Brooks Pentecostal Church Pastor Matthew Shaw apologized to the Waldo County community in Maine for a COVID-19 outbreak at his church that has now been linked to at least 60 cases -- with one caveat: anyone wishing to see his apology as a means to "further your cause and your agenda," he noted.
"We want to say today that we regret what has happened. We ask your forgiveness," Shaw said in the video. "We apologize that the sickness came to our church. And we apologize for the consequences that maybe the community is feeling, the fear that is settling into the hearts of men and women," Shaw said. "Those of you that might've been inconvenienced by the limitations that are put in place after a virus breaks out and certainly those today that even might have physically been affected by the virus. We are encouraged that those that went into the hospital after we had stated there were no hospitalizations—we are receiving reports from the family that they are progressing and we're believing for a full recovery."
Then came the exclusionary sentiment.
"When I say the community, I don't refer to every person that has taken this opportunity to further your cause and your agenda, that you have used this opportunity just to voice your opposition against the church, but rather those of you for 25 years that we have stood with and stood by," Shaw said. "On Sundays after church services when we stood in lines at the local grocery stores waiting on a pizza or a deli sandwich, and we smiled and talked and conversed as neighbors grabbing our groceries for the upcoming week."
Watch the video below.