As Mother’s Day approaches (mark your calendars – it’s May 9), pay tribute to your mom with a video on Beliefnet. Tell us how YOUR mother inspires YOU, and your story could be featured on Beliefnet for the holiday.
Here’s how: 1. Not yet a member of Beliefnet Community? Click here to create your account.
2. Get in front of a video camera or webcam and record your thoughts on your mother’s impact on your life. What life lessons did she teach you? In what ways are you most like her? Did she encourage you to reach for a specific goal? Tell us why you’re celebrating mom on Mother’s Day.
3. Once you’ve created your video, post it to your Beliefnet profile. On your profile page, click “Video” in the left-hand navigation, then choose “Upload Video.” Once you’ve uploaded your file, please title it “Mother’s Day Tribute.”
If you’re camera shy, there are plenty of other ways to show your love for mom on Beliefnet. Try writing a journal post about what she means to you, or post photos of the two of you together. Check out these great photos of members and their moms.
We welcome Mother’s Day celebrations of many different types of relationships—if you have a grandmother, child, or special teacher or friend who inspired you, please share!
We look forward to watching your videos. Be sure to check back closer to Mother’s Day to see if your video is featured on Beliefnet.
Even though Jews celebrate the Jewish New Year on Rosh Hashanah, Passover (which starts next week!) is still a time of renewal. As a child, I was always taught that Jews place an egg on the seder plate as a symbol of renewal and rebirth, but a little research reveals the more traditional reason is because the egg is a sign of mourning over the destruction of the Temple. Does anyone know more about the reasons for the egg, or the connection between Passover and renewal?
Either way, I'll be thinking about renewal during my seders next week. It is especially a season of renewal and change for my family, since we are likely moving to a new apartment in the next few weeks.
If you want to share your own personal story of renewal and transformation, be sure to enter our spring writing contest. You can find out more details here. And check out the entries wherever you see this banner throughout the site:
For many neighborhoods across the country, this winter has been snowier than usual. When it's snowing or too icy to go to school or to work, what do you do? Make snow angels? Sled or snow ball fight in your neighborhood? What are your snow day must-haves?
We invite you to share the ways winter inspires you by posting photos of YOUR favorite winter activities and places, from scenes of snowman-building children to snow-dappled backyards and forests.
Enter our "Winter Wonderland" photo contest for your chance to have your photos featured on Beliefnet!
Thank you to everyone who voted in our Member of the Year for 2009 poll. You selected RevDorris as the winner--he received a whopping 43% of the vote.
RevDorris, based in Homestead, Florida, has been a Beliefnet member since about 2004. "I joined because it was one of the few sites that welcomed people from every religion," he told us. "It gave a way for everybody to share their views."
A Unitarian who affiliates with the American Unitarian Conference, ReVDorris has had a varied and interesting religious journey. He was raised Baptist in a family of many Baptist ministers. He is an ordained metaphysical minister. RevDorris met his wife in Southeast Asia, where he was introduced to Buddhism. He finally found his spiritual home in Unitarianism in 1991.
RevDorris frequents many areas of Beliefnet Community. He is an active journaler, posting inspirational and poetic entries several times a week. He also hosts the Unitarian Community group, which boasts more than 300 members and serves as a meeting place for Unitarians and a resource where people not familiar with Unitarianism can ask questions about the faith. RevDorris notes that he frequently gets questions from people who are introduced to Unitarianism through Beliefnet's Belief-o-Matic quiz. He also posts frequently in the forums, mostly in the Unitarian boards.
RevDorris attributes the popularity of his journals and his group to his message. "The message I try to get out is positive," he says. "I try to let people know there's more to life than suffering and pain. I think it gives people a way of having hope in the future vs. people arguing back and forth that 'my God is better than your God.'"
We'll keep the poll open till 6 pm Eastern on January 4 and then announce the final winner on January 5. Please read about the finalists below and then cast your vote!
And the finalists are:
Justme333 – Justme333 has been an active member of Beliefnet since 2002. In that time, she has made many close friends among the Beliefnet community, some of whom she has met in person. In her dedication to helping the community, Justme333 has volunteered to help out where it's needed most, even when it's tough, such as moderating debates about Christianity or even abortion, earning the respect of all. She brings out the best in people around her.
Lapatosu –This "treasure" is known for giving wise advice to those who struggle with depression. Member Karbie writes that Lapatosu "not only spends a lot of her time trying to help all of us at the Depression forum out, she's doing it with an ill husband. the fact that she can keep track of what is going with each of us is amazing and you can tell she has really considered things that could be of help before she posts.."
catboxer – This member writes on political and social issues while (respectfully) challenging others in their own views. "Catboxer is another member who demonstrates an impressive grasp on history and how patterns continue to repeat themselves in his commentaries on politics," writes Agnosticspirit.
Merope – Several members nominated Merope for her moderating skill, respect for other members, and positivity about the community. She moderates several discussion forums, including the popular Hot Topics Zone. As Justme333 explains, "she is more than an inspirational poster - she is a great host and a wonderful *go to* person."
RevDorris – RevDorris has inspired many Beliefnet readers with his frequent journal postings and posts in the Unitarian forums. His journal posts, which have quite a following in the community, encourage readers to do the best they can and be happy with themselves, and include his original poetry.
Dondiegodelaveva – Dondiego, leader of the Christian Theology & Apologetics study group, was nominated because "his topics, assertions, questions, and brain teasers have helped me to equip myself even more so with Biblical and historical accounts as to why I believe...He has an extraordinary gift in producing such thought-provoking material."
Thereseamarie – From her home in Vienna, Austria, Theresamarie started the Guardian Angels group to spread joy to other Beliefnet members. She is active in the forums, journals frequently, and posts dozens of terrific photos. Member lizcog nominated her for “her uplifting words and her thoughtful voice reaches out to the community through many journals and forum posts.”
Stardove – Longtime member Stardove is described as "the quintessential hostess and Beliefnet member. She is the go-to person for everybody. She solves all our Beliefnet problems as well as throws in a tremendous amount [of] internet-savvy into many, many, many posts."
Agnosticspirit – This active member, known for her "grace under pressure," keeps busy by co-hosting the U.S. News and Politics forum. Along with her fellow hosts, she does an "incredible job of keeping that very contentious board running smooth...fairly, without taking sides, and with a generous dose of good humor," according to Mlyons619.
Oddray - Nominated by Isbutch, Oddray is singled out because “she is strong, wise, and loving; always [with] a friendly attitude...In the group [Being Oneself], she has been there consistently supporting fellow members and is the glue that seems to hold this group together.” Her many photos have also entertained thousands of Beliefnet readers.
Thank you to everyone who entered our "Happiest Places" Photo Contest. We received many terrific entries. Take a look at all the great entrants below. We narrowed down the excellent entries to four great galleries with terrific photos and great captions explaining why those places make them happy. Please visit the poll on the Beliefnet Community homepage to vote for the final winner among these four.
The top four photo galleries:
-Mushcat: Gorgeous photos of towns in Maine and all their natural splendor
-Luckychrmz_70: Great personal photos of flowers, furry friends, and more
-Tinabelle: Places that inspire, from Disney to an abandoned train track
-Mountaintop: Venture to the top of the world with these hiking photos
What are the places in your life that make you happiest? Your front porch? Your bedroom? The beach? A favorite cafe in Paris? We invite you to share photos of YOUR favorite places, from small secret nooks to vast open spaces like beaches and parks.
Enter "The Places That Make Me Happy" Photo Contest now for your chance to have your photos featured on Beliefnet!
We will soon introduce a new feature on Beliefnet Community enabling you to send quick greetings to one another. These are similar to "winks" or "pokes" that you may have seen on other sites; the idea behind it is to offer you a quick and easy way to let another member know you are thinking of them or supporting them, without you needing to write a long message.
We have a few options for what type of greeting this will be and need to choose one of three possibilities. Please vote in our poll below to share your opinion. Don't like any of these options? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below. Thank you for your help!
Congratulations to Jesmith, winner of Beliefnet's summer blogging contest! In his blog, Jesmith shares his reflections on the wide world of religion and spiritual living through a thoughtful and literary lens. He intersperses insightful writing with funny video, poetry, and thought-provoking quotes. Although this member identifies as a Christian, his blog is informed by many traditions, from Buddhism to Jungian psychology to Hindu texts, and more.