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 #77: A Poem of Heat and Rain

July 7th, 2022
Maria Cristina Krier
Our flight is delayed/
We wait patiently to go/
And enjoy ourselves.
While it’s raining here/
In Scotland and in London/
Vienna dwells in heat.
That’s the proof that now/
The real summer has arrived/
And holidays start. 
Dear God, give us peace/
And freedom and heartfelt Love/
For all those in pain.
 May God’s Love surround/
And strengthen all of us now/
And for ever more.
During the summer months - instead of putting together our regular blog - we invite our readers to contribute a Haiku reflecting on creation or efforts in creation-keeping.  Haikus are a short form of poetry, originally from Japan. Traditionally, they consist of three phrases - the first one with five syllabi, the second one with seven syllabi, and the third with five syllabi again. One haiku is enough, but you can also combine it with a picture, a story, or another haiku. Feeling inspired? Please send your haiku it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Blog #76: LivingLight in Summertime

June 30th, 2022
Brandy Bauer & Monika Weber-Fahr
Summertime is here!  Last week’s June 21st marked the summer solstice or midsummer.  Tomorrow, children in Vienna go on their two-month long summer breaks.  Also, many doctor’s offices and other services will close for some time in the coming month or so, and even Christ Church moves onto a summer schedule. In July and August clocks in Vienna will be ticking slower than for the rest of the year.
Summertime is also an opportunity - indeed an invitation - to notice life around ourselves with more attention. Many of us take time out of our busy schedules, and if we are lucky we are able to slow down and create more harmony between the speed at which we live and the pace of nature and its beings. A perfect time, it seems, for reflecting on what God’s creation means to us..
This is the spirit of Living Light in Summertime: Instead of the regular blog, we want to invite our readers to share short observations on what they see and feel about creation or creation keeping as they go through the summer months.  To make it easy, we thought of haikus as the main format.  Haikus are a short form of poetry, originally from Japan.  Traditionally, they consist of three phrases - in a 5 - 7 - 5 pattern, containing a seasonal reference. A good fit for the Living Light Blog. So, the invitation to you all is to compose a creation-minded thought or observation in three lines, the first one with five syllabi, the second one with seven syllabi, the third with five syllabi again. 
Will you join the team?  You can write just one three-liner, or put together several, telling a longer story.  Or you can send us a Haiku together with a text or picture.  To inspire us all, Brandy is giving us a head-start:

Scents emanating /
From the array of flowers / 
In the garden. Wow. 

Bounding flowers bounce /
As if happy to see me /
As I stop to look.

Attached you will find /
Exactly that flowerbed /
That inspired me.

Inspired?  Do send your haikus to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or any other idea or thought, of course. 
Have a great summer! We look forward to hearing from you!

Blog #75: It's hot, hot, hot in Vienna

June 23rd, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
Thirty. Thirty-one. Thirty-two. Yes, these were the numbers on the thermostat in my kitchen in downtown Vienna this week, and if I read the forecast right we’ll get to 34o centigrade next week. It’s hot in Vienna - even though summer only just started. Is this the changing climate or has Vienna always been that warm in the summer? I don’t really know; what I do know is that we just saw a full-scale heat wave across Europe and North Africa, with temperatures well above 40 degrees in Spain, France and Germany; the drought in Italy with unusually low water levels in the river Po is only part of that story.  Earlier in June, similar heat waves - there with temperatures well into the 40s -  hit North America, and earlier in the year India and Pakistan. Harvests are at risk and forest fires on the rise.
What to do? Here in Vienna, a major concern is everybody’s health: Many people - in particular as we get older - cannot handle extreme temperatures well. Staying cool and staying hydrated is critical! The city helps - with some 1,300 public drinking water fountains, 170 water fog set-ups and over 70 mobile wells, amongst other things.  All of them are are easy to find - at least when using the Cooles Wien app, available for free in your app store. There you can find - at the tip of your finger - how far you (or your dog!) are from the next water fountain, or where you can find other opportunities for cooling down, including parks and swimming pools.  And if you want to find out whether your area is particularly hot, do check out the Vienna heat map, listing parts of town that are particularly exposed. This is based on the temperatures typically measured in these areas and based on the share of young people and senior citizens living there.
Vienna has a few other great locations that might allow you to stay cool - without spending extra energy. Several Viennese churches have - literally - cool underground locations, including St. Stephan’s catacombes, the Capuchin’s Crypt, or the crypt in St Peter’s Church. And yes, it can get chilly in these underground places, if though they may not be for the fainthearted.  If you like things to be adventurous, you may even go on the Third man tour - remember that novel of Grahame Greene, a film with Orson Wells? - that takes place primarily in the Viennese underground!  Other somewhat odd places in Vienna that offer enjoyable coolness include the Salzgrotte Oceaneum and the Polardome in the Schönbrunn Zoo. 
Mostly though, when walking across town, a quick visit in any of the churches will offer respite from the heat.  What better reason to come for a visit to a holy place?  The catholic church is pro-actively using the cool temperatures in its churches as a way to promote its Refreshing Church campaign.  Not everyone knows what you know, though, so keep on the lookout for people who may be suffering from dehydration and offer them water or point them to places where they can find it. Vienna has some 12,000 + people without a place of their own - they need us to care, especially in the middle of the heat!

Picture: Check out the COOLES WIEN app (simply type COOLES WIEN in your appstore on your mobile): It will show you the nearest locations of water fountains, cooling areas, and so on....
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs? We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #74: E-Mobility in Vienna - Easy to Check Out until Sunday

June 16th, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
Yes, yes, yes - I know: Electric cars are not the (only) solution for keeping climate change at bay.  But - even as we walk more, cycle more, use public transport more, zoom and find other ways of connecting, consuming and producing - cars will in all likelihood remain part of our future. So why not go out and inform ourselves? Check out what’s in store? Find out how to get what you might be looking for? And get ideas about the agencies and programs that are there to help you in all this.
This week(end) is the time for such endeavors: Yesterday, on the Vienna Rathausplatz the Wiener Elektrotage 2022 - the Vienna E-Mobility Show 2022 (loose translation) opened their doors, inviting visitors respectively between 11:00 and 21:00 every day through Sunday (Sunday only until 19:00). There you will be able to find answers to a lot of your questions about electric this-that-and-the other - including questions you probably did not know you had. 
Big toys are for big boys (and girls), and I admit, most of the E-Mobility show is about promoting electric cars. It’s no surprise, of course, given that the event has been organized by the Porsche Media & Creative company.  But let’s be fair: So many of us still not have seen a proper electric car from the inside - and we are curious! The brands presenting their products on the Rathausplatz include AUDI, CUPRA, Fiat, KIA, Porsche, ŠKODA, Toyota, and VW.  But there are also Motorcycle brands such as KTM, Seat Mo’, and Vespa/Piaggio, as well as organizations such as Porsche’s car-sharing venture Sharetoo, the Austrian Auto Club (ÖAMTC) and the Technical University of Vienna. Interestingly, on the Rathausplatz, you will also be able to learn more about batteries, charging stations, where to find them or where to put them yourself - and about the developments expected in the coming years, both in terms of technology and in terms of prices and availability. 
You’ll never be able to buy one, the best of all husbands told me soberly this morning. He had a point - and it's not only about budget: For a variety of reasons, the waiting times for electric cars are tremendously - if not ridiculously - long.  Quite a few electric cars cannot even be ordered at all at this point, many others come with wait times lasting a year or longer. The german-speaking Autobild came out with a rather disappointing list of wait times a few weeks ago, confirming this to be a major issue for practically all brands, even though more so for the smaller than the larger cars. On the other hand: let’s go to the Rathausplatz and hear what the brands there have to say.

Picture: Cool-looking new e-van by Volkswagen, is this the future of driving? Worthwhile a visit on the Rathausplatz.  Source: Promotional website for the event.
But are electric cars even green?  A few months ago, I listened to a really interesting little podcast to this end, produced by the Folgewirkung series of the Austrian Klima und Energiefonds, a legitimate source of information. The calculus they presented was very convincing: A small electric car, deployed well and over many years, using electricity drawn mainly from renewable resources, has a super-small environmental footprint, even when considering production cost end-to-end (including raw materials for batteries etc). On the other hand, a large electric car - heavy and inefficient in energy use, driven in countries where electricity is generated with a big share of coal or oil - really is not terribly green. Many of the analyses that you will find online do not take such a differentiated view, often simply discarding electric cars for the environmental footprint of their production or batteries. It’s worthwhile checking the details!
One last and perhaps more personal point: E-Mobility can be serious fun! A few months ago, I test-drove one of the larger motorcycles on offer by Seat Mo’. The acceleration was incredible! And the feeling of gliding - practically without noise - along countryside roads, in fact fast-gliding at 100 km/h: priceless, as a well-known advertising campaign would say!  So at minimum: Check out test-drive options and go have some fun!
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs? We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..