This post was written by Beverly Brown, Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain at First United.

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who we’ve lost to it. Today is also a time to take action. Working together we can help prevent and address gender-based violence by remembering and learning from our past, listening to survivors, and speaking up against harmful behaviour.

At First United, we commit to calling out and addressing gender-based violence, which includes making sure that we find proper supports for all those directly impacted through policies, programs, services, and initiatives.

First United can impact First Nations, Inuit, and Metis in a positive manner. Our relationships with our employees, clients, residents and community members are intersectional, relevant, effective, and equity-seeking.

Today I offer a prayer:

We pray for the strength to be gentle,
the courage to be forgiving
the patience to be understanding,
and the humility to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.

May we have the ability to put our trust in the power of good
and the willingness to love so we overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a world full of violence.

Help us to devote our life, thoughts and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we were created.


This December 6th also marks the second Sunday of Advent, and this week’s theme is ‘peace’. Our Director of Community Ministry, Cheryl Bear, recorded this video on what peace means to her as part of our video series Advent Reflections from First United and the Downtown Eastside. As we remember the women and girls we’ve lost to gender-based violence, we pray for peace for their loved ones and families, our communities, and hope for a peaceful future where we end violence against women.