Arthur Larrabee, Quaker Leader, to Speak at Newtown Meeting

Arthur Larrabee, lawyer, lifelong Quaker, and former head of Quakers in the Tri-State area, will speak via Zoom to the adult class of Newtown Quaker Meeting at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, May 23, 2021. Zoom Meeting for Worship in the manner of Friends will follow at 11 a.m. 

Larrabee’s topic will be: “Seeking a Deeper Understanding of Quaker Decision-making.”

For over three hundred and sixty years, Quaker religious groups have made community decisions — conducted business — without taking a vote. They have depended instead on a “sense of the meeting” to express the general will of those gathered on how to proceed. This often takes much longer than following Robert’s Rules of Order but Quakers believe that it is far more efficient in the long run than having a “dissatisfied and disgruntled minority” by taking votes on controversial issues.

Arthur Larrabee is an expert on matters of Quaker business practices. His presentation will be informal and interactive and include: the spiritual basis of Quaker decision-making, the role of the clerk (chair) and of those in the body of the meeting, the sense-of-the-meeting vs. consensus, the meaning of unity, what happens in the absence of unity, and practices contributing to a well-ordered meeting.

Arthur Larrabee is a lifelong Quaker and a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. He has served as clerk of his Quaker Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (umbrella group of the more than 10,000 Quakers in the Tri-State area), and the Westtown School Board of Trustees. 

Larrabee is a lawyer and practiced law in Philadelphia, PA for 23 years. After leaving his law practice, Arthur served for eight years as General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Since 1992, Arthur has led a number of workshops on Quaker decision-making and clerking in venues throughout the United States.

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