St. Stephen’s is excited to announce the arrival of interim pastor Sujanna Raj. Her infectious smile and easy going personality have already impressed many in our church. When asked about her journey in faith she offered this account…
When God calls, he qualifies the call. Sometimes it takes many years to discern the call or takes a moment to get started. My call as Rev./ Pastor Sujanna started in 2001 – I’m an Episcopally ordained minister for over 19 years.
Since my childhood, I had a strong desire to serve the poor and the needy. My father worked for human resources development ministry where his work involved empowering the oppressed communities of the society. I have always been consciously aware of the atrocities happening around me. It is in me or the gene from my parents made to actively engage, reflect and bring awareness through programs and training.
Being a pastor made things possible to meet the needs of the people; uplift them spiritually, support them economically and socially through generating the schemes of the govt and church support.
Women pastors are few in India. I was given opportunities to represent the status of women in church and society globally. In 2010, I came to the US to address a general council of world reformed churches of America. I represented the World Council of Churches in Romania and Geneva (WCC). In 2012 I did my Masters in Theological Studies at Eden Seminary.
After my Masters, I became extensively engaged with the multi-denominations church services, liturgy and worship. It was a great and unique learning experience from different traditions, perspectives, and diversities. I have been helping Advent, St. Luke’s and Good Shepherd Episcopal churches for some time.
In 2017, my husband Rev. Clive and I started an Indian church – Faith Christian Church of India (FCCI), which is duly recognized by the Episcopal diocese as a mission church. We are blessed with a son, Cavin, who is a senior and music director of our FCCI Church. We do a lot of outreach programs through this church. I always believe God has a strong purpose in getting me here from India. I am leaving 99 sheep behind but I’m here for one lost sheep – and the mission for the lost continues in my journey wherever I am sent.
Some journeys are short and sweet, some journeys are adventurous and heroic. My journey is weird with unexpected twists and turns. My joy is seeing the face of God in hopeless and helpless people, I draw great joy and strength from serving such people, seeking the lost.
“Here I am Lord”