LIVING LIGHT
Living Light
Welcome! You have found the site of the CreationKeepers team (Christ Church's Eco Church Committee), which shares ideas and experiences about how we can all lighten our environmental footprint. We do this because we see our planet and its resources at a breaking point and believe in the power of personal examples. Most weeks, we will reflect on some aspect of living, working, shopping, consuming, reading, learning, etc. These are all local experiences and can easily be adopted by others in our community. Our authors (Rosie and Monika) look forward to any comments or ideas that you may also have and want to share. Send us your ideas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #17: For Mother's Day: Tell (Earth) Stories and Plant Trees!

May 6, 2021 
Monika Weber-Fahr
This sunday is mother’s day in Austria! (And yes, it does take place on different days in different countries ;-)) For this week’s Living Light blog, we had originally thought to reflect on the many motherly concepts surrounding the Earth in mythology, poetry, and music as well as, increasingly so, in law and economics. But then we came across something so specific and Austrian that we had to share it with you today instead!
The Austrian MotherEarth Initiative (https://muttererde.at) has launched a Tell Your Story campaign, and they convinced the Austrian Forest Agency to plant a tree for each and every story submitted. All are invited to submit stories! They are looking for positive stories that relate to climate protection, biodiversity protection, or more generally to mindfulness with our planet and its resources. The stories should be short. The maximum length is 2500 characters, somewhere between 300 and 600 words (about the length of this blog). To collect and process the stories well, the organizers have gotten together with a professional: Story.One.
There is a catch: You must submit your story before May 25, just two weeks from now.

Picture: MutterErde.at is looking for positive stories on protecting the climate, protecting diversity and minding our planet.
Once you submit your story, the Austrian Forest Agency will plant your tree. They promised! Also nice: Your story may make it into a book - to be published on June 6! The MutterErde initiative is a campaign supported by the Austrian National Television (ORF) as well as all major environmental organizations in Austria - it’s all very fast and very legit, and this year’s theme is Protect the Climate - Protect Diversity.  It’s all about awareness raising - and everyone has a chance to contribute! 
So, what story could you write?  The website invites happy stories, sad ones, funny or odd ones, whatever you think might move or inspire others.  Story topics could range between How I never managed to build a hotel for insects to Taking the train to Lisbon, or they could cover My new CO2 neutral hobbies: Birdwatching and Treehugging.  The main point: The story should move others, inspire and feel alive.

The Austrian Forest Agency has promised to plant a tree for each story submitted! Tempted?
Now the big hairy question: Will they accept stories in English? Interestingly enough, the submission requirements do not seem to specify the language in which you are to submit your story. So we think German may not be necessary. Having said that, feel free to send us your stories at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you get them to us with some notice, we will translate them and send them back to you in German for you to submit! And if you are ok with that, we may also publish stories from Christ Church community members in other ways: through the magazine, the website, or otherwise.
#bethechange #inspire #deinegeschichtezaehlt
Want to be part of Christ Church Vienna's CreationKeepers? Got some ideas for us? Suggestions or questions? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'd love to hear from you!

Blog #16: In Praise of Markets

April 29, 2021 
Miya Komori-Glatz
Complaining that the Naschmarkt is overpriced, too busy (at least in non-COVID times) and not a real market, but rather a place to see and be seen drinking spritzers and eating hipster hummus, is a rite of passage in becoming truly Viennese. But the city’s 17 local markets are a surprisingly rich source of slow, sustainable living, and should be appreciated! In this blog, we will review some of these markets and what they can offer to those wanting to live lightly.
To be fair, many of the local markets do offer hipster food, hummus, and some even hipster hummus. Over the last few years, many local markets have undergone something of a gentrification process, with the relatively low stand prices attracting young entrepreneurs. Yppenmarkt (16th district, Karmelitermarkt (2nd district), Meidlinger Markt (12th district) and even the tiny Schwendermarkt (15th district) have all seen an influx of new businesses catering to more exotic tastes, with ethnically diverse restaurants and/or vegan and sustainable produce. If you haven’t been to your local market recently, you might be surprised by what has developed in your absence
Additionally, of course, all markets have a range of vegetable stalls, and it’s worth looking around to see if/where there are farmers’ market stalls. These are often set up on tables every day rather than in fixed stands, and may only be there in the mornings or on a Saturday. They usually sell their own produce or fruit and vegetables bought directly from neighbouring farmers, cutting down the emissions resulting from long logistics chains. For obvious reasons, the farmers’ stands also usually focus on seasonal produce, one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact! They may not be cheaper than the supermarket, but the quality is often noticeably better and the farmers are always happy to take their time to explain how to prepare and cook unfamiliar fruit and vegetables!
Even if you have a craving for avocados or shop at one of the permanent stands which generally buy wholesalers rather than directly from the producers, it can still be a more sustainable option if you bring your own bags. Fruit and veg are sold by weight or unit and rarely packed in the plastic that is still so ubiquitous in supermarkets and they will often favour local producers where possible.
As well as fruit and vegetables, many of the markets (especially on a Saturday) have stands with an explicit focus on slow, sustainable production of meat and fish, artisan bread, and the like. Our Living Light Blog will introduce some of these stands and highlight how/why purchasing from them not only supports small, independent businesses but also helps you contribute to protecting people and planet
Finally, the markets are highly accessible, dog-friendly, and, especially important in times of COVID, open-air. An FPP2 mask is required in the market areas (not for long, though), and the Marktamt and police do patrol regularly to ensure people are not gathering. Even under the current situation, many stands have takeaway food and drink that you can take to a nearby bench or park, and, when restrictions loosen, there are many surprisingly good eateries with that Viennese holy grail: decent outdoor seating. Some markets even have active neighbourhood Vereine that organise activities and events such as yoga or free concerts in the summer. Check out the online list of all the Wiener Märkte.
And so, to market!

For me, personally, a great bonus of shopping at my local market is that I can take Strudelface, my 12-year-old adorable Mops, who everyday is making the point that sustainable living is great for longevity. And if you love that pic, follow her on Instagram @altwienermops.
Want to be part of Christ Church Vienna's CreationKeepers? Got some ideas for us? Suggestions or questions? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'd love to hear from you!

Blog #15: Yes, We Care!

April 22, 2021 
Monika Weber-Fahr
Christ Church Vienna, as a community, cares deeply for God’s creation. We can now make a statement like this with confidence based on the 2021 Creation Keepers’ Survey that was filled out by 77 members of our parish last month. Depending on how you count our numbers, these 77 people make up between one quarter to one half of our community, a share that we can consider representative. For sure, as the survey results tell us something relevant for our community: 80 percent of the respondents regularly join weekly services and most of them have been part of our community for years. Launched on Ash Wednesday and concluded on Mothering Sunday, the survey explored awareness, attitudes, and action-interest amongst Christ Church Vienna church members. This blog walks you through some of the survey’s key results and why they matter for us.
Most importantly, knowing the survey results gives us some good guidance on where our church members would like to see our work on Caring for Creation going.
Firstly, on awareness and faith.
Most of our church members consider themselves fairly well informed about today’s environmental challenges. Many said they value regular reminders and further insights, in particular in regard to the intersection to our faith and God’s mandate for us to care actively for creation. Write-in statements, for example, about the value of steering clear of materialism and superficiality and how good stewards of God’s creation live our baptisimal calling speak to a vivid interest in exploring our calling as Christians in these difficult times. More than 80 percent of respondents would like to continue receiving further information!
Secondly, on faith and footprint.
More than 80 percent of respondents told us through the survey that they would participate in a formal environmental footprint exercise. While enthusiasm may vary a bit, the overall sense seems to be a go ahead on a community-wide effort to assess our environmental footprint and to consider what we can do about it. Many write-in suggestions were also very practical, ranging from stopping the use of plastic bottles or one-use cups at social occasions, to improving the insulation of church doors and windows. The CreationKeepers team will pick up on ideas and enthusiasm and initiate this summer the carbon footprint exercise that our Bishops have also suggested.

Picture: On "individual choices", our survey shows a lot of interest and commitment, and it also indicates that some of us are not really sure yet.

Thirdly, on footprint and personal action.
More than two-thirds of respondents are ready to make more significant personal choices to reduce their own use of environmental resources and to live their life in more harmony with God’s creation. Many seem to already be well on their path here. More than half of the respondents do not have or use a car and many of the remaining ones speak about wanting to use public transport more whenever the corona situation will allow it. A fifth of respondents told us that they are vegetarians and many of the others seemed to be open to choices that involve eating less meat. Importantly, several people told us how important it is to not preach to others, but to be accepting of the choices that everyone makes, informed by their personal situation and capabilities. At the same time, there seems to be quite some appetite for broader and even political action.
So what’s next?
Now that we know that we have the green light from our community members to involve everyone in a joint path towards Caring for Creation more, more visibly and with more impact, we will invite the church to join in and contribute ideas on the next steps. Church member interested in the CreationKeepers’ work are invited to an online CreationKeepers Meeting on Friday, April 28 at 7:30pm (for the link, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Further input is also invited at the Annual Chaplaincy Meeting (ACM) in May.

A majority of our parish members want to take action as a community towards managing our environmental resources carefully. So let's find out what this could be and what would fit best with our community.
Our organizing principle: HOPE!
Earlier this week, I learned about the principle of HOPE from Dave Bookless, Director of Theology with A Rocha International, at one of this months’ eco-church seminars. He suggested using the four letters of the word HOPE to inspire how we may want to commit to caring for creation:

Hearing creation's groaning
Obeying God’s call to action
Practicing simpler carefree living
Enjoying Creation ... and the Creator.
Want to be part of Christ Church Vienna's CreationKeepers? Got some ideas for us? Suggestions or questions? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, let us know if you'd like to receive the full Environmental Report with all details of the survey results.