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As demonstrated in the companion article “Characterizing Membership Growth and Decline in the Reformed Church in America 2000-2005,” the Eastern synods of the RCA have experienced drastic declines in membership in the last 40 years, a trend that continues to the present time. Specifically, the Eastern Synods of the RCA experienced a 16.3% decline in active membership in the five-year period 2000–2005. The article sought to account for these declines by identifying characteristics of growing and shrinking congregations. It found church size and activity to be among the factors significantly related to stability or growth. Congregations with many members, congregations with higher membership attendance rates at Sunday worship and congregations with higher participation rates in Sunday school suffered little or no decline.
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