St. Anne's Church

St. Anne's is in the Old Town section of Bay City on Spruce, one block off First. 

St. Anne's isn't strictly Russian Orthodox, although it was built by Russian immigrants in the late 1800s. An imposing structure, it is a mix of rough-cut stone and tilework in a late-Victorian style with one onion dome over the central nave. As Bay City grew over the next century, the Russian population dispersed to other and often better opportunities across the nation. Now, St. Anne's is nominally Russian Orthodox, but the large message sign on the front grounds identifies it as Episcopalian. Both hold services in the old building, with the Orthodox services in the early morning and the Episcopalian at eleven.

Garik Shayk attends regularly, though not often. The 11-block walk to the church is doable for Garik but he doesn't like attending alone. His aunt Irina battles her own private devils, and she figures she doesn't need any of the religious sort to muddy her life any further. 

The church consumes the entire block with a large educational facility, now mostly unused on worship days but rented during the week to Kickstarting Life, Gerry Mandering's after-school program for wayward youth.

To get to St. Anne's from Garik's house, go north two-and-a-half blocks on Maple, then west eight-and-a-half blocks on Avenue A. The church fronts on Spruce, but you can also enter the facility from Avenue A, Banyon, and Avenue B. Avenue A and Spruce provide the best approaches, as the other streets are fronted by the back side of the educational facility, a chainlink-fenced playyard, and a large parking area with 4-foot stone walls and an automatic gate that is locked nights and weekends, except during service times.

Garik's favorite thing about St. Anne's Church is the wood-planked interior lavishly decorated with religious iconography so similar to the church his parents attended in Russia. That and the smell of the old wood floors. When he steps inside, he is transported to his native Russia, back at home with his parents, even if just in his mind.

We first read about St. Anne's in Book 1 of The Human-Hybrid Project, Shattered by Glass.