Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us. 

11920 Northeast 80th Street
Kirkland, WA, 98033


We are a Jesus-focused, inclusive community of faith that strives to live as Jesus lived in real, everyday ways. Come Thrive Go. Salt House is a Church on Seattle's Eastside located in Kirkland, Washington. 

Location: 11920 NE 80th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.

blog binder copy.jpg



Jason Bendickson

Dear friends,

There are several events in the coming days to celebrate Pride, equality, and diversity. Here's the run down. We hope you and members of your congregation will join in the love. 

Trans Pride Seattle takes place on Friday, June 23 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. in Cal Anderson Park.  Participants will begin gathering at 5:00 p.m. with the march set to begin at 6:00 p.m. The march will set off down Broadway towards Pike Street, where it will turn left and proceed east on Pike Street and then left onto 11th. The March will end with a rally and celebration in Cal Anderson Park.  More information is available at
The Capitol Hill Pride Fest will take place on Saturday, June 24 from noon to 8:00 p.m. in Cal Anderson Park and the Denny Way Sound Transit Station. The event will feature a street festival, arts & crafts, a beer garden, and two stages of entertainment. For more information visit
The Seattle Pride Interfaith Celebration Service will be held on Saturday, June 24th at 2:00 p.m. at All Pilgrims Christian Church (500 Broadway East). Every year during LGBTQ+ Pride, people of many different faiths come together to celebrate diversity. This year’s service will present speakers from Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Buddhist, New Thought, and Pagan traditions and will also feature the SpiritVision Mass Choir. You are welcome just as you are! For more information call 206-325-2421.

We have received our final staging instructions and we are contingent number 61 and will be gathering on 4th Avenue between Spring and Madison. (We're in front of the library. Look for the tall, rainbow cross.)

Folks can begin arriving as early as 8:30 a.m. but our official staging window is between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m. Remember, if you are running late and want to join us en route, just call either Rick or Brian and they will let you know where we are.

Brian Anderson   206-617-1511
Rick Pribbernow 425-359-9313


Gretchen Staebler
Communications Manager

Open Door Ministries is an extended ministry of the N.W. Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a member of Lutheran Services of America

Remembering Who I Am - Pastor Sara's Sabbatical

Jason Bendickson

Remembering Who I Am // Sabbatical // Pastor Sara Wolbrecht // May 2017

At Salt House, one of the central practices we return to is asking the questions:

What is God saying to me? 
What am I going to do about it?

We see these two questions as central to living the life of Jesus. Inherent in asking these questions is the accompanying practice of being people who listen.  People who intentionally make room for hearing God.

Which means we are also people of Sabbath. The practice of Sabbath – which means “to cease striving; to rest” – include the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rhythms we carve out to STOP.  To stop the work of striving, in order to hear God.

In order to remember who we are.

Salt House is part of the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Being a part of the ELCA, comes with many blessings – and one of those blessings is that pastors get a Sabbatical. Time for Sabbath.  Every seven years, pastors have three months of sabbatical – three months off to cease striving. To rest. To remember who we are.

My friends, I get a sabbatical. May 15th through August 15th.  Which means for these three months I won’t be here!  I will do no work for Salt House.  I won’t check my email. I won’t come to church on Sundays.  I will cease.

It’s happening now, because when I said YES to being the pastor for this new thing in Kirkland, I walked away from my former church in California right as I completed seven years of service.  I forfeited my sabbatical because pastors start over at zero when they move to a new church.  But the amazing pastors and church council at Salt House’s parent congregation, Holy Spirit Lutheran – when they heard that I forfeited my sabbatical – offered me a sabbatical in 2017. They would cover the pastoral responsibilities, at no extra cost to Salt House.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for their generosity, and their own value of the practice of Sabbath.

Transitions like this – even just for three months – can raise anxiety for folks individually or collectively as a community.  If you feel this response rise up in you (or even if it does not) I want to say two things. First a word of reminder that we here at Salt House hold experimentation as a central part of who we are.  We try new things!  And this is something new we get to try, right? What’s it like when Pastor Sara’s not here?

Second, I want to offer an invitation to all y’all, an invitation to see how you might show up in these three months to receive blessing and to be a blessing.  Here’s what I mean: frankly, pastors have a habit of trying to do all the things.  News flash: over-functioning like that is absolutely my jam.  Yet at Salt House we also hold as central to who we are, that everybody has something to offer.  We believe that we are blessed to be a blessing, and that absolutely holds true to how we show up here in community.  To bless and serve.

So I ask you: are you up for embracing this experiment and looking for how you can be a blessing and fill in the gaps that you see?  This time will be a gift for Salt House – as all of our experiments have been, as we discover new bounds by which we can love and engage with God, each other, and our neighborhood.

The additional blessing in this is that Pastor Katy McCallum Sachse, from HSLC, she will be here to rock it as your pastor during my Sabbatical. Preaching, leading worship, available during the week.  She is your pastor – reach out if you need support. Jason and our key leaders will still be here, too – so much of our Sunday experience of Salt House will feel the same.

The other reason this is a blessing to Salt House is, honestly, because this will help me to be a better leader, a better pastor for y’all.  I must tell you: Salt House, this thing we have made together with God – this is one of the greatest joys of my life.  Right up there with my children and husband…and chocolate. I love, love, love, that this is what we get to do together with God! 

But I also must tell you, starting a church takes everything you’ve got.  I started two years and nine months ago – and I must confess that I am tired.  More than anything, I am ready to take three months to remember that who I am is not what I do, but who I am is beloved.  I am ready to remember my blessedness again.

Holden Village

Holden Village

Many have asked what I’ll do with my time.  Here is some of what I’ve cooked up:

  • Five days on solo retreat at Holden Village (
  • A week of family vacation at Holden Village
  • Ten days of family vacation in Maine
  • A week-long course at California Lutheran University: “Executive Skills for Pastors”
  • Lists of possible home projects (The garage!  Finally doing baby books!)
  • A stack of books to read, like
    •  Richard Rohr, The Naked Now
    • Brian McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a New Way to Be Christian.
    • J.P. Newell, The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginning.
  • A commitment to being as muddy as possible from adventures outside with our kids
  • Disconnecting from my phone and email

And I’ll be back.  From this season of ceasing I’ll be back to dive into all we’re becoming in this next season, responding to what God is leading us into, together.  Make it a great summer, Salt House!  Stay salty, friends.


Land Use Vote Results

Jason Bendickson

Thank you all for voicing opinions, showing up, and voting in regards to the proposal to sell a portion of our land to become a 24-hour shelter for families and single women experiencing homelessness.  Two location possibilities were considered, the existing parsonage parcel, or the undeveloped northwest corner.  We voted during December, and the results are in! 

  • 27 Votes: Yes, I support the sale
  • 23 Votes: Yes, I support the sale, but only if we are able to sell the NW corner of the property (leaving the SW parsonage rental property intact)
  • 4 Votes: No, I do not support the sale 

We are moving forward with the sale!  Since the vote, we received a new draft ‘massing’ plan from the architect which verified the option of using the NW corner for the sale and development of the shelter. Great news! The City of Kirkland also verified that we can do a Lot Line Adjustment to create a new parcel on the NW corner without triggering the need for a short-plat process (much faster, less expensive). With the verification of the preferred NW option, and the voting results above (50 yes, 4 no), are moving toward the next steps of approval of our plan by our parent congregation, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church's, council and congregation. Key dates include the HSLC council meeting on January 10, and the HSLC congregational meeting on January 29 at noon. 

With excitement and hope we're responding to the urgent need for a 24/7/365 emergency shelter on the Eastside!  Thank you, Salt House family!

New Series: Force of Nature - Starts January 8th

Jason Bendickson

We are wired for relationship. And there is power and influence we access when we come together as a group of people.  Like rain water that flows into streams then growing stronger in larger rivers - people united together become a force that can carve and shape the landscape of the future.  Sunday we launch a new series on the organic, creative, powerful things that happen in community - a Force of Nature. Don't miss it!

THANK YOU! Year End Giving

Jason Bendickson

We want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for such an amazing year at Salt House! For all who have given of their resources to support the mission of Salt House, we are extraordinarily grateful!


Salt House is a community that was birthed out of amazing generosity. And as a community, we believe God is exceedingly generous with us, so we respond by aiming to live generous lives. As you contemplate making end-of-year charitable donations, please keep Salt House in mind. Your contribution makes a huge impact on the life of this community. 

If you would like to make a donation, please consider  giving via text OR using an online method (Simply Giving). You can also mail or drop off a gift in-person* before the end of the year at:
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church 
10021 NE 124th ST
Kirkland, WA 98034

*In person donations dropped off at Holy Spirit must be made by 12:00pm on Dec. 30th.

Thank you!

Long Term Shelter Presentation - Financial Impact

Jason Bendickson

The continuing discussion about possibly selling some of our land for long-term homelessness solution. Today's presentation shows some of the financial impact for Salt House. 

At Salt House, we are in the midst of a kairos moment, a moment of significance, as we prayerfully consider selling a portion of our three acres of land to be developed into a 24-hour shelter for families and for women experiencing homelessness. We need your input. Together, we ask the questions we always ask: What is God saying? What will we do about it? We've listed notes below that were on the screen during last Sunday's presentation. If you have any questions for feedback, please e-mail us at

Here are the slides from the presentation - the last two show financial impact.

Notes from 11/20/2016 Discussion

Observations (detailed notes). Responses.

Vision/mission alignment

General feeling is that this proposal is aligned with our current mission, vision and values.

  • The discussion around the table seem to indicate that this move would align with our mission and vision and values
  • It feels aligned with our values
  • Largely supportive of the idea of selling a portion of our land
  • We believe this aligns with our values, but there are still serious concerns and things to think about in so little time.
  • We need this to align with vision at Salt House.

We need to continue to work on our long-term plan for Salt House, including relationship with Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. We will continue to develop our plan, which includes the evolution of our current physical and financial relationship with our parent congregation. Our goal (agreed with HSLC from the outset) is to move as quickly as possible toward full independence from HSLC.

  • What is our 5 year plan?
  • What is our future independence from Holy Spirit?

Are there alternatives we should consider for land use? Regardless of our decision, we have additional property available for other uses. We would like to continue to explore other uses that are aligned with our mission, vision and values. This at some point could include renovation/expansion of our current building if needed.

  • What else could we do with the land?
  • What else would we use the space for?
  • Do we have room to expand the church if we give up that property?
  • What we would use our land for otherwise didn't preclude the idea of selling it. Namely, Gardening space and updated, open play space, possibly with play structures. I mention that play structures make me a little wary because of insurance. Michelle, chimed in and said that modern play structures are very safe and aren't overly concerning to insurance providers.
  • Playground space (for both Salt House & Shelter)

 Current proposal questions & concerns

The timeline feels rushed/aggressive. The timeline is primarily driven by the urgent need being experienced by those dealing with homelessness (and the dramatic growth in that Eastside population). In addition, we are responding based on current financial commitments by the City and State. We could wait but there is no assurance that the currently designated funds would remain available. If we say yes now, the City and Catholic Community Services would proceed with further design/development work and fund development/fundraising. Construction would be unlikely to begin until late 2017 or early 2018.

  • Timeline seems aggressive
  • What would the City say if we say we are interested, but need more time?
  • Hesitant on the timeline … feels rushed.
  • What happens if we ask to wait? Less of a budget maybe?
  • When will they build, if we say yes now?

We should pursue the alternative NW corner instead of the parsonage parcel. We are working with the City and the architect to pursue the alternative parcel.

  • The idea of moving the parcel to the northwest corner was appealing to everyone.
  • I think it should be on the NW corner
  • Keep the parsonage if possible.
  • What about parking? Can they fix our driveway mountain? Part of development process/funds.
  • Who pays the arborist to cut down the dangerous trees? Part of development process/funds. 

Continued New Bethlehem Project alignment is important. The NBP team will remain a key fundraising partner for this new shelter, as described by the NBP Vision articulated over two years ago. Current thinking is to have the permanent shelter provide both overnight and day center services, which would free up our basement space for alternative Salt House usage (after the 3 year lease is over and the permanent shelter constructed).

  • Will NBP play into the permanent shelter?
  • What will happen to New Bethlehem (3 year lease, a permanent place would fit in perfectly)

Additional details about how the shelter would function.  Single women and families (including any combination of child/ren and adult/s) would be served across a spectrum of needs for emergency shelter and additional services associated with homelessness and poverty. The facility would be open 24/7/365.

  • How would families come & go from the shelter?
  • Who/how would they be served?

What about our neighbors? Part of the further development work would include neighborhood outreach (local/in-person as well as online communities). We have not heard any specific concerns yet but expect there will be a process that will raise issues that will need to be addressed by the development team.

  • What about our other neighbors? Any concerns?
  • How will this impact current renters? Our hope is to continue in the rental relationships we currently have. We are communicating with the renters to make sure no one is surprised by this process or potential outcome.
  • How does the SDA feel about this option?
  • Regarding the parsonage in its current state, that wasn't concern about evicting current renters. I mentioned that I believe our renters are in a position where if they had to find some other place to live, that would be fine. However from my understanding Sol wants to stay there until her youngest is graduated from high school.
  • What does the family in the house feel about having a 24-hour shelter? If not, there would be people interested.
  • What about the parsonage? Does Sol need residence/is relocation an option?


  • How will we use the income? See details provided above
  • How can/will we use the income from the sale of the parcel?
  • How would we offset the money coming from the rental property?
  • What will we do financially, will it stay aligned?
  • Losing income if we kick out the family [in the parsonage]

We need to maximize the value we get from a sale. We are committed to getting fair value for the property; this is necessary given our early stage of community building and limited resources.

  • We need to negotiate the price to make it a ‘yes’ for us.