Troy Police Department Launches “Hope Not Handcuffs” - a Families Against Narcotics’ Addiction Recovery Initiative
Anyone seeking help in the fight of drug or alcohol addiction may come to the Troy Police Department 24/7 365 and ask for the Hope Not Handcuff program. They will be treated with compassion and respect. A call will be made to an “Angel” volunteer from the Hope Not Handcuff staff who will actively seek out an individually tailored treatment plan. Individuals suffering from addiction will instantly gain an advocate and a network of resources designed to lead them to success. Hope Not Handcuffs is a proactive approach to reach out to people struggling with drug addiction to encourage them to seek recovery and regain control of their lives.
Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative started by Families Against Narcotics (FAN), aimed at bringing law enforcement, community organizations and volunteers together to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce dependency with any substance including heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol.
Since its inception, HNH has expanded to include over 40 police departments in five counties and has successfully connected more than 900 participants with the resources and treatment they need and deserve. Learn more at
Leslie Masters, a longtime member of Northminster is a well-known Detroit-area artist who also teaches painting and color theory at the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center. A piece of her work hangs in the back of our sanctuary. Leslie has also written a book entitled "How to Paint a Rainbow".
She will have a retrospective of her painting,“50 Years,” at the BBAC March 9 - April 19. The opening reception will be Friday, March 9, from 6 - 8:00 pm. Hours of the show are M-Th 9:00 - 6:00, Fri-Sat 9:00 - 5:00. This is a wonderful opportunity to see her work over the years and also to catch up on what she has been doing with her art since she left the church.
See more about the center at bbartcenter.org/exhibitions
As members of the Handbell Musicians of America, the Northminster Bells will be joining many other handbell musician groups from the Midwest for a weekend of education, fellowship and music at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island in April. They will be under direction of guest conductor Fred Gramann.
This sounds like a wonderful time!
Deacons would like people to know of a few projects that Deacons undertake each year: One is sending cards to our members for illness, sympathy, “thinking of you” or special and significant birthdays. They are then put out to be signed by as many people attending that Sunday as possible before being mailed. Those cards are kept in a small rolling plastic cart back by the ushers’ table where bulletins are handed out. Whenever we are aware of a need for a card, we’ll put it out and announce it.
However, we want everyone to know that you too, are welcome to put out a card for signing and to mention it (or ask Pastor Neeta to) during announcement time. If you take that on, please take it after church and mail it for all of us.
Another project is to provide support through driving, taking meals or doing simple tasks (such as picking up something from the store) for our congregation, after an illness or surgery or dealing with any family crisis. While we know it’s perhaps not comfortable asking for help, we actually really appreciate it when told so that we can set those things up and enable our members to help in some small way. If we’re told by a friend, we would, of course, connect with the individual before doing anything. The people to contact would be Pastor Neeta, or Deacons Gary Pocisk or Ann Cole.
And finally, Deacons are the group responsible for organizing the Northminster Caring Community. This project matches people with others in our congregation who can provide services or support in non-crises situations. Tasks our congregation have undertaken to help one another might be picking someone up for a meeting or group lunch, installing a computer, doing a small household repair, running an errand etc. In addition to helping facilitate such support, another goal of NCC is to track those volunteering tasks and hours spent by our community. Please contact Clay Dobrovolec or Ken Smits if any support or help is needed, or to report something you might have done for others so it’s noted.
During Lent, Northminster members and friends will be asked to participate in a different type of Lenten discipline. This discipline will be taking a Congregational Survey. This is the initial step in the Self Study process.
This survey is designed to access who we are as a congregation. It will identify aspects of Northminster’s culture and the church’s energy and satisfaction levels. This information is significant as we begin the Self Study – knowing who we are provides us with insight for moving forward into a new future.
In mid-February, letters will be sent inviting members and friends to participate in the survey and sharing the specifics of the process. This is a survey that is designed to be taken on-line; however, paper copies will be available for those who do not have internet or are not comfortable taking it on-line. Emails will be sent the last week of February providing the on-line link to the survey. The survey will be available on-line and in paper form from March 1 through March 25.
The Session encourages all those invited to take this short survey so that Northminster can learn more about itself and its ministry. If you have questions about this survey, please contact a member of the Planning Team: Martha Babcock, Larry Sweet, Sarah Wright, Pastor Nichols.
Northminster folks, through their generous donations to Alternative Gifts International (AGI), helped support Eco-homes, programs to feed the hungry and house the homeless, and provide dental care in the U.S.
Throughout the rest of the world, support will be given to help child soldiers, victims of human trafficking, those needing medical care, refugees fleeing violence, books and other teaching supplies or staff, food and water and so much more!
The total donated to AGI was $1,294. Another $25 was donated to Troy People Concerned to help those in our own community.
Baby Basics Ministry of Troy
Thank you to all who supported Baby Basics through the Northminster Alternative Giving Opportunities (NAGO), as well as those who perhaps donated diapers or other items to benefit our families. We also had 4 Northminster members who donated time to buy & bundle or distribute diapers all year, and 3 members who serve on the Board.
A wonderfully generous donation made in January will enable us to soon add more babies on our waiting list!
A recent program in which we showed a film and followed with discussion, about a shooting at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek WI, was very well attended – 70+ people! The program was co-sponsored by TIG affiliated organizations: Troy Area Alliance Against Crimes, Troy Police Dept, and Know Your Neighbor Daily (KYND) and the hope is that we can schedule follow-up programs on what we can do individually and as a community to combat bias and hate crimes.
A disturbing statistic from the Troy Police is that they were called to respond 35,000 times (no typo!) in 2017 to incidents regarding negative comments or voiced threats based on racial, religious or sexual orientation bias, so we have a long way to go even in our town deemed one of the “safest in the country”!
The next TIG program will be an opportunity to learn more about the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, commonly called Mormon faith. The history, traditions, outreach efforts and some of the unique perspectives of this Christian faith will be explored.
The meeting will be 7:00 pm at the Troy LDS Meetinghouse, 2784 Square Lake Rd. in Troy on Tuesday February 6 (Meetinghouse isn’t open Mondays).
KYND will host a night with Dr. Michelle Johnson, who will explore the times and experiences in Michigan and the Caribbean countries that were the center of Black culture. She will discuss how these connections contributed to the philosophy and efforts of Malcolm X. This presentation will be at the Troy Public Library Wed. Jan. 31 from 7-8:30 pm. This will be followed up by a discussion of the book written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, X: A Novel. That event will be Thur. Feb. 22 7-8:30 pm at the Troy Community Center.
Building and Grounds members met with DTE for an energy audit at the church in late January and gave energy efficiency recommendations for us to consider for our older building. They were able to provide some free LED bulbs to replace our old fluorescents.
We continue to monitor any water leaks in the building and fill salt containers by entry doors for safety.