Nineteen people set out at 2pm from the Schroedersí home in Conifer Crove for the end-of-year tramp around
the Karaka Loop. We went along the Evanda Link Reserve to the Manukau Harbour coastline, then along the
walkway-cycleway alongside the Southern Motorway to Karaka. From there we continued along the Hingaia
Esplanade walkway along the coastline, looking out to the privately-owned Parerekau Island. After passing
the gated entry to this islandís causeway, we stopped for our break overlooking a stormwater pond.
Nelson Young, who was running late with three others, joined us here. We carried on along Parerekau
Rd and into Normanby Rd with its lovely countryside estates. This came out back at the motorway, and
we retraced our footsteps along the walkway-cycleway to Conifer Grove, before returning to the start
point along a different route. We finished our walk at 4:35pm, having walked 9km.
Many more people joined us for the end-of-year BBQ afterwards on the lawn, bringing the total number
to 37. We enjoyed a lovely pot-luck smorgasbord of dinner and dessert as we caught up with one another.
Afterwards we broke into groups for a Christmas quiz. This was an interesting time of discovering trivia
about the traditions and festivities of the season.
We went inside to the living room for Murray Black to present our devotions about Christmas and creation
care. Christmas is about Jesusí birth and incarnation in flesh. God is the maker of heaven and earth.
When He made the world he declared its goodness. The earth and its fullness is the Lordís (Psalm 24).
Jesus lives on the earth. God imbued creation with diversity. The response becomes the call to be more
responsible in looking after creation as part of Godís sacred gift to us. Every step we take on earth
is a pilgrimage to the divine, to be closer to God. We were finished before 8:30pm, allowing us to go
home while it was still light.