Sackett takes leave from governor's Fairbanks office - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Sackett takes leave from governor’s Fairbanks office

Jim Sackett, the office manager of the governor’s Fairbanks office, is returning to full-time pastoral ministry. Friday was his last day working in the Mike Dunleavy Administration. He joined the administration in its early days in 2018.

Sackett says pastoral ministry is something he feels called to return to because one in six pastors plans to quit every year due to burnout, and their work is important.

“I thought this is a fixable thing. Discouragement is not something that cannot be overcome. Pastors feel like they live in a fishbowl, they’re always on, they’re never out of the spotlight. I thought let’s create a place where they are completely off the grid. No one can call them. And who doesn’t want to go to Alaska?” he said.

“When you recharge a pastor, you recharge a marriage, a church, and a community. Often times pastors are overlooked, taken for granted. Everybody has issues — faith or marital or health issues. They lean on pastors but pastors don’t have anyone to lean on. They love their congregations and it weighs heavily on them,” Sackett said.

“Renew U Ministries” is the mission that Jim and Cheryl Sackett did for 20 years, but they had to take a break from it while he was serving in the Dunleavy Administration.

Their recharge center for pastors and their spouses is a modest cabin along the Chatanika River outside of Fairbanks, where they can read a book, take hikes, or just sit by the campfire.

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve Gov. Dunleavy. I’ve really enjoyed the people I’ve worked with,” Sackett said. He added that he looks forward to going hunting this fall.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Pastors and their wives just need to follow God’s word, and their cup will never dry out. They have to remember they aren’t the only ones supposed to do all the church ministry. The members are supposed to be trained by pastors how to do small group meetings for adults and children as well as ministry outreach. Hopefully they aren’t trying to appease what is comfortable for church members to hear, or else you definitely will grow weary, discouraged, and burned out trying to make people feel good. Pastors just have to remember to focus on John 21:15-18 Just Feed Jesus sheep.

  • It is written that the gifts of the Spirit are disbursed throughout the believers so that each and everyone may edify all of the others. There’s not to be any single person, carrying the burden for all. Only one has ever done that, and He got crucified for His troubles.

  • Interesting side note:

    Jim Sackett ran for State House District 4 in 2018 as a Republican. Keith Kurber ran for the same seat as a Republican in 2020. Both men are ministers. Their Democrat opponent in 2018 and 2020 was Grier Hopkins, an extreme Left-winger who’s dad was a controversial mayor up in Fairbanks. Hopkin’s brother-in-law is none other than Scott Kendall, former chief of staff for the disgraced, former governor Bill Walker. Kendall is well-known as an instigator and trouble-maker for Democrat causes, including ballot harvesting for various Democrat candidates, including Al Gross. There are no coincidences.

  • A job well done, Jim.

  • God Bless your travels

  • Keep the entire Hopkins family looped-up on their pot smoking habits and they will eventually forget which party they represent. Pot addicts usually come down with early-on dementia. Kendall might have taken on more than he can inhale. 🤣

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