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

Crowfuzz and Kay404, the hosts of the Shamanism community, and a nod to Adastra
Crowfuzz labours in some of the less travelled corners of this wonderful site. She has been a pillar of the Heathen community here at Bnet for as long as I can remember (four or five years, this is my second name here.) Despite health problems of her own, she is always willing to put her time and effort into her hosting duties and is a major factor in the general frith enjoyed by those who come by the Heathen boards. --FródiHárson
Adastra and Kay404 were very helpful in my introduction to Shamanism. Both of them made me feel most welcome. --reinersue
Crowfuzz is a constant inspiration, with her love, courage, dedication to supporting these boards as places of spiritual growth and sharing, and by the depth of her connection with the spirits. --Adastra
Adastra for her wit, enthusiasm and community spirit. She is also a wonderful host. --smoothsable

Danman916 is an awesome person. Not only has he been the voice of reason on the Catholicism boards for many years, but he and his lovely wife recently adopted a beautiful little orphaned baby. There are people who talk a lot, and then there are people like Dan who walk the talk. --Ceteris-Paribus
He has been a very good, common sense voice to me. --IHOP

JoAllison is always constant in her love and support and a role model to those of us who are facing illness and need to be reminded that there is still life and much happiness. --clovesg
Jo Allison has certainly been an inspiration to those of us on the Being Single board, as well as other boards and dialogue groups. She has had more than her share of difficulties this year, and has continued to "shine" through it all. --frankieestep
JoAllison for her intelligence and caring, also in the face of much adversity. She has reached out to many many here, and always seems to have room in her heart to help more, even when she herself is hurting. --ArnieBeeGut

Click here to see the complete list of nominees.

Get to know these, and other inspiring members in Beliefnet Discussions.

Even if you have never posted online before, give it a try! You may be surprised at the warmth of our community. Member dorothysweeney says, "I had an outpouring of love and comfort from so many wonderful people-total strangers-some of whom I now call my keeper friends. This whole site is my God-send.

I meet new and wonderful people here almost on a daily basis." Member softsilk adds, "I too daily find so much to be grateful for when I visit... so many people here are open and welcoming and the collection together means wisdom AND helpful advice is in just about every niche and cranny." judymae1401 agrees: "This site gives me a purpose. It has helped me grow spiritually every day. And I hope in helping me grow I can also help others do the same. Everyone I interact with, in my opinion, has done something for me."

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