Legacy Christmas is a fitting title for the album of Christmas carols being promoted by Living Waters for the World and Presbyterian Women.
In addition to carrying on the Presbyterian legacy of Celtic-influenced music, the album is also a way of continuing the legacy of giving started by Presbyterian Women (PW). In a new partnership, proceeds from the album will benefit both Living Waters for the World (LWW) and PW.
LWW is a mission of the Synod of Living Waters that provides sustainable clean water to communities in need while fostering long-term partnerships between volunteers and those communities.
In 2007, LWW received a $225,000 Birthday Offering grant from PW. That money was used to expand Clean Water U, LWW’s intensive training program.
“Our partnership with Presbyterian Women has made an incalculable difference in the lives of our sisters and brothers throughout the world,” said Steve Young, executive director of LWW.
Since Clean Water U’s beginning in 2004, more than 1,600 volunteers have completed the training, and LWW has installed more than 500 clean water systems in 25 countries.
When LWW decided to produce an album of Celtic Christmas carols as a fundraiser, it reached out to PW for advice on how to best promote the album, hoping to draw on PW’s wisdom from years of work in local churches.
That initial conversation soon morphed into an idea for a new kind of partnership — LWW, a past recipient of the Birthday Offering, would partner with PW to promote the album, with the proceeds being split evenly between LWW and the Birthday Offering.
“It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this,” said Ann Ferguson, PW program coordinator. “To see one of the programs that we’ve supported over the years grow … and then for it to say ‘Thank you, PW. We want to ensure that others get the support you’ve given us’ … it means the world to us.
“You can’t beat a thank you like that,” she said. “That’s why we do what we do — to see the impact.”
As for the album itself, the music is drawn from carols traditionally used in Presbyterian churches through generations. LWW is based near Nashville, Tenn., home to some of the world’s best musicians and producers. Melissa DuPuy, a musician and Presbyterian who is a friend of Young’s, recruited fellow musicians to work on the album.
“And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Deanie Richardson, who plays fiddle and mandolin on the project and has had a storied career playing for Patty Loveless, Vince Gill and The Chieftains, recruited acclaimed Irish vocalist Alyth McCormack — who has toured with The Chieftains for several years – to sing on three of the tracks,” Young said. “The result is a stunning collection of music.”
The album can be sold at church gift fairs, often hosted by local PW groups. Congregations can request a free kit of 10 CDs to sell. Proceeds and any unsold CDs can then be mailed back. Single copies are also available online, and the album is available for download on Amazon and iTunes.
Congregations can use the album in worship, during Advent or during times of fellowship, such as hanging of the greens.
“What we especially love is that tradition and history are meeting the present and future in a real and life-changing way, making the message of Christmas come alive,” Young said.