We'd been at Grace Church in SLO for like 10 years, ever since the beginning of our respective freshman years at college. We knew lots of people there, some who we'd known ever since we first started attending, and lots of friends we'd gotten to know since having kids together. We were involved, it was comfortable. It is really weird (and sad) to leave a church like that! In some ways we felt that we weren't necessarily a great fit there anymore, but it is an excellent church, and it was home, and there were so many amazing people there, and the teaching was solid.
I randomly found this church in Denver long before we even moved, called City Presbyterian. We had at some point been impacted by some of Tim Keller's teachings (and I always think of Troy when I think of Tim Keller!) about Christians doing God's work in the city, and were amazed by how much love this church was pouring into Denver. We went there last August and it was nice and small, the teaching was all about the Gospel, people were nice. Anyway this is where we've been going since we got here.
It's been such a huge paradigm shift for me personally (Kevin too, but he grew up in a Lutheran church, so less-so for him.) The way the service is run, the way church life goes, it's different from any church I'd ever been to. Not bad, just different! It is taking some getting used to (I've never attended a church where the pastor wears robes for example, where infants are baptized, or where communion is real wine and they have alcohol at church events--no Baptist influence here apparently!), but I find myself eagerly looking forward to our Sunday mornings there. I love their values and desire to love and help the broken.
One of the big changes is that they have family worship time. The children come with you to the service, are there through the singing and some of the liturgy (also something new for me), and then leave with their teachers to go Children's Church. They're there during the sermon, then come back right before (weekly) communion. Everyone goes forward for communion, then the pastor prays for your kids up front if you want them to.
It's taken our little crew a few weeks to get into this groove. But we LOVE it! I love that my kids are in the service with us, and see that we take communion and that they are prayed for. I love that last week they were in the service to see someone be baptized (also my first non-immersion baptism I've ever witnessed.) SO, while it has taken some work, stern talkings-to, and some giving out of consequences like not allowing the kids to have a fun snack during the snack-time (oh the horrors!), they were excellent last week, so things are improving.
I'm sure we'll try out another church or two (one of which is the church a friend goes to), and we're not for sure settled there or anything, but for now we are enjoying City Presbyterian. They meet downtown on a college campus, right across from Invesco Field and the Pepsi Center. (They're currently a PCA church, but about to switch denominations to the RCA or something.)
And it's less than 10 MINUTES from our house...no more 35 minute drive to church. Now THAT is nice!