The Light

May 2022

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, Vol. 68, Num. 2

Services Every Sunday of the Year

We are a transformational Force for Love and Justice in Our Community.
We gather to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other and our community, seek truth, and work for justice.

Office Administrator, Cheri Coffelt is working from home; her hours are M-F 9:30-4:30

Join us for Zoom Worship Sunday at 10 AM
See past worship services on our YouTube channel

Deadline for Light submissions is the 25th of every month.

Congregational President

Susan Hychka

As you read this, final preparations for our Church Auction on Saturday, May 7 (5 to 9 pm) are underway. The catalog of events, services, gift certificates and collectibles is complete. Plans for food, music, lively conversation and both silent and live auctions will both entertain you and entice you to bid generously – bid early and often as they used to say about voting in Chicago!

It will be a fun evening. We plan to gather under our tents and shade structure for the food, music, and silent auction parts of the event, which will have a Kentucky Derby theme since that famous race is run on May 7. Dressing the part of a Kentucky Derby fan is optional, but we encourage you to wear a bright shirt or dress. Outrageous hats are all the rage on Derby Day, and we will have a hat-judging competition before the evening ends. The live auction offers special items, and auctioneer Charlie Scholz will encourage spirited but friendly competitive bidding.

The best part of the evening is placing winning bids on events and services and enjoying those dinners, hikes and other gatherings throughout the twelve months ahead. It’s a great way to get better acquainted with other UUCLC members and friends and have a good time doing that. Please come!

Other news about May – over 70 people participated in our Listening Circles, and a group of facilitators and note takers are reading the notes and preparing a summary of the themes that emerged. We will report those ideas to the congregation before the end of the month and suggest next steps in our efforts to become a stronger and more purpose-driven congregation. If you missed the opportunity to participate and would still like a chance to share your thoughts with others, please let Dave Steele or me know that. The facilitators and notetakers are willing to set up a few more Circles in May.

Also in May, as the weather warms and winds die down, you will have additional opportunities to gather for smaller social gatherings. We will have a Sundaes Sunday on May 22 after a Sunday Service that welcomes and celebrates our newest members. As you might guess, we will be serving ice cream sundaes at the coffee hour after that service. All members and friends are welcome to participate.

Take advantage of other ways to get involved. Sign up with a couple others to set up and serve coffee and treats after a Sunday Service. Volunteer to be a greeter. The job is not hard, but it’s important. Being a welcoming congregation starts with “Hello.” And it’s a great way to get acquainted. Friendships are built one smile at a time! Susan Hychka, Chair, Board of Trustees and President of the Congregation

Board of Trustees

Resolution that recognizes the BOT Chair as Executive Authority accountable to the BOT – Discussed as necessary for time critical situations where a full board cannot be convened. Motion passed unanimously.

Approve appointment of Jack Welch to the committee on Ministry for a three-year term. Motion passed unanimously.

Board Officers

President: Susan Hychka 
Vice President: Roy van der Aa 
Secretary: Sara Thomas 
Treasurer : Jan Thompson

Members at Large: 

Skip Shelton
John Seeley
Gary Cockerell
Robert Floyd
Kris Northcutt 

Full board minutes are sent to church members in a private emailing.

Religious Education

Kellie Ingram, Director of Religious Education

Picture of director of religious education

May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live with ease.

While I know that it’s been said by hundreds of folks, hundreds of times, for hundreds of years- The time really is flying by! We are already five months into a new year and eight months from the start of our return to in-person services. What a testament to hard work, communication, positive thinking, and weathering storms. Perhaps time really does fly when you’re having fun! And that’s just what we’ve been doing in RE this year. Between new classrooms, new curriculum, crafts, and get-togethers, we have been busy!

In the month of April alone we had a chocolate ganache session-Yum! Courtesy of everyone’s favorite truffle-guru, Elwin Nunn. Thank you, Elwin! We enjoyed our first ever Bunny Buddy reveal event which included lots of laughing & guessing. And we held our Easter Scavenger Hunt, which was a great success and even greater fun! Watching and listening to our youth run around together as they collected objects in their name plated buckets, was music to our ears. Items on the scavenger list came from both nature and shops, including penny’s, rocks, puzzles and of course some Easter sweets.

In the month of May, Religious Educations 12 & under classroom will be focusing on lessons about nurturing, while our teen classroom will continue with studies on Indigenous History. We will be combining classrooms the first Sunday in May for a (better late than never) Earth Day lesson, planting seeds outside, underneath our beautiful mural.

Music and Choir

Catherine Massey, Director of Music



Lots of wonderful music to look forward to in our services during the next few months.  Because we use Zoom and because we have fabulous tech staff, it is possible to invite favorite musicians from far away to join us virtually.  This summer Emma’s Revolution, Sarah Dan Jones, and Roy Zimmerman will each lead a service through Zoom from their home bases.  All have been with us in person in the past.  However, if we were to pay their travel expenses to come here, it wouldn’t be possible.  One positive residual effect from this terrible pandemic is that the technology we came to rely on is actually still quite helpful.  We can include speakers and musicians from many locations, and our congregation includes those who join us on Zoom because they can’t be in the room.

I have shared many of my photos from my September Paris trip with my students.  I was surprised by one student when I showed pictures from the church Sacre-Coeur.  I got there during an afternoon mass and was able to sit in on the service.  Nuns led the singing—beautiful chants—and they were really good.  My student told the class that he watches masses streamed from Sacre-Coeur every week!  (And he agreed that the nuns were great singers!) It’s interesting to find these kinds of connections in unexpected ways.

Of course a favorite way to connect is in person, in our own sanctuary.  And although we continue to exercise great caution, it has been possible for those of us present to sing together again in that room (albeit with masks on still).  That’s something to be savored after all this time.  In July we’ve penciled in a good, old-fashioned Unitarian Universalist hymn sing.  It’s been awhile!  Start thinking about what hymn you would like to request, and let me know so that I can get that on my list. 

Administration and Staff

Are You Listing? by Cheri Coffelt

I’m in a list kind of mood this week.  Trying to get everything done before I go on vacation. I thought I would share my vacation list with you.

  1. Relax and breathe everything will be all right.
  2. There isn’t anything more important than this moment.
  3. Memorize the way you feel in this moment and the gratitude flooding your soul.
  4. Today is yours – ENJOY!
  5. Find something to share today.  A smile, a laugh, a gift.
  6. Drink in the beauty all around you, and just be.
  7. Remember every day has limitless opportunities awaiting you.  Dream Big!

Okay, my list may be good for everyday and not just vacation.  

Aloha, Cheri (“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”)

Committees and Programs

Facilities by Charlie Scholz

While waiting for estimates on security systems, we decided to work on lighting around the campus. We went through the Religious Education Building checking out the ceiling fixtures and replacing about a dozen burnt-out or disconnected lamps. We also rewired several fixtures to make sure all four of the lamps are working. Finally, we replaced the spotlights in the Great Room with new lamps. In every case we installed LED’s which not only are brighter but use less electricity.

Outside the Religious Education Building we checked all the lighting systems, by blocking off the photocells, so we could see if there were any burnt-out lamps. We replace another half dozen and cleaned the fixtures. By the way, the light at the door closest to the Sanctuary is only operated by the switch just inside that door. It’s not photocell operated.

At the Sanctuary, we finally located the breaker for the lights in the portico (both on the Sanctuary side and at the back of the office/Library wing.) They were originally on a timer, but the timer is long gone. So we are going to convert them to photocell fixtures as soon as we can purchase them.

In other security news, we noticed that the electrical boxes on the outside of the Religious Education Building were tampered with, shutting off power to that building. We are working on securing those covers so that won’t happen again.

We are also addressing the Wi-Fi problem with the help of Lyn Pearson and the tech people from Comcast. They have identified the problems we have with signal distribution and will present us with a plan to fix that.

Finally, we have converted many of the doors to a Master Key system which helps to keep the number of keys we must have to a minimum. Thanks to Cheri for her help with this project.

Finance Committee by Katie Fitzgerald

Pledges are Important … but they don’t tell the whole story of the UUCLC’s budget.  For 2022, the total income anticipated in our approved budget is $272,500.   88% of that income is derived from your pledges –the treasure that members and friends have promised to give in this calendar year to our church.  We anticipate an additional 3% in Contributions of Record—that is money that is donated above and beyond an individual pledge; sometimes, a COR comes in the form of a memorial or one time gift.  Just recently, the UUCLC was the beneficiary of a generous gift of stock which was then sold by the church and became a Contribution of Record.  We can’t rely on these types of contributions to meet all of our spending needs as they are gifts, windfalls, one time only payments. That is why we have fundraisers—like our upcoming auction, A Day at the Races.  Your contributions to this event whether through your donations of time, talent, treasure or your presence and bidding on items helps our bottom line.

The infrastructure of the UUCLC, that is the cost of the Facilities and the Office, excluding the Personnel to manage them, together take up 20% of our budget –one fifth of every dollar donated goes to utilities, building repair and maintenance, computer connection and software.  Sixty-eight to seventy percent of the budget is assigned to Personnel including our office manager, sexton, groundskeeper, and Director of Music, etc.  Without our treasured volunteers helping with building repairs, counting, and overseeing the Library we would not be the vibrant church we are today!  Many thanks to all for your time, talent and treasure! If you are a new member and are reading this and want to lend a hand, let Cheri Coffelt or Susan Hychka know.

Social Justice Committee

There are many ways to support immigrants or asylum seekers who are passing through or residing in Las Cruces.  To help you learn more about local opportunities Jan Thompson recommends the following:

Border Servant Corps

El Calvario Immigrant Resources Center of the E.C. United Methodist Church

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains
250 S. Main St., Las Cruces

Living the 8th Principle

Our Journey Toward Beloved Community

The UUCLC adopted the 8th Principle in October, 2021.  In keeping with the intentions of the Principle, we are examining ways in which our church is or has historically been unaware of, or insensitive to, cultures which have been exploited or oppressed to our benefit.

The 8th Principle Project Team has recently researched and discussed the use of the Zia symbol which, combined with the UU flaming chalice, forms the stained glass hanging in the front of our sanctuary. 

We want to acknowledge that the Zia symbol was wrongly appropriated in 1923 in a contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution to choose a symbol for the New Mexico state flag.

Reba and Harry Mera, denizens of Santa Fe, had seen the symbol on a water jar which was stolen from a kiva at the Zia pueblo in the 1890s.  This sacred pot eventually ended up in artist Andrew Dasburg’s possession.  He later donated the pot to the School of American Research (today’s School for Advanced Research), which was then housed at the Palace of the Governors.  The Meras recalled the striking sun symbol, altered it slightly and used it in their submission. They won the competition.  After the Zia symbol was adopted as the sole image on the state flag, it soon became synonymous with “New Mexico” and was used in multiple commercial ventures throughout the state.

The people of Zia pueblo, a dwindling culture during the 20th century, attempted in the 1990s to receive financial reparation from the State.  They were unsuccessful, and although since that time, the pueblo has received some publicity, and the history of the sacred symbol has been shared, the symbol continues to be used, often in indiscriminate and irreverent ways.

The water jug was finally returned to its ceremonial kiva in 2000.  The Zia people believe that the jug’s sacred symbol carries all the lessons of life—stories about tribal origins, about family strength, about the interconnectedness of everything on earth.

Peter Pino, a former governor of the Zia pueblo has been quoted in explaining the meaning of the rays of the sun symbol:  “… the 16 rays of the zia sun – four in every direction – symbolize various aspects of life: those pointing to the north represent the four directions; the rays to the west represent the four seasons; the rays to the south represent “mountains we as individuals must climb” – infancy, adolescence, adulthood, elderhood; the rays to the east represent “ourselves” – “our heart, our mind, our body, our spirit.”

The uses of the symbol most hurtful to the Zia people are when it is used in ways counter to their culture, such as to advertise alcoholic drinks or in tattoos.  Additionally, it is hurtful when the symbol is altered, when another image(s) is combined with it.

Our website has stated for decades;

“In the center of the Zia is the Unitarian Universalist Flaming Chalice.  A bright flame stands for the individual life, and for our passionate, fiery quest for knowledge and justice. The chalice stands for community. A nurturing community is the cradle of fulfilled individuals. Concepts that are holy to Unitarian Universalists are freedom and responsibility, reason and feeling, tolerance and discernment.”

Current discernment leads us to conclude that we must be responsible for mis-using the Zia symbol in the way it is displayed in our sanctuary.  When we learn about mistakes or missteps, whether intentional or not, it is our duty, based on our Principles, to make amends and do what will be truly healing.  In other words, do what leads to Beloved Community. 

 As of now, we are searching for answers about how best to proceed.

The 8th Principle Team

Sunday Services by Katie Fitzgerald

Sunday Services Committee Update:  Our theme for May is Nurturing Beauty

  • May 1:  Jane Asche and Charlie Welch will share thoughts about POSITIVE INTERACTION, satisfactory interpersonal communication is no accident it is nurtured
  • May 8 Susan Hychka and Brooks Lewis will help us honor all those who NURTURE
  • May 15 Charlie Scholz will lead a Flower Communion
  • May 22 is a New Member Ingathering led by the Rev. Nancy Anderson
  • May 29 Jeff Harris shares his personal faith journey to UU

We hope that you can join us!

Catherine has lined up some wonderful music to help us during her summer hiatus. Please make the following dates on your calendar:  Emma’s Revolution June 5th  and Roy Zimmerman  July 3rd.

Caring Committee by Katie Fitzgerald

You will be sent via email a survey seeking your preferences regarding our mid week social/spiritual gathering called Caring Conversation.  Please take a moment to answer the questions so that we plan events suited to the needs of the majority.  Thanks!

Librarian’s Corner by Rabbitt Loring

Book review

by Elena Espinosa

In the 2018 book The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels,Pulitzer Prize winning author, John Meacham, takes us on a journey beginning with the end of the American Civil War up to the Trump administration. His main focus is civil rights and how presidents during that period of time had clear distinctions between what were civil rights for all and the abolishment of slavery. Not all presidents were in favor of civil rights for all. Some, like Lincoln, had an opinion that a caste system based on color would always be in place.

Meaham very eloquently portrays what happened after the American Civil War and how in his definition, the south was never really defeated. He methodically explains how many of our presidents, either pushed due to politics and power or from their running platform, favored anti-immigrant nativism. Meacham culminates his book with the white nationalism that has become so prominent in our news and current events in this country, and how this has reared its ugly head in the past through McCarthy and others who based their rhetoric on fear and anti-communism. 

I enjoyed reading the book because it goes into depth with certain presidents on how they made significant contributions to our country’s views, good or bad, on racism and caste in our culture today. I was not aware of many of the facts he spells out about these presidents. It was also interesting to see how some of our presidents were viewed as too leftist and too sympathetic to the marginalized in our population. The book gave me hope. We’ve been through situations in the past similar to those we are dealing with now in our country, and hopefully we’ll learn and grow from these experiences.

The library is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00-3:00 for you to check out a book or purchase one from the book cart. One of our marvelous volunteers will be there to help you.

See you in the Library! Rabbitt

Auction Committee by Charlie Scholz


If you’re a long-time member of UUCLC you know what fun the Annual Auction can be. And you know how it works. But if you are a recent member or a newcomer, you may not have experienced one yet. So here is what you need to know:

  • There are two parts to the Auction, the Silent Auction, which runs from 5PM to 6:45 PM, and the Live Auction which runs from 7PM to 9PM.
  • The Silent Auction will be held in the Shade Structure in back of the Religious Education Building.
  • The Live Auction will be held in the Sanctuary and will also be broadcast on ZOOM.
  • To bid on an item in the Silent Auction, you write down your name and your bid on the Bidding Sheet.
  • To participate in the Live Auction, you shout out your bid to the Auctioneer. Or if you’re bidding on ZOOM, you put your bid in the chat box and it will be relayed to the Auctioneer.
  • In most cases, the high bid(s) wins. However, in some cases, like food and events, the person offering the item may agree to a second helping of food or an additional event.
  • There are two special events in the Live Auction this year.
    • The Decorated Hat Contest. You are invited to create a hat and model it for public during a break in the Live Auction. All hats well be judged by an impartial panel of judges and prizes will be awarded. This event is open to all people.
    • The Basket Raffle. During breaks between live auction items, the Gift Baskets, which have been donated, will be raffled off. Only this time the winner of the raffle will have their choice of the basket or the donated prize. And the second place bidder can take what remains.  
  • The Final event of the evening will be a brief auction of any remaining wine.

You can check out all of this year’s offerings in the Auction Catalog online.

Of course, there will be food, drink and entertainment in addition to the wonderful goods, services, gift certificates and events being offered this year.

Communications by Lyn Pearson 

It’s frustrating for everyone when our Zoom services misbehave. If you watch the church’s Sunday streaming services, you may notice that the image on your screen is grainy, sometimes it freezes, or it lags and the voice doesn’t match the speaker’s lips. Our A/V technicians see the streaming signal drop out when we momentarily lose our Internet signal entirely. We know this is happening and we know we need more bandwidth to fix the problem. 

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given amount of time. Think of it as a hose. We currently are using the narrowest diameter hose that Comcast offers but to improve our campus Internet we need a hose that’s roughly 10 times larger. Furthermore, we need an effective way to send that signal around the campus. 

For the past month, we’ve been talking to Verizon and Comcast about how we can improve our Internet signal throughout the campus. We’ve also investigated Sprint, Zianet, and an Internet provider in El Paso called Spectrum Technologies. We now know that Verizon cannot meet our needs in a cost-effective way (their words) and not in at a satisfactory service level either (my words) since their internet signal is sent strictly through cell towers. CenturyLink offers only Digital Subscriber Line services, which are at a similar level to your old dial-up modem that you might have used years ago and cannot deliver the bandwidth we need. This is also true of Zianet and none of the providers in El Paso service Las Cruces. That means we’ll be using Comcast, which currently provides us with Internet services. 

Recently, Charlie Scholz (Facilities Management) and I spent more than an hour with Comcast walking through the church property trying to identify where our Internet hardware is located, who, if anyone, it receives service from, what it’s supposed to be doing, and whether it’s working at all. It was an eye-opening experience. We were able to locate Internet cabling in the Religious Education Building that has not been used since the Day Care Center closed. In fact, many of those cable outlets were covered with blank plates and all these years we had no idea what they were. We also located an Ethernet cable running between the Sanctuary and the Religious Education building. This is good news and even better news is that Comcast confirmed that the cabling is viable. We’re one step closer to better service throughout the campus.

Website Giving

Change 4 Change options have been added to the “Give” button at the top of all web pages and also to the Giving section in InFellowship. If you’re new to the church, or if it’s been awhile, why not visit InFellowship and remind yourself how useful it can be. You might want to update your profile so that you show up in the online phone directory, or perhaps you have a new phone number or email address. You can change both of those in InFellowship. In the Giving section, there are options for giving Memorial, Celebratory, and Change 4 Change gifts to the church. In memorial gifts, you can name the person in who’s name you are giving the gift and ask that their family or loved one be notified that you’ve thought of them. A celebratory gift is a nice way to recognize special anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, or just the joy of living. This type of gift gives you the option of having your joy/celebration announced to the church congregation. Notices of Memorial, Celebratory, and Change 4 Change gifts are automatically sent to the church office.

Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones

Don’t forget that it’s very simple to send your joys, sorrows, and milestones to the church office directly from the Home page of our website. Cheri will ensure that your message will be shared the way you wish. It’s fast, easy, and private.

Caring Committee Notifications

Also on the Home page are two options for contacting the chairs of the Caring Committee. “I Care, I Can Help!” and “A member or friend is in need of care.”

Membership Committee News

The Membership Committee is starting to meet again.  We are currently deciding our direction and priorities. You can help by joining us and/or by voicing your concerns and suggestions. It is our goal to make every visitor and member feel connected and welcomed in our community. Contact  Carol Stanfill, Lindsay Neal, or Mark Sukontarak for further information.

Items of Interest

Generous Giving by Jack Welch

Kathleen Glatz of Denver, CO made a gift in memory of Rev. Dale Robison. She is a friend of the Robison family.  Memorial gifts in memory of Dale were also made by Jean Gilbert and Haney and Lyn Pearson. Our thanks go to Janet Pitt and Steve Welch, Rosemarie Sanchez, and Jan Thompson for their generous support of our Little Pantry. Thank you all.

Little Pantry

Please support our Little Free Pantry.  

We try to stock the pantry with beverages (water or juices), single-portion, easy-open (pop-top) cans of veggies, fruits or meats, and raw fruits and veggies from gardens which do not require cooking, small bags of pet foods and personal hygiene items (such as diapers, hand soap, shampoo). 

We accept donations to our little blue wagon in the lobby at Sunday services or at the church library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 PM. 

Events of Note

First Friday Game Night

Missing some fun and connection with others? Come to First Friday Game Night in the Religious Education Building Great Room at 6:30 pm starting May 6th. Some games provided, but you’re to bring a favorite game and/or a snack to share. This monthly event is open to all. Questions? Ask Jan Thompson or Sara Thomas. 

Sundaes on a Sunday

Enjoy an ice social to welcome our new UU’s immediately after the May 22nd service honoring them. Board of Trustees will be serving this treat in the Religious Education Building Great Room so drop on by! Lots of toppings to top off your day.

Save the Date!

Womenspirit 2022 will be held Sept 30th – Oct 2nd in the beautiful Sacramento mountains. Wonderful workshops are being planned with spirited women in mind. Registration forms will be available at the end of May. Don’t miss this opportunity to renew and start new friendships.

Crafters News

The new Crafters Group is up and running!  Currently we are creating a banner saying BIENVENIDOS using Zentangle (doodling patterns). The banner will be displayed in the new Asylum Seekers Center run by the Border Servant Corps. The Crafters meet on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at 10:30 AM in the church Library.  We hope to have a jewelry beading demonstration this month. Members are encouraged to bring whatever they are working on. Open to all, especially community members who are interested in our church and its values.

Death Cafe

WHAT: a group who shares thoughts and feelings about end-of-life issues
WHY: to give each other space to speak with no interference, practicing listening with our hearts
WHEN: Tuesday, May 17th, 6:30-8:00 PM
WHERE: Library at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano
CONTACT: Brooks Lewis,

Roundtable Schedule

Roundtable: Diego Medina and the Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribe – Sun, May 29, 2022 
2:00 pm--3:00 pm – Virtual Event Via Zoom

Diego Medina is an artist and educator from Las Cruces, New Mexico. His family is one of the original families from the historic Mesquite district, the old Pueblo for the Piro-Manso-Tiwa tribe.  Mr. Medina is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for his tribe. Mr. Medina’s artwork focuses on the preservation of cultural history of his people against an ever-encroaching, burgeoning college town that has an inherent assimilation and erasure protocol and an increasing settler population unaware of the stories held within the land they inhabit.  He will discuss the concerns of the Piro-Manso-Tiwa community regarding NMSU’s plans for developing a large commercial and residential area near the base of Tortugas Mountain, sacred space for his people. Join us on Zoom.

Roundtable: TBD – Sun, Jun 5, 2022 
2:00 pm--3:00 pm – Virtual Event Via Zoom

Join us on Zoom.

Roundtable: TBD – Sun, Jun 12, 2022 
2:00 pm--3:00 pm – Virtual Event Via Zoom

Join us on Zoom.

Roundtable: TBD – Sun, Jun 19, 2022 
2:00 pm--3:00 pm – Virtual Event Via Zoom

Join us on Zoom.

Roundtable: TBD – Sun, Jun 26, 2022 
2:00 pm--3:00 pm – Virtual Event Via Zoom

Join us on Zoom.

Regular Social Activities

Many church events are being conducted face-to-face, but not all of them. Please be sure to check the church calendar if you are unsure how a meeting or event is going to be held.

Each group’s leader should keep contact with regular participants with updates on how the group is conducting its ministry. Please check the church’s online calendar to ensure you have the latest information. Newcomers should reach out via the links below to participate in these activities.

Monthly Calendar: To get the information you need about the many and varied activities of our church, go to and scroll down the page to the calendar and events listings.

The Tombaugh Art Gallery

Shellebrate Turtles


The Tombaugh Gallery and Desert Exposure are celebrating World Turtle Day® in May with an art show featuring many of our local artists depicting all things turtle in their favorite medium: Some will be made from gourds, others will be sculpted from clay, there will be mixed media, paintings, drawings and poetry.

World Turtle Day® was established in 2000 to shellebrate turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. They have inhabited our world for over 200 million years but today they are disappearing at an alarming rate due to global warming, the cruel pet trade, habitat destruction and the exotic food industry. Locally sightings of box turtles in the wild has become a rare occurrence. Just a few years ago they could be found regularly in the foothills and arroyos around town.

The exhibit opens on May 1 with a special reception and poetry reading from 11:00 to1:00 at the Tombaugh Gallery. A second reception will be on Monday, May 23 from 5:00 to 7:00, the date World Turtle Day® is traditionally celebrated. At the second reception you will have an opportunity to sculpt your own turtle, listen to turtle poetry and have your photo taken with a desert box turtle.


The Tombaugh Gallery’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. In addition you can visit every Sunday after church.

The Tombaugh Gallery is part of the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2000 S. Solano.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 2 PM.

The Gallery is located at 2000 South Solano Drive at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10am – 2pm.