Nancy Shippen Feeding Elephant

Remembering Nancy Shippen

Nancy died peacefully at 3:30pm on Thursday afternoon, January 20, 2022. The family will hold a celebration of Nancy’s life on June 18, 2022. Friends Peace Teams and the Alternatives to Violence Project communities held online remembrance in celebration of Nancy’s life on March 19, 2022. 


Tributes compiled by Deborah Bromley

Nancy has been dedicated to AVP for many, many years. She cared deeply about her local group, the state/region, AVPUSA, and AVP international. She is much loved by everyone who knows her. What a role model for the rest of us!
Mama Marge

 I am very sad. We did quite a bit together and I learned much from her. I loved her quote, “Weeds have flowers too”.  To me, it was a great illustration of the fact that there IS GOOD in all of us.
Sally, W. Australia 

A life well lived in service of others. What an inspiration! Sending strength and love to all
Vaughn

Natural Nancy trained me in AVP at Concord and we facilitated together for years. She practically lived at my house when she was holding Middleton Jail trainings together faithfully after others of us were pulled away. Always patient, a true north star. So many times recently I’ve thought “I must call Nancy and ask her advice on this.” She will be sorely missed. Her Light carries on where her impact is felt, all over the world.
Excellent Em, AVPRI

For a long time she was my best friend! What more can I say! With love…
John

I am holding Nancy in the Light.  She was a facilitator in my first AVP workshop and has been an inspiration ever since.  She was instrumental in transforming my life.
Justice Jo-Ann

I felt blessed when I interacted with her and will carry her in my heart forever. She is not done loving us and I am confident her example of a giving life will continue touching me and many others. What a gift!!!
Expressive Eduardo Diaz

Natural [Nancy] and I paired up to share our TP journey together, meeting together monthly in Concord. She is a special person who lived with integrity. This thread is a loving tribute on email.  
Melodious Minga, Massachusetts

I am relatively new to AVP and have not had the privilege of working closely with Nancy – but her reputation and legacy are enormous and offer strength, guidance, encouragement and joy to all of us, as they will (I am sure) for generations to come.  I am so grateful to sit downstream and soak up the wellspring of clear waters that emanate from your great soul and spirit.
—Lively Lucy

I was privileged to spend magical time with Nancy in Nepal.
—Mary

Natural Nancy was my mentor in AVP.  With her gentle spirit and passionate work she lived AVP and her Quaker values in every moment.  I hold her in the light with all her AVP family and wish her sister and children grace and love in this time.  Nancy leaves a heritage of good.  
—Kathy

I met Nancy at the Guatemala AVP–I Gathering in 2011. I’m grateful for her tireless devotion to loving service, her companionship in my initiatives and her open spirit. I hold her and her devoted children in my meditation.
Affectionate Anne 

I met Nancy in Guatemala. A wonderful woman! So sweet and kind person! I helped her during the international AVP meeting in Guatemala reviewing some Spanish translations. She was very special to me and to many people. Rest in Peace dear Nancy. 🙏 🌹 😢 From Colombia, S. A.
Alba amable

May Nancy make her final transition with grace, ease and joy, as she lived.   
May the angels welcome her home.
May her loving light continue to shine to guide us all.
Rest In Peace and Transforming Power, dear Nancy.
Mónica

Thanks for the opportunity to send Love!
Noel

Indeed. Natural Nancy made AVP her life and influenced so many people, both inside and outside, towards transforming power. I’m holding her in the Light.
Excellent Em

We know Nancy from our involvement with Friends Peace Teams where she was long time active & once co-clerk.
Gypsy Jack

I knew Nancy Shippen as an AVP International Coordinator. I met her at AVP World Gathering 2008 in Kakamega Kenya and at AVP World Gathering 2017 in Kathmandu Nepal. The Members of AVP DRC hold her into the light and May God Gather her soul all days and everywhere. We will continue to Follow her legacy. In Solidarity
Mkangya Alenga Leon, Burundi

Joining Friends and AVP Community in Nancy into the Light. She has contributed enormously to the growth of AVP in Kenya. 
Hezron, Kenya

We are praying to hold Nancy in the light ! She is compassionate and generous!
Ram from Nepal

This is s{h}ocking to me, l met her in year 2006, in South Africa we worked together on Gender issues,  she is dear to me , l  call her aunty Nancy.
—Righteous Risikat, AVP Nigeria

Nancy was such a dear, gentle heart. She responded to anyone and anything around her with that big heart and also listened to its promptings to reach out to others and the world. She was so dedicated to acting on what she knew was right and inviting everyone to do that with her. She was open to listening, learning, and finding a path together. It’s a great loss to us all to not have her encouraging, shining smile with us. I love Nancy and will miss her deeply,
—Novel Nadine

What a painfully new to hear. We will hold Nancy Shippen in the Light and may the mercy of almighty God be upon her and her love ones.
—Iyke chiemeka

When she didn’t reply my mail last mail to her (last month), i suspected she wasn’t getting better. Nancy in our hearts and prayers.
—MAJI

Oh my, I had no idea.  What a beautiful soul Nancy is. Thank you for sharing this, Deborah, and I will definitely hold her in the Light.
—Blissful Barbara

Nancy was a most dedicated and caring AVP facilitator. She worked tirelessly for AVP/MA when we served together on the board and did workshops in the prisons.  I am grateful to have known her. She is an amazing human being. Love and blessings,
—Bountiful Betty Keddy

Yes, definitely an AVPer who has contributed enormously and is a wonderful  compassionate person. I will hold her in the light! Arohanui 
—Saskia, New Zealand

Nancy is very special to John and me.  Such a gentle soul with Light and Love radiating at all times.  She never wanted attention on herself; but those of us who know her understand the impact she had on AVP and so many of our lives.  She will be truly missed.  I hope she will be reunited with her beloved Bill and that her children and family find comfort in all the love coming Nancy’s way.
—Daring Deborah

Nancy Shippen   Head.  Hand.  Heart.     (AVP Basic Manual, F-21)

HeadWisdom:  Nancy connected theory with practice in advocacy for Servant Leadership as a guiding concept for AVP.  AVP International owes its existence to the vision shared at the 2008 World Gathering which she carried forward as a key member of the early leadership team. 

HandWork:   Under Nancy’s leadership AVPI Fundraising Committee secured the resources for AVP International to thrive, with a professional website and on-line library, funding for representatives from every country to attend Gatherings, and means of connecting facilitators and programs around the world.  Through generous mentoring and Nominating Committee work she nurtured a new generation of leaders.   Nancy and I bonded while planning the 2011 Gathering in Guatemala and became work-mates and sisters. 

HeartHeartHeartHeart:  Listen to the words shared by AVPers over the past weeks.  Remember the faithfulness to a calling that led Nancy to found Our Prison Neighbors, and set her on the path toward AVP and Friends Peace Teams (FPT).  See the flowers she put onto tables at gatherings.  Taste the tears, as I realize there will be no more phone calls, joint work sessions, walks or dances or shared moments of joy in nature.   And feel gratitude for the wisdom, work and spirit that have been shared and are with me still.

When people say ‘Rest in Peace, Nancy’ I imagine her somewhere rolling up her sleeves and saying back, ‘No way.  Let’s get busy’.  (thank you,  Sheila Garrett, for this image)

Rest in Power, Nancy.   May I see you in every leaf.  May your memory be a blessing.   May your spirit continue to touch me, guide me, and nudge me, too.
—Mystic (Mindful) Margaret Lechner

Nancy was at the forefront of AVP International and it’s conferences long before AVP-I’s inception as a separate organisation, organising international gatherings and building support for taking AVP to new lands, sometimes almost single handedly. Her experience and wisdom were key as we worked together fourteen years ago in Kenya to establish the structure of AVP-I.

But rather than listing Nancy’s extraordinary leadership and achievements I would like to share about our friendship, for that is where I grieve the most.

The first time we met was when we began a practice of taking long walks together. It was at the AVP-I conference in South Africa in 2006. We continued this practice in many different parts of the world , Kenya, Nepal, Guatemala, the States, Canada and in the hills around her home.

We sometimes talked about AVP or Friends Peace Teams, but mostly we shared about our lives, our dreams and visions, our joy and our sadness. We both read widely on subjects such as empathy and brain plasticity, trying to understand how AVP could be so extraordinarily effective. We shared our discoveries in a seminar  “AVP and the Brain” that we facilitated together at many conferences.

She was hugely supportive when I was president of AVP-I. I will sorely miss those walks; miss facilitating with Nancy; miss the support, the phone calls and the emails. They were stimulating, energising, life-giving and loving.

Rest well Nancy, with much love,
John (Michaelis)

Nancy seemed to connect with everyone and in some way help them along their path. She did so much behind the scenes, rarely in the limelight. She was the lamplighter who walked down the street at dusk lighting all the gas street lights. You rarely saw her, but realized she had been there because the street was lit up. She spread light wherever she went along with smiles and laughter. She was the definition of servant leader.
John Shuford

The afternoon before Nancy died I visited her and read many of the posts from AVP people around the world.  I think it must have warmed her heart to hear of so many whom she had influenced.  Then I played recordings of “We’re All Swimming to the Other Side”.  Nancy loved the song and used it in workshops.  It expresses how we are all imperfect and under-equipped, but traveling together, “some in power and some in pain”, but all together, one way or the other, on a journey of growth.  It expresses that what we need has been with us all along in the gifts we’ve been given to share.  This was how Nancy lived.  
Chris Campbell