Rev. Edward Balfour of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, tendered his resignation from the LCMS Board of Directors in a March 13 letter to Board Chairman Donald Muchow.
The process is under way to fill the resulting vacancy on the Board. Balfour, 61, did not cite any one particular reason for his resignation — either in the letter or when Reporter contacted him by phone later.
However, in his letter, he wrote of his service on the Board, stating it “has not always been an easy or enjoyable task, but it certainly served to help me have a greater understanding of the responsibility of service beyond the local congregation. I pray that the Board of Directors will consider my service to have been one that placed my duty above self interests.”
He also wrote that “after much prayer, the course I must take has become evident. I have been the called servant [pastor] of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Maine for the past 18 years. At this time, due to health concerns, I believe that I must focus on serving that call.” Redeemer is in Gorham, Maine.
Balfour’s letter also mentioned his feelings on serving in the Synod, in light of his unique background.
“Only God could imagine that an Orthodox Jew, born in New Orleans, La., would serve in this position in a denomination that places its faith in the New Covenant in Christ’s blood,” he wrote. “I am truly humbled to have been a part of a Board that is governed not only by laws of the state, but one that holds as its ultimate standard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Board of Directors selected Balfour in 2001 to fill a vacancy in its membership. Delegates to the 2004 Synod convention then elected him to a six-year term on the Board.
Synod Secretary Raymond Hartwig laid out the process for filling the Board vacancy that comes with Balfour’s resignation.
“The vacancy … will be filled using the process outlined in Synod Bylaw 3.2.5,” Hartwig wrote in an e-mail to Reporter. “Names of nominees are being gathered from the Board of Directors, the president of the Synod, and district boards of directors. The slate of candidates from the 2007 convention will also be taken into consideration. A committee of the 2007 Committee for Convention Nominations will reduce the list of nominees to three to five candidates and forward the list to the Board of Directors for the filling of the vacancy.”
Hartwig said that the bylaw allows 90 days for gathering names of nominees, and that the position will be filled no earlier than the Board’s meeting scheduled for Aug. 21-23.
Posted May 8, 2008