Scroll Top
June 2020 staff updates
We've asked members of our team to share their favourite lemonade recipe with you. See below to get their recipes and personal updates.
June 2020 National Update

Tim’s Lemonade Recipe

Cilantro Lime Jalapeño Lemonade

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
4 cups of water
1 sliced lime
1/3 thinly sliced jalapeño pepper

Start with fresh lemon juice in a pitcher. Combine sugar and cilantro sprigs in a mortar; grind leaves with a pestle. Add the cilantro mixture and water to the pitcher with lemon juice, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add sliced lime and jalapeño pepper. Let stand 30 minutes before serving over ice.

Tim SchindelTim Schindel - Founder, Leading Influence

President & National Director

I flew out of Toronto on the afternoon of our first Prayer Breakfast in the Ontario Legislature. My plan was to be back in Ottawa a few weeks later after some vacation time with Barb.  In just four days, we were watching the world shut down around us and decided to come home early. This is the longest stretch of time we’ve been together in about 4 years! We’re enjoying quiet dinners, evening walks, and long talks. We became empty-nesters at the end of April so we’re also enjoying food in the house, hot water on demand, and the quiet that comes when 3 young men move out! We are both very thankful for this time and season.

I’m blessed to lead a highly-motivated, innovative team of ministry-focused men and women. Together, we are finding ways to continue engaging, connecting, and serving members across the country. Two weeks ago, our prayer networks put out a challenge to pray a personalized prayer for your MP and then to let them know you were praying for them. I took the prayer and shared it with every MP I’d connected with on my last trip to Ottawa. I ‘just happened’ to meet several MPs at the airport while we were waiting for our delayed flights. As the last one left for his flight, he hugged me (remember when you could do that?) and asked me to keep in touch.

Here’s his unedited response to the email I sent him:

“Thank you so much, Tim. Your email couldn’t come at a better time.

This has been a very stressful time. Probably, the most stressful time of my elected career.

On top of the trying times in Ottawa, the heartbreaking stories we are encountering are too numerous to count and in many cases, we are powerless to help.

It has been overwhelming at times. I am not alone in these feelings.

You have no idea how much your prayer is appreciated… thank you!”

‘Thank you for your support’ seems like such a feeble expression to describe the gratitude that I have for the privilege of leading an amazing team and serving and supporting elected members across the country. Our prayer and financial partners are the only reason that we can do what we do and all of you share in the harvest that LI is producing across Canada as the Lord is helping us!

Love to all of you from Barb and me!

Jim’s Lead Well Lemonade Recipe

5 pounds of Christian marketplace leaders
2 cups of principles drawn from biblical characters
4 teaspoons of stories from seasoned politicians
2 tablespoons of character and integrity

Add a generous portion of wisdom and political experience
Stir in a pitcher of real-life community engagement

Serves up a new batch of Kingdom-minded leaders in 8 months to renew the culture of politics in Canada

Jim Foster, Leadership Development Director, Leading InfluenceJim Foster

Leadership Development Director

I’m so excited to be able to update you on our progress with the Lead Well Leadership Program.  We have now gathered a faculty that includes former politicians, Fortune 500 leadership consultants who have experience in politics, several Leading Influence chaplains, and a pastor who had led community transformation in his city while working closely with local government, church, and business leaders.

We are working with the faculty members to deliver a training program that provides non-partisan personal and leadership development based on the principles and practices needed for effective public service, practices that are based on the foundations of Christian service. Many Christian leaders are now considering their plans to join the program when it launches in an on-demand learning format in September.

Thank you for helping us prepare those whom God has chosen to bring Kingdom leadership to our nation. Your support and prayers are vital to our success.

Grant & Anne-Claire Freake, Quebec Chaplains - Leading InfluenceGrant & Anne-Claire Freake

Quebec Chaplains

Grant Freake was born and raised in Labrador City, Newfoundland & Labrador. He went to Bible college in Ontario, sensing the call of God upon his life. Having a heart for French-speaking Canada, he went to Quebec to learn French. Grant met Anne-Claire, who is Quebecoise; they married and started in together in ministry in the Maritimes. Then, they came back to Quebec City where they have been senior pastors for 21 years at Evangel Pentecostal Church, a growing, dynamic, bilingual church. They are blessed with three awesome children.

Grant and Anne-Claire have always worked as a team, preaching and serving together. Grant has been involved in community economic development, short-term military chaplaincy, and is trained in life coaching. Anne-Claire has been involved in several prayer initiatives for Quebec and Canada. Having pursued a bachelor’s degree in education, she loves to teach and inspire people.

They both have a heart for government leaders. They have joined our team with great joy and continue to serve their local church as pastors.

Grant & Anne-Claire’s Lemonade Recipe

ZEST LEMONS: Using a lemon zester, zest about 2 lemons.

MAKE SUGAR WATER: In a small saucepan, add water and sugar. Bring to boil.

SQUEEZE THE LEMON JUICE: Using your citrus juicer, strain 8 fresh lemons until you get about 1.5 cups of lemon juice.

SERVE: Mix lemon juice, water, and sugar water into a large pitcher. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Stacey’s Slapdash Lemonade Recipe

Squeeze lemon into a small glass.

Add hot tap water to fill the glass.

Add approximately 2 tbsp sugar and stir until dissolved.

Pour mixture into individual glasses and add cold water until each child says, “Yum!”

Stacey GillanStacey Gillan, Executive Administrator - Leading Influence

Executive Administrator

On March 13 I picked up my three children (8, 8, & 5) from school for spring break and we didn’t go back until June. My husband created a home office in our basement for himself and I shifted my workspace to make room for homeschooling. Learning how to manage the teachers’ expectations and meet all our needs was a huge challenge.

But, with challenges come opportunities to grow, and so we grew in new directions. I learned to lower my expectations and stop trying to plan everything. I learned to set limits based only on my own assessment of how my family functions and how much stress we can handle. I learned how to bake with sourdough and gluten-free flours. We gardened a lot! I took the kids on adventure walks where they made up imaginary obstacles that we had to overcome. (The shadow from the neighbour’s hedge was actually made by a giant grumpy bear, and a tree was a man-eating plant.) One-on-one learning was extremely beneficial for my older daughter; she made up 40 pages of math in just 6 weeks. My son fell in love with reading and has inhaled over 30 books. The kids, who have always played well together, are an even tighter-knit posse. They stage weddings and create workplaces for their stuffed animals, and they make up complicated games.

So, although the past several months have been loud and stressful, with more togetherness than I thought possible, they’ve also been fun, simple, and a daily lesson in loving each other just as we are.

Jason Goertzen - Leading InfluenceJason Goertzen

British Columbia Chaplain

Hello friends!

Thanks for your amazing faithfulness & ongoing support during this time. I so enjoyed a recent trip to the mainland to connect with several MLAs. Visiting members in their home ridings is special.

I’m excited the BC Legislature resumes it’s “spring session” on June 22nd, the 3rd day of summer. 🙂

Thanks for your continued prayers as I serve those who serve us!

Jason’s Lemonade Recipe

Lemonade, Lemonade – Just Like Grandma Made!   

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups of water
1 1/2 cups Lemon Juice

Step 1:  In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Step 2:  Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave the pulp. In a pitcher, stir together the chilled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups water – ENJOY!

Charlie’s ‘Simply Summer’ Lemonade Recipe

Prepare any canned, frozen lemonade, made to specifications.

Add a generous amount of President’s Choice Lime Sparkling Water.

Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and lime slices.


Charlie Lyons, Ontario Chaplain - Leading InfluenceCharlie Lyons

Ontario Chaplain

“Extraordinary… unusual… unprecedented… disorienting… new normal…”

If feels like we’ve just about run out of adjectives to describe this season of a worldwide pandemic. However, the need for encouragement, support, and hope remains unchanged. Many (myself included) would say that these things are needed even more than ever in recent history.

So, whether it’s the weekly “virtual chapel” for MPPs and their staff, the Thursday afternoon “online small group” with Legislative/Executive Assistants, or the many regular one-on-one touchpoints with both MPPs and staff, there’s really no end to the opportunities to deliver chaplaincy and pastoral services to Ontario’s elected officials. Thank you for your ongoing partnership with us!

Heather Prendergast, Alberta Chaplain - Leading Influence Heather Prendergast

Alberta Chaplain

A Ministry of Presence Operates via Email

It started on a blustery Sunday with a prayer walk around and around the grounds of the Alberta Legislature.

How exciting to be there finally after months of anticipation and preparation. That day there was even a demonstration taking place as I wrapped up the time of prayer… right before my eyes not even the official Day 1 of a ministry of presence. It felt like the slate was loaded and God was leading.

What a privilege it was to spend two weeks observing our elected officials as they ran through Member Statements, Question Period, budget presentation, debates, and committee sessions. I was learning a lot in a short span, and enjoying the thrill of introducing myself to whomever took notice or asked a question (mostly security personnel).

And then COVID-19 social distancing was in place. Now how to make a ministry of presence work when I was so new to this environment and had hardly conversed with any elected official.

I like to write, so my natural inclination is to reach out through email. Connecting with more than twenty MLAs has produced some responses. The following are some of the positive replies received to date:

  • “Thank you for your prayer and encouraging words during this time of crisis. It is appreciated and a blessing.”
  • “Thank you so much for your kind words, Heather. It’s truly appreciated!”
  • “…In times like this, your encouragement is refreshing and appreciated. Our community will get through this and we’ll be stronger than ever. Thank you so much.”
  • “…What a powerful use of time right now to lift up our world in prayer. It is much appreciated! I hold out hope for brighter days ahead. In the interim, thank you for your encouragement at this difficult time.”

I am finding that although our prayers have been mostly exchanged silently between God and our prayer networks, they are making a difference as we all participate in this online ministry of prayer and presence. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness.

Heather’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

This lemonade is made with a syrup concentrate which can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.  Please note you may purchase citric and tartaric acids at pharmacies, wine-making shops, or from Amazon. This makes about 2 litres of syrup or 4 to 5 jugs of lemonade. The advantage of this recipe is that the syrup can be made at the beginning of the lemonade season and is ready for use throughout the summer.

Lemon Syrup Concentrate

  • Juice and grated zest of 4 juicy lemons
  • 5 cups (1 kg) white sugar
  • 2 T (30 ml) citric acid
  • 1 T (15 ml) tartaric acid
  • 5 cups (1,250 litres) boiling water

First, grate off the outer skin of the lemons on the fine side of a grater. Place the lemon juice and zest in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, citric acid, and tartaric acid. Pour the boiling water over and stir to dissolve the sugar. Just bring it to the boil and remove from the heat immediately. Cool, then pour into clean bottles and refrigerate until needed. Makes around 2 litres and keeps for a month refrigerated or up to 3 months in the freezer.

To mix a jug of lemonade ready to drink:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) lemon syrup concentrate
  • 1 tray of ice cubes
  • 1 lemon cut into thin slices
  • 4 cups (1 litre) of tap, soda or sparkling water
  • fresh mint (optional)

Place concentrate, ice cubes, lemon slices, water in a jug; stir well.  Add fresh mint to garnish.