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.