When the Apostle Paul entered the Areopagus in Athens, he entered into a dialogue with people of goodwill from faiths other than his own. The Areopagus was a place where cultures, faiths, values and philosophies came into dialogue. At Ecumenism in Canada, we are committed to dialogue, and so we offer this webpage as a forum for open dialogue. This is the "virtual Areopagus."


The content of these chat rooms, listservs and newsgroups is the responsibility of their owners and moderators.  Any software downloaded via these links is the responsibility of the originating download site. Users are cautioned not to download executable code from unknown sources.

The links below are developed by a variety of groups and individuals. Ecumenism.Net takes no responsibility for any except those which we moderate. We encourage you to explore these resources freely, and ask that you respect the freedom of others to do so as well.


Discussion services:
Ecunet | Listservs | Newsgroups | Yahoo!

Etiquette | mIRC | ICQ


A Listserv is a privately controlled forum in which internet users can read and post notices on particular subjects. The listserv is essentially a mailing list for a particular subject. When a subscriber posts a notice it is automatically bounced to all other subscribers. Listservs are sometimes moderated lists, meaning that the messages are screened before distribution. Some listservs require an application process indicating your purpose for joining the list. This is used to exclude those who may disrupt the lists.

Additional listservs can be added to our listings. Please to listservs of interest to the ecumenical community.

Usenet Newsgroups

Usenet newsgroups are public forums in which internet users can read and post notices on particular subjects. Most web browsers, such as Netscape and Internet Explorer, have newsgroup readers embedded in the basic program. Newsgroups listed on our pages are from the ALT., SOC. and TALK. categories. Additional newsgroups can be added to this list. Please to newsgroups of interest to the ecumenical community.

Ecunet chat rooms


Ecunet is a network of denominational computer networks. Ecunet is the pioneer in religious networking. At one time there were probably more clergy online with Ecunet than anywhere else on the web combined. Ecunet's scope is truly international. In addition to the denominational resources provided, Ecunet connects you to religious news services and chat rooms. News services are provided through the Ecunet listserv. The chat rooms require a java-enabled browser, such as Netscape and Internet Explorer.


Yahoo! is an internet resource with directories, email accounts, and popular search tools. The link below will direct you to Yahoo! lists of chat rooms and other resources that promote dialogue and communication on religious issues. Be aware that Yahoo! is a commercial site and will display advertising. The site is otherwise free, of course.


Sometimes called "netiquette", there are a variety of basic standards for dialogue in a text based environment. When the internet was first developed it was largely an anarchistic environment. Social standards have developed which are enforced, not by law, but by consensus. Discussion groups rarely need to enforce these standards any more, but almost anyone who has been online for even a short time has come across examples of people being asked to leave the discussion.

Netiquette has been enforced in some civil courts, but generally is a consensus-driven standard for social interaction on the internet. One helpful statement of netiquette is found on the Ecunet pages. See their document "Considerate and effective use of Ecunet." Obviously there are additional issues that arise from time to time. An awareness of the nature of the text-based medium is essential to a productive and communicative resolution of issues that will arise in the future.



ICQ (pronounced "I-seek- you") is a free instant messaging service offered by Mirabilis. ICQ users are assigned an 8-digit numerical id, and may choose a nickname. In addition they may place a variety of different information of the ICQ server to help people find them in the directories. Each user can identify a contact list, and whenever the user is online, will be informed of the online status of the contacts. A user can require prior authorization before their name is placed on another user's contact list.

Users can communicate directly with other users in real-time "talk," or send offline messages to any user. In addition, ICQ users can receive on-screen paging from any email user on the internet. The ICQ configuration options allow users to determine the level of visibility and security that they wish to have.

ICQ is very similar to the Netscape / America OnLine Instant Messenger, although the two systems do not communicate at this point in time. ICQ has a longer history, a considerably larger network and has established thousands of discussion forums, listed thematically.download ICQ



mIRC is internet relay chat (IRC) software. IRC facilitates multiparty chat forums. Each chat room is democratically administered, and those who violate netiquette can be dumped from the chat, and blocked from future participation. Tens of thousands of chat rooms exist, and there can be many users online at any time. Chat rooms vary in size. Download mIRC here.