Thursday, May 31, 2018

Joanne Droppers : 1932 - 2018




Joanne Patricia Droppers, age 86, died peacefully at the Masconomet Healthcare Center, in Topsfield, MA, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, after a short illness.

She was born in Ithaca, NY, March 29, 1932. She was the youngest child of Walter C. and Minnie W. Muenscher.

She graduated from Cornell University with a BA in music in 1953. While at Cornell, she met and dated Garrett Droppers who sang bass in the choir she directed. They were married on August 29, 1953. They lived in Madison, WI, and Orono, ME, before settling in Alfred, NY, in 1961, where Garrett was a history professor. In addition to being a housewife and mother, she was employed from time to time as an administrative assistant. She spent countless hours assisting her husband in the typing and formatting of his doctoral thesis, making sure the English and Latin text matched on facing pages. Musically, Mrs. Droppers loved playing piano and singing with her family. She was organist for several Episcopal congregations, a hand bell ringer, and played violin in local community orchestras. Her crowning musical achievement was becoming a carillonneur member of the American Guild of Carillonneurs in 1976. She was appointed the Alfred University Carillonneur in 1977, a position she held until retirement in 1994. She toured the United States and Canada playing many North American carillons, and composed or arranged a number of songs for carillon, ranging from Bach’s Suite #II for Lute to Tubular Bells. A favorite in Alfred was the Oscar Meyer Weiner song which she arranged for Alfred’s annual “Hot Dog Day” celebration and fundraiser. Mrs. Droppers also served the Alfred and surrounding communities by working with migrant worker resettlement, housing for seniors, and serving on the local school board.

Upon her retirement in 1994, she moved to Arlington, VA, to be near her grandsons. While in Arlington, she continued her musical pursuits by playing the carillons in the area, helping the St. George's Church Arlington choir and serving as substitute organist. She tutored several wonderful students in English as a Second Language and worked with volunteer organizations including St. George’s food pantry, Arlington Re-Leaf, and the local winter homeless shelter as well as enjoying opportunities to join demonstrations in our nation’s capital. She also welcomed visits from friends and shared with them the many ethnic restaurants in the area.

In 2005, once her grandsons were grown, she followed a good friend, Lewis Lowe, to Fargo, ND, where there was an open sky, it was easier to cross the street and there was more snow. She was an active member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church of Fargo, where she made new friends, helped with outreach efforts, and was instrumental in the church installing a peace pole.

Mrs. Droppers returned to the East coast in 2012, where she resided in Lynn, MA, to live close to her daughter. There she was a member of St. Stephen’s Memorial Episcopal Church in Lynn, where she served on the vestry, worked in the food pantry, helped distribute books to children, and worked to increase dialog between the local community and the Lynn Police Department.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Garrett Droppers (who died in 1986), her brother Frank (who died in childhood), and her two sisters, Elizabeth DeVelbiss and Helen Tryon, and her close friend Shirley Galle. She is survived by her three children: Seton Droppers, (Patty), Arlington, VA; Christopher Droppers, (Jennifer Edwards), Staten Island, NY; Ann Droppers, Ipswich, MA; two grandchildren: Geoffrey Droppers, Portland, ME; Gregory Droppers, (Tiffany), Arlington, VA; and two great-grandchildren, Jovani and Hunter, both of Arlington, VA; sister-in-law Mary Ellen Droppers, Greensboro, NC; numerous nieces and nephews; and close friend Kathryn Satewicz, Madison, WI.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 16, at 11 AM, at St. Stephen's Memorial Episcopal Church, Lynn MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society (http://www.bergenswamp.org/), or the Cornell Botanic Gardens (http://www.cornellbotanicgardens.org/).



Playing Davis Memorial Carillon, Alfred University
(Alfred University)

Young Joanne in Ithaca New York

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Crowd Won

"So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted." - Luke 23:24

The crowd won that morning. Mob rule. Jesus lost. We know, actually, that God won that day, we are saved. But still on that day the crowd won. We don't know if the crowd was "representative," we don't know if there were other leaders who would have acted differently. We don't know how we would have acted if we were in that crowd. Would we have joined in the cry "Crucify Him?"

And what of today? What crowds are out demanding something wrong? And winning. Today, around us. We must still have faith that God WILL use even these demands for good.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mar 30 - Holy Week Mystery

Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
Wash me and I shall be clean indeed.
Psalm 51:8
Those who are sick or weak should be given a type of work or craft that will keep them busy without overwhelming them or driving them away.
Benedict's Rule 48:24 (Chittister, Pg. 216)
At every stage of our lives, every one of us has a sign of hope and faith and love and commitment to share with the people around us.
Chittister, Pg. 217
Stages of life -- I look with wonder at what is the same and what changes, where I let go and where I don't... 44 years ago I first listened to Jesus Christ Superstar. I was at a place where I was first trying on my own understanding of God's call and first pondering the mystery of Christ's sacrifice and God's salvation. Many Holy Weeks since I still listen to Jesus Christ Superstar, and still fall deeply into the music and words finding yet new meaning in Christ's sacrifice and God's salvation. As I ponder the events of Holy Week I am still amazed at the mystery and wonder of our Lord's precious gift.

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book. Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mar 28 - Joy, A Common Part of My Life

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.
As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the mist of that land.
Psalm 137:1-2
Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the community members should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.
Benedict's Rule 48:1 (Chittister, Pg. 211)
The function of the spiritual life is not to escape into the next world; it is to live well in this one.
Chittister, Pg. 211
Yes, there are times I want to escape. There are times I have wanted the joys of "the next world". It is important to be reminded of the balance of living now -- Doing work and growing spiritually right here in our world. When I hold tightly to control, try and schedule everything, and worry and put myself down for not doing everything I schedule for myself, life is difficult. When I relax, let go, and keep prayer, study, work, and recreation in balance joy becomes a common part of my life.

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book. Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mar 27 - Immersed in Prayer and Scripture

They stare and gloat over me; *
they divide my garments among them;
they cast lots for my clothing.
Psalm 22:17
...let this be done with humility, seriousness, and reverence, and at the bidding of the prioress or abbot.
Benedict's Rule 47:4 (Chittister, Pg. 209)
...unless the group becomes more and more immersed in prayer and the Scriptures, giving them priority no matter what the pressures of the day, the group will cease to have any authenticity at all.
Chittister, Pg. 209
Reading the Psalm I think of the casting of lots for Jesus cloak as Jesus is Crucified. Can I live a life that honors Jesus' sacrifice? Do I become immersed in prayer and Scripture? Do I provide needed support as the groups I am in try and immerse the members in prayer and Scripture? Where can I do better?

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book. Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mar 26 - Be Available Always

I do not occupy myself with great matters, *
or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; *
my soul is quieted within me.
Psalm 131:2-3
When the cause of sin lies hidden in the conscience, the monastic is to reveal it only to the prioress or abbot or to one of the spiritual elders...
Benedict's Rule 46:5 (Chittister, Pg. 207)
The challenge of community lies in whether we ourselves care enough about anyone else to be willing to be their light, to treat their wounds well, to protect their reputations when they try to walk with us.
Chittister, Pg. 207-208
It is not about me, it is about everyone else around me. I need engage only when asked -- be available always, but insert myself never. It is about always being available.

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book. Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mar 24 - Self Knowledge

My help comes from the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2
They do so until they [the abbot or prioress] give them blessing and say "Enough."
Benedict's Rule 44:10 (Chittister, Pg. 203)
This chapter forces us to ask, in an age without penances and in a culture totally given to individualism, what relationships we may be betraying by selfishness and what it would take to cure ourselves of the self-centeredness that requires the rest of the world to exist for our own convenience.
Chittister, Pg. 203
Am I the only one that sees my own self-centeredness? I expect not. But the reminder to ask the question of myself is needed. It is my experience that after being reminded that I am selfish, and noting the selfishness and self-centeredness, there is a gradual decrease in my awareness until the next reminder...

Lord help me not forget may fallibility and self-centeredness, and to keep a healthy respect for my failures. I further ask for balance in self-knowledge, that I also not forget what I do well and to your satisfaction...

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book. Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.