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Summer 2009 | Volume 32, Number 2 | From the Editor

So, What’s the Good News?

Response Editor Jennifer Johnson GilnettI used to visit a neighborhood store so often that the clerk and I knew each other by name. He would always greet me with the same cheerful question: “So, Jennifer, what’s the good news?”

At first, his query flustered me. Was it a rhetorical question? No, he was genuinely interested. There were days when I felt as if I didn’t have any good news to report, but before long it became a kind of discipline for me to relate something positive about my day to this casual acquaintance. His question prompted me to stop and take note of blessings in my life.

Nowadays, when I listen to what feels like a steady drip of bad news — about the economy and so many other serious world problems — I find myself asking the TV, the radio, the computer: “So, what’s the good news?” I don’t want to be naïve or uninformed, but I know there are inspiring things happening in my city and around the globe, and I’d like to hear about them along with the more sobering news.

I’m not the only person in search of good news. If you Google “good news,” you’ll find websites and blogs dedicated to filling the good-news void. A colleague first called my attention to sites such as Good News Network, Good News Daily, and Good News Blog. Recent headlines included “Getting Back on Course: Golf Pro Serves Wounded Veterans” and “iPhone App Suggests Doing One Good Thing Daily.” Reading about local heroes, teachers, international charity, kids, and prayer does tend to reframe your perspective on the world.

In this issue of Response, we, too, look for the positive lessons and experiences that may be available to us in troubling economic times. We do this with the assistance of alumni who offer us a glimpse into their own lives: Jennifer Cooley Perrow ’90, Jeff Keenan ’83, Stacy Patterson Cleveland ’97, Rick Reynolds ’75, Jeffrey Overstreet ’94, and others. We also benefit from the expertise of faculty members Douglas Downing, John Medina, and Richard Steele, as well as renowned Yale economist and Downtown Business Breakfast speaker Robert Shiller.

Of course, for Christians, “the good news,” or “gospel,” means much more than upbeat stories. It is the message that, no matter what our circumstances, we have been given a transformed — not just reframed — perspective on life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No amount of bad news can eclipse the joyful news at the heart of the Christian story.

So, what’s relevant about this news in these times? It reminds us of what it is that truly makes us rich.