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 #19: A long long night at Christ Church - and across town ...

May 20, 2021 
Rosie Evans
A long Long Night at Christ Church is coming your way, no joke! You may want to mark Friday, May 28th, in your calendars …  The LivingLight Blog is bringing Christ Church’s participation in Vienna’s Lange Nacht der Kirchen (the Long Night of the Churches) to you because this year’s focus is all about Taking Care of Creation (Bewahrung der Schoepfung). Psalm 104:20  “.. and you made the darkness, so the animals in the forest could come out at night” provides the overall setting. And indeed, there is lots to check out all over town. Our very own Christ Church Vienna will be offering Animal Blessings on the Go, hoping to see visits by those that own and love animals, between 6pm and 9pm, to have their pets blessed and explore our church and what we are about. For those interested, a prayer service will be offered at 8:30 pm. Pet-less but curious? You are welcome, too, of course! Do drop by, with or without a pet ;-).

Next Friday, May 28, everyone is invited to come by for a Blessing on the Go for their pets, anytime between 6 and 9pm; the Church will remain open for visitors and informal chats until 10pm.
What is The Long Night of the Churches? Simply put, it's an initiative designed to give people the chance to explore neighbourhood churches, easy come easy go. It’s a chance to discover new things, meet new people, exchange ideas and, as the website says, to be surprised!
The programme here at Christ Church is designed to be fit for all the family, including your much beloved pets! If you want to join us straight away at 6pm, you can participate in an opening prayer. Then between 6.15pm and 8.30pm, the doors - either in the church or out in the church garden, weather-permitting - remain open for anyone to bring their animals to be blessed or to just come for a chat. There will also be an EcoChurch/CreationKeepers information stand throughout the evening, staffed by Rosie, Monika, and hopefully a few others. The event will close at 8.30pm with a short service. And, if that wasn’t enough, the church itself is open from 6pm until 10pm for anyone to come and visit and have a conversation with one of the team.
Across town, churches offer many different events and opportunities to get to know them, from singalongs to concerts and tours. Check out the programme for more information (mostly in German)! One great opportunity worth mentioning is the Hearonymus Audio Guide app. This audio guide will take you through a choice of three walks around the city of Vienna, prepared by art historian and Austrian guide Julia Strobl. You can view the details on the website. It does seem like a great way to spend your Friday evening!
 
Never heard about the Long Night of the Churches before? Don’t feel embarrassed, it is particular to the German-speaking parts of the world. Initiated in Germany in 1995, the first Austrian Lange Nacht der Kirchen was held in 2005, mainly in churches in the city of Vienna. Since then, more and more churches in Austria have become involved and even churches in neighbouring countries now offer a similar event! For obvious reasons, this year’s Long Night of the Churches will be slightly different to previous ones, with strict Corona Rules in place, but nevertheless there is still lots of fun to be had! And what’s more, for the first time since its founding, the organisers have put together a very fun and interesting magazine! From nature and plants, to church buildings, bells and organs, the magazine is available to read online (in German), has lots of great information and take-aways, and is very beautifully and thoughtfully put together.
Don’t miss out on checking out at least one or two amongst the vast array of events and activities available to you on Friday, May 28, at the Long Night of the Churches. It is well worth having a further look at the website, and seeing what you might like to visit that evening! Let us know if you end up visiting any of the places listed - we’d love to hear of your experiences! And don’t forget to pop into Christ Church and say hello to us! Bis bald!
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 #18: Eating in Season - White Asparagus

May 12 2021 
Monika Weber-Fahr & Miya Komori-Glatz
Want to make sustainable food choices? Seasonal eating is one of the best ways to start! The impact on your environmental footprint is immediate - eating seasonally helps say "no” to produce that is either transported from afar or produced here with higher energy or pesticide cost than would otherwise be needed. Here in Austria, the variety of choices of seasonal vegetables is greatest between May and October - although during the winter there are also many good options, including beets, kale, various sprouts, cauliflower, and so on. 
The LivingLight blog will occasionally offer a review of seasonal vegetable choices - in particular where they are particular to Austria and perhaps not as well known to our more international community. One such vegetable - visible on markets since late April and fully in season in May and June - is the White Asparagus (Spargel). Many of our readers will be more familiar with green asparagus - which can also be found freshly at the markets and in the shops right now. And yes, some of you may be aware of the big and very legitimate debates around imported (green) asparagus - in terms of the environmental cost of transport and water use, in particular from Peru. In this article, instead, we’ll focus on the much hyped white and local version.
 
Picture: Fresh from the Market - three types of Asparagus.
Considered a delicacy, few vegetables are celebrated as much in German-speaking countries as fresh White Asparagus:  If you keep an eye out for it - in particular now that restaurants are due to open up in a few weeks - you will find Spargelwochen (Asparagus Weeks) in shops as well as restaurants, and many restaurants have dedicated Spargelmenues (Asparagus Menus) with many options for eating the White Gold.  You might enjoy noting that asparagus is the focus of a dedicated Spargelmuseum in Southern Germany, and that  asparagus made it into the Arts and even into poetry and wisdom!
Right now, here in Vienna, Spargel comes to the markets fresh, daily, right from the Marchfeld - the area in Austria where most Spargel is grown. The EU has recognized Marchfeldspargel as a protected brand- noting that the particular climate and soil provide a distinct flavor.  Only those Spargel are grown here that really fit or belong to the area (who knew: there are about 300 different types, hailing from Siberia to South Africa).  The Marchfeld is the plain between Vienna and Bratislava - beautifully dotted with villages and farms - and it is easily reachable by bicycle (2 hours) or car; when you go there, you can also buy your own Spargel right at the farms themselves.
 
Austrians speak of the royal vegetable or the king amongst vegetables, and so it is not surprising that Spargel does not come cheap. Producing it takes enormous efforts: White Asparagus grows entirely under the surface and at harvest each is dug out, one by one, then cooled with ice water, sorted, and transported on the same day to shops across Austria. During harvest time, farmers mostly hire seasonal workers for this very intensive work, oftentimes for several months; it’s comparable only to harvest times on vineyards in many areas.
There are many many many recipes for preparing Spargel, even though the form most commonly found in Austria involves 4-7 Spargel and some boiled potatoes covered with a bit of melted butter or a bechamel sauce, typically accompanied by a few slices of cold-cut ham. The many vegetarian options can involve egg, pasta, or mushrooms, and then there are the varieties with fish and meats, as well as regional varieties. It's easy to prepare - but pay attention: White Spargel, in contrast to green Spargel, must be peeled. It also requires boiling (be careful that it does not break) right to the perfect moment when it is soft enough to be cut and eaten but not too mushy either (note: al dente White Spargel is poorly cooked Spargel).
And a final hint for the health-concerned amongst our readers: Spargel is super healthy, full of vitamin C, and great for weight loss also ;-).
So, if you have not tried White Asparagus yet (this season) - now is the time to go for it!

Asparagus peels and trunks, boiled in hot water, make a great stock for soup and sauces; very healthy, too.
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 #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!