When the five last members of North Grafton United Methodist Church in Massachusetts voted to close and sell their building four years ago, they had no idea what would happen.
Denominational officers told them, “We’re going to send you a planter,” said Sue Novia, 73, one of the last five at North Grafton UMC. “We thought, ‘What is a planter?’”
But Grafton-area residents are now embracing a fresh style of worship at the three-year-old church plant called Simple Church, a United Methodist congregation where 30 to 40 share the Lord’s Supper every Thursday over dinner. The church is also pioneering a revenue model that puts less strain on parishioners by generating income from a trade -- in this case, bread baking.