When Debbie Wieland enters the sanctuary of Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church on New Year's Day, she hopes an item she places on a table by the altar will finally leave her pastor speechless.
If hers doesn't work, the charter member of the Eustis church hopes the 15 to 20 other things placed around it baffle and befuddle the Rev. Dr. Woody Volland into stunned silence.
Welcome to Epiphany's entertaining and adored annual "Stump the Pastor" service during which members bring in an eclectic cache of their Christmas gifts, which Volland must then use to make up an impromptu sermon.
"It's always the Sunday after Christmas and it is always a riot to watch," said Wieland, a pharmaceutical buyer who serves as worship assistant to Volland. "Everyone tries to bring in something that will stump him, but he always manages to pull it off somehow."