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Remembering Robin Williams

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr.

Earlier this week, Robin Williams, one of America’s most beloved comics, died in an apparent suicide.

The shock and sadness expressed over the media accompanied stories of his generosity, influence, and kindness to fellow entertainers, fans, and members of the public.

Williams first appeared on television in the 1970s as a spastic but good-hearted alien trying to find his way on Earth in the sitcom “Mork and Mindy” before moving on to movies. He brought his particular form of energy and genius to hits like “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Aladdin,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” but also seemed as much at home in more sensitive, thoughtful characters in “Patch Adams,” “Dead Poets Society,” and “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar.

Episcopalians are mourning one of the few cultural icons who ‘get’ them. An Episcopalian himself, Williams was well-known for his top list of reasons to be an Episcopalian, listed below. The Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones used the list in his sermon Wednesday.

10. No snake handling. 

9. You can believe in dinosaurs.

8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.

7. You don't have to check your brains at the door. 

6. Pew aerobics.

5. Church year is color-coded.

4. Free wine on Sunday.

3. All of the pageantry - none of the guilt.

2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.

And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:

1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

Millions of people, like Williams, experience depression. If you need to talk to someone, please seek help through a counselor. There are people who care and want to help. If you’re in the New York area, please contact the Psychological and Spirtuality Institute at mindspirit.org or 212.285.0043. If you’re in need of immediate help, call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800.273.TALK (8255).

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