This week I received notice that I had been nominated as Citizen of the Year for an annual awards banquet hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce. My first response was, “WHAT? Why me?” Then, as I read the letter asking me to answer three further questions about myself, I said, “No way! I’m not going to brag about myself!” However, I was softened by the wise input of my dear wife and some other trusted friends who advised, “Use this as an opportunity to praise God for all the good things HE has done in and through you. It’s not about you, but it IS about giving glory to Jesus.”
So, I submitted to the will of others and started to fill out the form. As I did, I was surprised and awed to recall some of the things the Holy Spirit had accomplished over these past 10 years that I’ve been a part of the Grand Blanc community. I decided it would be fitting to share what I wrote on this blog as a way to give a big THUMBS UP TO JESUS! Jesus is THE source of all that I do and He is THE focal point upon which I wish to direct my gaze and the gaze of everyone I encounter each day. I pray that what I share below will help you better see Jesus and what His love can do as we humbly trust in Him to guide us. To JESUS be all the glory!
Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce – Chairman’s Award Nomination Information
For Citizen of the Year 2018 Nominee, Rev. Dr. Todd A. Biermann of Faith Lutheran Church
- Please elaborate on some of the things you do to help others and your community.
Wrote the award winning book, Handing Out Life, to teach and inspire healthy and rewarding relationships in marriages, families, business associations and all of life.
Speak regularly on the principles of Handing Out Life to small groups, business leaders, employees, community leaders and more.
Regularly travel nationally and internationally to speak and establish programs of care for marriages and families in crisis (Guatemala, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, S. Africa).
Participate regularly in book fairs at Grand Blanc McFarlen Library to speak and provide a print resource for the betterment of our community.
Provide emergency counsel and support as an “on-call” chaplain to hospital and hospice patients and families at Genesys and other area hospitals.
Provide emergency counsel and support for local police and fire personnel and community members in crisis.
Provide emergency counsel and support for students, teachers and staff in the Grand Blanc school system in times of crisis and loss such as at the death of beloved teacher Charlie Carmody and recent suicides.
Assist local funeral homes in caring for families who have no other support as they deal with the death of a loved one, esp. in crisis situations such as suicide and accidental death.
Provide guidance and support to local school officials in student care and long-term planning, esp. through meeting with Superintendent Clarence Garner and Deputy Superintendent Trevor Alward.
Provided leadership training to teachers and staff of the Grand Blanc School system as part of their “Positivity Project” and am in discussion on how to continue such training.
Served on and spoke to the Grand Blanc Character Council to build up moral character in our community.
Working with area non-profit leaders to organize a single Grand Blanc center for assistance of food and clothing to the needy. Currently in talks to establish a charter, raise funds and acquire a building.
Help host and provide counsel to area teens through a basketball program geared toward students who lack family support and opportunity to play elsewhere. In talks with Grand Blanc Township Chief of Police, Wiles, to build a mentorship program between his officers and the teen athletes.
Volunteer with community events such as C of C skeet shooting to support important causes.
Volunteer at the Franklin Avenue Mission on Flint’s east side to feed, counsel and support the destitute members of that impoverished community.
Hosted and opened a debate between candidates for the Grand Blanc City Council.
Hosted and spoke for an event to honor area veterans.
Regularly give blood (several gallons) to the American Red Cross.
Work 60+ hours per week to provide pastoral care and guidance to a congregation of nearly 2000 souls.
- Please explain what drives you to find time to help others. This could be because of past experience, upbringing, an influential friend, etc.
My parents modelled and taught a deep love for my fellow man, esp. those who are impoverished in body or spirit. This concern was fostered through caring teachers and mentors throughout my life. My concern for the well-being of young people grew strong through my work as a summer camp counselor and program director at camps across the U.S. each summer of my 8 years of post-secondary education. A few hours of invested time changed the lives of some of these teens forever. My dear wife, Heather, has continued to be my greatest inspiration and cheerleader for our ongoing efforts together to help others, starting with our own two children and spreading out to everyone we meet.
Of course, the most important inspiration and power for my help to others comes from my deeply held faith in Jesus Christ as the one who first gave me the greatest help of all; forgiveness for sin, freedom from evil and hope for eternal joy with Him. Having received such free blessings through my relationship with Jesus, I cannot help but pass them along in any way possible to everyone possible. This is my greatest desire and joy.
- What additional information would you like us to know about how you have chosen to live your life by giving to others?
Healthy relationships are the key to peace, contentment and joy in all of life. I’m driven to guide everyone around me to such relationships so that they might be free from the devastating power of evil and empowered to live with hope each day now and for eternity. My greatest joy in life is to help one more person receive such lasting blessings that will flow through them to countless others.