Every community has leaders and heroes-and the same is true for virtual communities like Beliefnet. Some are admired for their lives away from Beliefnet; some for their kindness to other members; and others for an ability to explore challenging issues respectfully. We asked our community to tell us which members especially inspired them. Here is what they had to say. We invite you to meet these inspiring people, and offer our appreciation to all.

Hatman: We could all walk in the light he leaves in his wake, even at midnight in the darkest place. --Ithilien
TRUE to his faith, to scripture, to Christianity in a way that exemplifies LOVE and understanding... showing that faith is a heart exercise, not a dogma exercise. --lindaen
Hatman offers unconditional support and advice "with good will to all" and clearly means it. --flowupstream
We disagree on political positions, but this is a man who truly lives as Christ taught us. Hatman has participated in so many threads and conversations that it is difficult to imagine that anyone at Beliefnet has not encountered him, and more importantly, everyone who knows him has received some good from him, whether a kind word, an explanation of an opinion, or affirmation that they matter. Hatman is a role model for Beliefnet members, even those who disagree with him on a point or two of opinion. --SecondSonOfDavid

Greling: That guy's going to help change the world someday. --kali_maa713
He is a natural leader and will grow into his role. I will be there to support him. --darcamani
An impressively intelligent young man, an eloquent writer and a proven critical thinker. --Total_Top
Not only are his posts forthright, honest and intelligent, he confronts bigotry and homophobia with grace. If greling is representative of his generation... then we have nothing to fear. The world is going into far better hands than the hands it is in now. --robinsgarret
Greling continues to inspire me that the ones to whom we elders are passing the torch will exceed us. --Bette-the-Red

Dorothysweeney has been thru a lot this past year, yet has still been able to help others thru their struggles with common sense advise and sensitivity to their grieving, while she is still grieving for the loss of her two grandchildren. --Roaming2736
An excellent woman with kind, caring heart who has brought so much inspiration to Beliefnet. --hlharper01
She's been practically to hell & back but still finds it in herself to offer inspiration & kindness to other posters. Awe inspiring. --Karaka
I have quietly read your posts, and am touched by your sincerity and strength. You are an inspiration. Just reading your posts gives many hope for their tomorrows. --igili

Who else was nominated?

The members of the Grief Support group After the loss of a child: These women have found a way, through their own grief, to turn suffering to good by offering support to other women struggling with the loss of a child. --SaraNDipitty
When you give, you get, then it starts to make a little bright spot inside you that will remind you of that beautiful child that you were so blessed with. --cdkelley
Know that you will be prayed for and cared about in this home that grief has built. Come often and take what you need. We are a family of women who will cry and laugh and get angry and just sit with you throughout the coming days. We have all walked in your shoes and although there are varying ways that death has come to our lives, he did come to each of us. For some, he has come to often, but even once is more than is bearable at times. I am still fairly new here and I have been made to feel like a long lost friend who has come home. --deblinton

Bjornagain1 inspires me by her determination to not let adversities crush her. She is able to find humor in the worst of scenarios and is always quick to offer comfort and help to fellow board members. She is able to gracefully express her beliefs without attempting to marginalize other beliefs or other posters. --justme333
Bjornagain continues to be the most supportive and generous regular on the CD board, despite physical maladies that would hurl me into a bitter depression. Even a dour skeptic such as myself can feel the radiation of her spirit, and she is a shining example of what's good about Christianity. She is a constant inspiration to anyone who encounters her posts. --ThirdPersonPlural
She is a true gem, and has such a huge heart, and a beautiful sense of humor.

I just ADORE her. --rwest7777
She mothers the world, cares about everyone, and will reach out no matter what--and that's something we all need more inspiration to do. --Ithilien
Bjornagain makes me laugh and cry and giggle. How such a warm soul shines through cold words amazes me. --Bette-the-Red