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 #14: April Is Earth Month 

April 15, 2021
Monika Weber-Fahr
Today, we are halfway through April, a month that not only sees sun, rain, and snow in rapid succession, but also a month that is dotted with important moments to remind us of how we treat Mother Earth. It includes festivities to celebrate her beauty and opportunities to learn about our faith and its mandates to care for creation. This blog post walks you through some of the opportunities to participate in or take note of in the coming days. Do check them out!
Looking Ahead: Earth Day On April 22
Earth Day goes back to a 1970 initiative of a US Senator, Gaylord Nelson, who succeeded in leveraging the day to bring environmental topics finally to the national agenda. The
2021 edition of Earth Day is celebrated this year with the theme Restore our Earth. And while there are global political events coinciding with this date that may take your attention, notably the Biden Climate Summit, there is also an interesting online program that the global EarthDay.org team has arranged, starting at 6pm our time (12pm EST) on April 22. Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances aim to feature natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking to restore the world’s ecosystems.
Vienna-Based Earth Day Activities
Vienna's activities are mainly online too. If you want to participate in or watch activities closer to your home, wherever you may be, you can use the earthday.org website (scroll down) to find something suitable. German speakers can sign up for a ClimatePuzzle, an educational activity offered online by climatecollage.org. A little further across to the west, out of Klagenfurt, comes a webinar on ClimateAction that seems rather interesting too. If you are looking to do something, despite the pandemic restrictions, the Earth Day website offers some suggestions. I will, myself, heed the advice to organize my own personal clean-up, going for a walk in the park, picking up stuff that people have dropped and that Vienna’s fabulous MA48 team may have overlooked.

April is Eco-Diocese Learning Month
Throughout April, the
European Diocese (of the Church of England) is offering an eco-Diocese series, including a number of topical webinars. These include Caring for Creation: Living out our Faith (Saturday, April 17, 10am) with Revd Dr. Dave Bookless, The Church of England’s Net Zero Carbon Goal (Monday, April 19, 6:30pm) with Catherine Ross and Jo Chamberlain, Living the Mandate to Care for Creation in our Worship (Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm) with Dr. Ruth Valerio, Intentional Discipleship (Saturday 24, 10am) with Revd Dennis Nthenge, and The Green Anglicans Movement (Monday April 26, 6:30pm) with Revd. Rachel Mash. If you are interested in joining any of the sessions, please send an email to Elizabeth Bussmann, the Diocesan Environmental officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. She will let you know connection details.
Earth Overshoot Day in Austria Was on April 7
Many of you will know what Earth Overshoot Day is. It is the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. The Footprint Network puts that date, for 2021, globally to August 22. The country-by-country analysis offers a fascinating view on those countries, including Austria, that are using resources faster than others, essentially overusing at the detriment of others, including future generations. Why Austria is doing so poorly is a longer conversation, but for those of us looking at Austria as our longer-term home, it is an important conversation with which we should acquaint ourselves. Austria's Overshoot Day is calculated for April 7.
 
Around the world, Earth Overshoot/Country Overshoot days vary, country by country, based on how careful they treat resources. Austria is not doing particularly well here, with the Overshoot Day for 2021 being calculated for April 7. Source: Overshootday.org.
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..

Blog #13: What Remains?

April 8, 2021
Rosie Evans
With last week’s Easter celebrations marking the end of Lent, also our Caring for Creation Lent course concluded, after 5 weeks, 10 sessions, and with 15 people who regularly showed up. Was it time well spent? Did we learn something that we want to take forward? And can the rest of us, our blog readers, benefit from some of the takeaways?
The short answer is: YES! When 15 people come together regularly to pray, share, and brainstorm, all focused on the question what we can do as people of faith to care for God’s creation, a lot of great resources come together. This blog shares some of them as well as some of the ideas we came up with.


The last verse of my favoruite prayer, Living Lightly, from the Caritas  NZ Aotearoa Prayer Collection that we kept coming back to during the course. Much recommended!

Firstly, we shared with each other names and stories of people who have spoken out about the climate crisis or climate injustice and who have inspired us. Of course, Greta Thunberg, who began the Fridays For Future Campaign, was on the list. And one of my personal goals in the coming weeks will be to make time to watch the film created about her work, I am Greta. Another person worth looking up is Hannah Malcolm, a writer and winner of the 2019 Theology Slam. She speaks about our need to lament and to turn to God for guidance, well put in a podcast from Cranmer Hall in Durham
Secondly, we learnt about laments. Writing a lament, expressing grief and sorrow, was one of our homework assignments. It was not an easy task. Lamenting doesn’t really seem to be in our vocabulary or practice any more. Walking in the Wilderness, a book of daily reflections for the Lenten season, had suggested this as a spiritual practice. And while the lament exercise wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, we did reflect on how it is an important practice for people of faith. The Psalms of Lamentation are a great reminder of this, as theologian Walter Brueggemann points out in his paper "The Costly Loss of Lament", worth checking out. And if you’re wondering where you may have heard that reference before: the other Lent course this year was following his book, ‘A Way Other Than Our Own’.
Thirdly, we delved into Psalms with a Caring for Creation theme. Our course booklet encouraged us to read certain Psalms, including Psalm 24, which begins “the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it”. Psalm 146 is another Psalm that we read through, and used for ‘lectio divina’, a beautiful spiritual practice. As well as praying or chanting Psalms, they can, of course, also be sung. I took advantage of this for our Lent group by sharing both more traditional renditions of the sung Psalms and more modern versions. The Psalms Project is a band aiming to set all 150 psalms to music and I have found their music to be particularly beautiful. 
Fourthly, we explored some beautiful, though at times challenging, Bible passages that can help us to connect matters of creation and the environment with our faith. You might also want to check them out! We all know the most famous one, of course: Genesis chapter 1, verses 26-28. Others included: Isaiah 43, Luke 14:12-14, Deuteronomy 11, Job 12:7-9, Luke 12:15, and Mark 8:34 to name a few. 
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: Throughout the course, we were able to build fellowship. I’m rather missing the Lent group now that we have finished the sessions. We may want to come together again for walks in nature, joint activity, or even action, and certainly for sharing music of hope. Because that is what we all shared, our hope as Christians in God who loves us and cares for us, even when times are tough. Stuart Townend’s song ‘There is a Hope' is a great reminder and worth listening to. As one of us in the group observed: "That’s all we can and must do: Listen to God, trust Him, and be guided by Him!".
Want to stay engaged? For ideas, suggestions, or questions: Do contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #12: Easter Is Coming

March 31, 2021
Monika Weber-Fahr
Easter is coming! And with it, comes hot cross buns and eggs. Most of our Easter customs, I am gladly noting on behalf of our Living Light blog, have a low environmental footprint. Easter may not only be the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection, but also a fabulously light feast in terms of the earthly things that come along with it.
Nevertheless, the Internet is full of good ideas for low impact Easter celebrations and so we are sharing some of the most commonly found tips and tricks here. Some of them are about the chocolate eggs, particularly if these come with foil or plastic wrappers and additional boxes or bags. It’s easy to be mindful here, and in fact Vienna has many specialized chocolate and sweet stores where you can buy your Easter goodies one by one, selecting only those that you will actually eat, amongst them Bea’s Feinstes on Wollzeile, Leschanz behind the Stephansdom, and others. There will probably also be fair trade options to consider too.

Baking your own Hot Cross Buns rather than purchasing in bulk (not too easy anyways here in Vienna) is a great way for to celebrate Easter with a light ecological footprint.
Then there are decorations. Many of us will have a box stored someplace, with many pretty little bunnies, flowers, or chicklets that we bought 15 or 20 or 30 years ago. They come out now during this week before the big feast, populating desks and sideboards, bringing festive spirits and a smile. But a tip for those who are still to stock up or add to their collection: Instead of the cheaper plastic decorations, do consider wood or other recyclable materials. When looking for nonplastic decorations in Vienna, often your local florist will have something for you. And you may want to consider checking out the Naschmarkt’s flea market section or your neighbourhood antique store, reusing others’ decorations is a great contribution to our planet. Finally, of course, there is the do-it-yourself option.
And finally, the Easter Eggs. Those of you who have picked up on Austrian traditions may want to check out using natural colors this year. Dying your eggs with onion skins, cabbage, or other such things can be quite the hoot. Enjoy!
Wishing you all a happy and LIGHT Easter!