she is honorary chairman of First Night.
Her activism can be explained by her motto: "To be is to do good."
"Sometimes in the morning, I ask myself, 'Why am I here?'" Hornsby says. "What the Scriptures tell us is that our purpose is to be a blessing where we are. It's worth a try."
"Each time we've had one of our meetings, I find I go out and see things a little differently," says Lois Hornsby.