Reverend Andy Burnette is the Senior Minister for the Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Chandler, Arizona. Married to Heather Powell-Burnette and the father of two children he believes strongly in the guiding principles promoted and affirmed by the Unitarian Universalist Church—the seventh of which directs that we should have “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

Deeply concerned about the tide of extinction now facing species globally, Reverend Andy says that his is a “spiritual concern that human beings begin to see themselves as part of the web of all existence—that non-human life is not just a resource to be utilized.”

Equally concerned about the many threatened and endangered species in the Southwest, he speaks warmly of afternoons on the patio with his with his 9 year old son Marcus when they sit in silence watching the birds and lizards native to Arizona.

The state of Arizona currently has 71 endangered and threatened species listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act. There are an additional 28 “at risk” species that are either official candidates for listing or are currently being studied to determine if they too are deserving of protection under the ESA.

Reverend Burnette is former Journalist with a BS degree in mass communications from the University of Evansville, and a Master of Divinity degree from Chapman Seminary. His ‘beat’ as a journalist included The Republic in Columbus, Indiana, where he covered city and county government and wrote a humor column. When he left The Republic to go into ministry, the editor said, “I can’t argue with someone going into ministry, so I’ll just say, give ‘em hell, Andy.” Being both a typical journalist and a Universalist, Andy didn’t follow his editor’s advice.