It appears LCG and UCG held a diplomatic summit this past week, Banned by HWA! reports. While they claim no merger was discussed, due to Roderick Meredith’s health issues and the talk of a possible schism within LCG following his death, it’s easy to fathom UCG is looking at the future wayward sheep of LCG as a possible means of replenishing their numbers after the COGWA split.
When Dennis Luker walked around LCG’s Charlotte HQ, it’s not hard to imagine he was mentally measuring the drapes, because if UCG can’t persuade their reluctant membership to fork over another $2.5 million for a Home Office upgrade, why not just absorb another church, buildings and all?
This isn’t completely blatant speculation. For years, surrounding the rumors of Meredith’s eventual demise, UCG members have been hoping to unite with LCG since they are somehow viewed as being “spiritually closer” to UCG than other COG cults. However, that’s a perplexing claim, since LCG is far more tyrannical and “conservative” than UCG from a leadership standpoint and was forged around Meredith’s personality cult. But, after UCG lost Dale Schurter to RCG, perhaps they’re looking for ways to appease their remaining loony hardliners to head-off another pending schism? Schurter complained in his resignation letter about UCG’s broken promise to try consolidating all COG cults under one banner, so maybe they’re afraid that will become a common sentiment?
Whatever tonal differences exist between the cults, their leadership all speaks the same language of money and power, and if both can be secured for the powers-that-be on each side, there’s little that could stand in the way of a merger after Meredith’s passing.
As the end of this age draws near, it seems more appropriate than ever that God’s people, wherever they may reside, support one another in fulfilling the commission Jesus Christ gave us. With this in the forefront of our minds, representatives of the of the United Church of God, an International Association, met with the leadership of the Living Church of God at Living’s Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, on January 9-10 for a two-day visit.
The purpose of the visit was to rekindle friendships and discuss ways to cooperate in serving God’s people. The meetings were cordial and positive and included an open and frank discussion about those things that we have in common, and some of our differences, including church government and the way each Church is organized. We also discussed our different strategies for preaching the gospel in this modern age. There was no discussion of any type of merger.
Discussions about areas of cooperation within the greater Church of God community included humanitarian concerns, disaster relief and other unforeseen events where we can help our members meet critical needs by supporting and loving one another as Jesus commanded. Cooperation could also include helping members who have difficulty getting time off for the Sabbath and Holy Days, and other legal matters that affect both organizations. It was agreed that open communication between Church of God organizations will become more important as world events move towards their ultimate prophetic fulfillment.
Those in attendance at the meetings in Charlotte on behalf of the Living Church of God were Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, Mr. Richard Ames and Dr. Douglas Winnail. Those who traveled from Cincinnati for the United Church of God were Mr. Dennis Luker, Mr. Victor Kubik and Mr. Peter Eddington. Mr. Luker commented that the Cincinnati team felt most welcome and were treated very warmly. In addition to the meetings, the UCG visitors were given a full tour of the Living Church of God headquarters and adjacent media center.
In related news, LCG’s Northeast congregation posted a prayer request for Sheryl Meredith, the wife of its leader Roderick Meredith.
The cancer epidemic that has swept through the church has been horrifically tragic and has claimed countless people before their time. It has been a lingering constant among church families and ministers’ spouses for decades, vastly over-proportional to the COG’s size.
That first generation of COG members is fading rapidly. Various major diseases have started eating away at many of the second generation members as well. Cancer is a horrible disease, and on a personal note, there are those of us here at Silenced who realize the tremendous agony and difficulty it inflicts upon its victims and their families.
We wish Mrs. Meredith the very best in this tough time. We know Roderick Meredith’s health is also in severe decline and he lost his first wife, Margie, to cancer as well.
Your prayers are requested for Mrs. Sheryl Meredith, wife of Mr. Meredith, who has been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer throughout her liver and other parts of the stomach region. I’m sure that official word will be coming this week in the World Ahead Weekly Update, perhaps including more detail.
Please remember her and the Meredith family!
The aging membership has been decimated by health difficulties in recent years, and if UCG and LCG continue to shrink as they have, they may be forced to come together at some point just to survive as organizations. This would be quite a different pattern than the continuous series of splits that have characterized the COG since 1995 and slightly earlier.
It should also be noted if LCG and UCG are to someday merge, UCG’s threat of experiencing a congregational shoot-out rises exponentially.