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.