Members of the Troy and Warren communities came together for a tree planting and dedication ceremony Oct. 21 to help promote community resources that offer help to those battling addiction.

Members of the Troy and Warren communities came together for a tree planting and dedication ceremony Oct. 21 to help promote community resources that offer help to those battling addiction.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Troy church hosts tree planting to promote help for those struggling with addiction

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published October 27, 2021

 Pastor Susanna Muzzin, of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Warren, leads a prayer when dedicating the newly planted trees on the church’s property.

Pastor Susanna Muzzin, of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Warren, leads a prayer when dedicating the newly planted trees on the church’s property.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

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TROY — The Troy Community Coalition for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse is working to get the word out about the dangers of substance abuse and how there are resources available for those who need help.

They commemorated this mission Oct. 21 alongside one of their local partners, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church of Warren, with a tree planting.

“We have partnered with Amazing Grace on many occasions,” said Nancy Morrison, the executive director of the coalition. “They have brought us in to educate the parishioners, so we have a venue here, and we’ve done presentations on vaping, marijuana and opioid use and abuse. We started our partnership in 2018, and we like to collaborate with other organizations throughout Oakland County, which makes us stronger and helps us get our message out.”

Susanna Muzzin, the pastor of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, said that a tree is the perfect symbol for what they and the coalition are hoping to do in the community.

“It’s a sign of hope, especially as we come out of the pandemic,” she explained. “Life is going on and God’s love is abundant and we still have work to do in the community. This is a welcoming community, and trees offer welcome. They offer shade, they offer beauty and they are a sign of renewal. Each year, they shed their leaves and then they spring forth again. They provide life for birds and animals, they provide oxygen, and they are a good sign of what we are working on alongside the Troy Community Coalition.”

The tree planting was the result of the generosity and hard work of several people in the community.

“One of our members had a tree she hoped to transplant here as a sign of our partnership and of the good work we are doing together, but it was too large to move,” said Muzzin. “The Owen Tree Service volunteered to donate a tree and helped plant it along with the Boy Scouts.”

Kerry Lark, an arborist with Owen Tree Service, said they were happy to lend a hand, especially after the first idea the church had didn’t pan out.

“I was looking into helping the church transplant a tree here to their property. That wasn’t feasible, so I decided to donate a tree,” said Lark. “It was nice to plant a tree for the future and work with the Boy Scouts to make this possible.”

Bob Arsenault, the chartered organization representative for Boy Scouts Troop 1930, said this is the latest project in the last 10 years where he and his fellow Scout leaders have been happy to offer assistance with the Amazing Grace church.

“When Warren Consolidated Schools weren’t allowing groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to meet in their buildings because of budget cuts, we needed to look for a new home. We checked several places out and we contacted the church, and they were looking to do some community outreach, and it was just the right match at the right time,” Arsenault said. “We’ve been here about 10 years now, and we’re happy to help with cleanups and church activities. … To be of service was good. We like pitching in when the church needs a hand.”

Morrison hopes that this will help her organization promote their mission of educating the public and offering help to people who often see their situation as hopeless.

“Prevention works,” she remarked. “We need to educate people on substance abuse so they can make an educated choice on whether to use or not,” she said. “Education is key. For instance, a lot of our youth are not educated on vaping. A lot of people think it is harmless, when it could actually do great harm to a person’s lungs.”

Muzzin agreed and said that substance abuse is so prevalent, it is a message everyone needs to hear.

“I think that a number of us at the church have had issues in our families with people who have struggled with drugs and alcohol,” she said. “We have realized that as these matters have been talked about more publicly, that most people have been touched by this issue in some way. It’s an epidemic facing our nation and our community, and they work to provide hope, counseling and education to people.”

Morrison said there are numerous ways people can seek out help. For those in the Troy and Warren area, contacting the coalition is a great way to start.

“If people are dealing with addiction, they can start by calling us at the Community Coalition at (248) 823-5088,” she said. “We can direct them to resources and other avenues of assistance.”

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